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Voice Power Studios Blog

The ancient Greeks discovered that “The Voice is the Megaphone of the Soul”. They knew that it was your voice that fascinates and captivates an audience and telegraphs your soul power as you speak. It is obvious in singers, like Aretha Franklin, Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder just to name a few of the many great singers.

Breathing is the secret for both singers and speakers. Good breath support for your speaking voice is what the ancient Greeks discovered and what many of us today in our hurried world often ignore. It is the energy of your breath that sets free the soul power of your speaking voice.

Obviously we are all breathing if we are alive, however again in our nano second world we either hold our breath or breathe shallowly while sitting behind our computers and only breathe deeply when we are in the gym or out running. For health reasons it is necessary to breathe well and doctors like Andrew Weill have taught us this with his CD program “Breathing is the Key to Self-Healing”.

Marilyn who had been a lawyer with an East Coast Insurance Firm was now living and practicing law near a major city in Texas. This is a big city she thought and so they will appreciate my skills in the court room and she went right out and landed one of the best jobs in the best law firms in town. The next thing she heard, while giving a brief in front of a male judge who had a heavy Texas accent was “ I’m sorry little lady, you gotta slow down if you expect me and the jury to understand you”.

Number one, Marilyn was shocked to be called little lady and two she was shocked that her fast talking, which had been prized in the East Coast insurance world, was now being ridiculed in front of the entire court room.

I was so shocked, she told me, that I checked in with the head of my law firm, thinking that this particular judge had a bias against woman lawyers from back East. And my boss told me, “Go get help with your speech” so that the judges will feel more comfortable while you speaking in court on behalf of you clients.

Recently I was giving a Voice Power speaking skills workshop and a participant who was the director of operations for a small IT company stood up and said that he was currently hiring new people and the problem was that many of the applicants looked really good on paper, however, when he spoke with them in the interview, he could not understand them.

I’m Israeli, he said and I know I have an accent that is why I am in your workshop: to speak even better than I do. Both my CEO and I believe that speech and communication are important business drivers for our company. If my employees cannot be understood, how can they communicate and how can I manage them. I asked if he ever told these applicants that they were not hired was because he couldn’t understand them. The answer was no.

This story beautifully illustrates the first way that your speaking voice stops your career. All your brilliance, and the education and hard work that you put into your chosen profession, can be stopped by not being easily understood by your employer, fellow employees and your clients and customers. May I also say that speaking clearly is not only applicable to foreign speakers, but also to native English speakers.

If they can’t understand you, you may not be promoted.

Rolando, a fifty year old executive, whose native language is Italian, was told by his senior manager that his heavy accented, speed talking was one of the reasons he was not being promoted to the next level in his company. Michael a brilliant, middle aged Polish IT expert said that he definitely felt that he would be much further along in his career if he spoke louder and more clearly. Rajesh, who has three thousand people in his division, spoke very fast with a heavy Hindi accent and his General Manager told him that he needed to speak more clearly in order to be effective.

Knowing how to control your voice is a powerful tool that gives you a competitive edge in the business world. My clients, whether an employees or an entrepreneurs, realize that improving their voice will make them more successful and rich.

Charles, a business consultant working for a national consulting firm, was asked to give webinars in order to bring prospective clients on board.  Charles told me that during the first webinar he felt like he was doing a radio show and didn’t have the talent or the broadcast voice to deliver a great 45 minute show.