Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the life blood of our economy and many businesses promote and sell their services and products on- line; webinars, free telephone seminars, client conference calls, videos, and re-packaged webinars. Your prospective buyers hear you and often don’t see you. The voice your client wants to hear is a voice that sounds confident, engaging, articulate, enthusiastic, motivating, inspiring. A voice that feels relaxed, at ease.
I personally believe we are all selling all the time, and some people are aware of this and take speaking as an art. “All the world's a stage,
and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts”, Shakespeare, from “As You Like It”
Many of my clients, who are experts in a particular field, tell me they are just stating information. What they need to know is that they also have a specific purpose or intention in mind, whether they recognize it or not. At the very least they want the listener to understand the information, and that requires being loud enough to be heard, speaking clearly and at a good speed of 150 words per minute. After that they want the listener to understand their specific meaning or interpretation of the information.
It is said that if 100 actors say the same line, each reading will be different, because each actor brings their life experience, their personal feelings, and their own understanding of the line to their reading. The actor is serious about communicating his specific meaning because he wants the job.
The same is true of an entrepreneur who is making a video or training program for a potential buyer. He wants them to buy the product. However, most people don’t think of their voice unless someone gives them specific negative feedback. Why not? Because, most people don’t hear the way their voice sounds, or ponder if it conveys their meaning and whether it inspires the listener to buy. They just talk. With the prevalence of on-line products and services, using your voice effectively makes a difference to the bottom line.
In previous blogs I have recounted some voice basics that make a huge difference:
- Don’t trail off at the end of your thoughts because it makes you sound negative,
- Say the ends of your words in order to speak more clearly,
- Use pitch inflection to sound less monotone and more engaging,
- Speak with breath support to make your voice more rich and resonant,
- Use proper grammar,
- Don’t use slang or too many acronyms,
- Speak at a 150 words per minute,
- Speak in proper rhythms with pacing and phrasing.
Even when clients have written out the text for their video or training film or presentation, they tell me that they feel wooden and uncomfortable. They tell me they are more comfortable winging it. Why? Because they think it feels & sounds more natural.
Let’s return to our 100 actors who are reading the same lines. They too have been talking all their lives however; this is a script that they are interpreting in order to get a response from the director or casting agent who is listening. Therefore the actors take the lines seriously and knowing the speaking skills mentioned above, they practice their delivery until it sounds exactly how they want it and conveys their exact meaning.
What am I saying? That we are all need to be actors? Shakespeare, a renowned genius in his field said it. “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts”.
Therefore, I suggest that people develop a script or at the very least talking points before they begin to speak in a professional capacity. I also suggest that training in the speaking skills mentioned above gives you the tools to be an outstanding speaker both personally and professionally. The first step is awareness, you have accomplished this today.
If you would like to learn more and discover how you can improve your speaking voice, I offer a 20-minute Voice analysis and speaking skills consultation, http://www.voicepowerstudios.com/analysis.html