Several of Jack’s clients asked to be transferred to another business consultant within the national business consulting firm at which Jack worked. And his bosses told him that he was not assertive enough to command and keep his client’s attention.
“Some of your clients are asking to have a second opinion from another consultant because they don’t feel motivated enough by your communication style, and therefore have doubts about moving forward with your recommendations”. Your analysis of their business problems and your well thought out action steps are fine. I’m sure that this is frustrating for you and it causes extra work and expense to the firm.
Jack told me, that his boss said he needs to sound more in command, confident, and credible as opposed to unsure, soft spoken and monotone. “I don’t mind telling you it was a bit demoralizing”, said Jack. “I mean who thinks about the way they sound having so much influence”. Yes, maybe with one client, but not 3 or 4. I needed a professional opinion and here I am.
His boss was correct and willing to pay for his speaking voice coaching and that helped to soothe some of his hurt feelings and to motivate Jack to practice the speaking exercises on a daily basis. In the first session I always conduct an exercise designed to help one decide how one wants to sound which is always determined by how you want to be perceived in the outside world.
Jack said, “Now that I think about it, I do feel that I sound timid and boring”. “Ok, I said. Let’s find out how you want to sound. You get to choose. I asked him to list out 20 adjectives that would describe how he would like to sound and then prioritize the top six. This gives a great starting point to apply all the voice techniques.
The reason I ask for 20 is because it allows one to realize that the human speaking voice has a huge expressive potential and that you are now in charge of that expressiveness. You can use your voice in any way you wish. No longer are you limited to the quiet and monotone speaking pattern that you unconsciously developed as a child.
Here is his list:
confident, self-assured, commanding, credible, knowledgeable, engaging, energetic, enthusiastic, passionate, assertive, louder, expressive, persuasive, clear, articulate, melodic, motivational, friendly, sincere, and trustworthy.
His top six were; Confident, Credible, Engaging, Assertive, Articulate and Persuasive. Just doing this exercise made Jack not only understand but also know in his heart, that he had power to change his voice and change his professional life.
“Now that we know where you want to go with your voice, getting there will be easy,” I told him. Please begin by saying out loud every AM & PM the following affirmations. Every day in every way, I am more and more Confident. Say this sentence for each of your six words and emphasize the underlined words in the sentence.
Finally start speaking like you mean it. I want you to explore sounding like you mean what you say. How does that feel to you both emotionally and intellectually? How does it sound to you? If you wish you can record yourself.
Jack became so excited about using his voice that he started sending conversational recordings to his bedridden father who lived far away. His father loved the recordings because he could listen to them whenever he wished and be closer to Jack. In order to please his father, Jack began reading his father’s favorite books aloud and sending him the recordings.
Being read to by a family member is very comforting and the recordings built a strong intimacy between Jack and his Dad: a connection that brought them so much closer together. His father looked forward to getting each chapter and gave Jack much desired feedback and encouragement.
Today, Jack is reading books on tape professionally as a second career and loving every moment of it. Congratulations, Jack!!
If you would like to learn more and discover how you can improve your speaking voice, I offer a 20-minute Voice Analysis Consultation, http://www.voicepowerstudios.com/analysis.html