Years ago, I attended a lecture by Bruce Lipton, celebrated cell biologist, a warm human being, the forerunner in the Science of Epigenetics, and author of the 2005 book The Biology of Belief. He began by stating that 95% of our behavior is controlled by subconscious programs acquired before the age of six and that neuroscience has established that the conscious mind is in charge only about 5% of the time.
This means that subconscious programs such as walking, eating, speaking, etc. function outside the conscious mind and therefore often make our everyday decisions without us even noticing. (It’s part of his rather radical yet intuitively appealing idea that beliefs control human biology rather than DNA and inheritance.) These subconscious programs, he says, originate from our parents, family, and community and often are limiting and many times disempowering.
Or as Brianna Wiest pointed out in Forbes several years ago, your subconscious is “presenting you with repeated thoughts and impulses that mimic and mirror that which you’ve done in the past. And that “just as your brain is built to regulate your physical self . . . [it’s also there to] regulate your mental self.”
As I see it, this is why so many business professionals tell me that they don't like the sound of their voice. They grew up with all of these subconscious “influencers.” And how they want to change their voice and change the way people feel about them. Not just people but their supervisors, their clients, the people they’re trying to convince that what they’re asking people to do is worth doing.
When people want to change their voice, it says to me that their conscious mind has decided to reprogram their subconscious speaking behavior. They have decided to take control of their subconscious by asking it to become aware of the speaking skills needed to speak easily and clearly and confidently. Given a new awareness and the time to practice the speaking skills, the subconscious is perfectly willing to get on board. You can reprogram your speaking pattern and habits permanently.
This was exactly the case for one of my clients, a man whose tone was very easily affected by his mood—mostly one of feeling totally overwhelmed on a daily basis. He told me that it was very difficult, almost impossible, for him to sound continually engaging when dealing with co-workers and clients. I told him á la Lipton that it was his belief that the content of his message was more important, and that this was what was keeping him from placing much value on being engaging.
I suggested he start using voice inflection and modulation in his daily speech, which would make him sound more engaging, even though inside he may have been feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
The speaking skills of inflection and modulation were the tipping point for him to change his longstanding speaking pattern and rid himself of the associated disempowering belief that it wasn’t really necessary for him to connect with the person to whom he was speaking. He started to realize that connecting with people by using his voice inflection and modulation made both his professional and personal relationships more meaningful, enjoyable, and productive.
Your voice is an important tool that carries your message to your client. To think that you’re forever stuck with the voice you have now, that you can’t change the way you speak. Nonsense! You can. You can train your voice to work for you. I can show you how to train, or retrain, your speaking voice—so that the even just sound of your voice will make you confident and persuasive.