It really is amazing how changing your speaking voice can positively change your life and the relationships in your life.
Just this week, two business professionals, Marsha in her 60’s and Katie in her 20’s, called for a voice consultation because at work both of their voices were being judged negatively. Marsha was accused of sounding overbearing, bordering on angry by the team that she managed and Katie was told by her boss that she sounded like a child of 12 and that this was undermining her credibility with her real estate clients. Rather than feeling that their coworkers and boss were prejudice or had a personal ax to grind, both Marsha and Katie took their feedback positively and began looking for solutions. It is common for people to unconsciously react to someone’s way of speaking and most of the time they don’t even really realize it.
Often, in a performance review, a manager or a boss will say things like you don’t sound assertive, you sound like a little girl over the telephone, you need to be more concise and succinct when talking, or you need to be more engaging. Even though, these are emotional reactions to the way someone speaks, it brings to your attention the impact your voice has on others.
Katie had a business colleague in California who also had been told that she sounded very young, especially on the telephone. Katie’s colleague told her it was possible to change her voice, because she had already done it and that Katie needed to find a good speaking voice coach. Hearing this was a huge relief for Katie.
Next step, Katie got on the internet and typed in voice coach. Voila! Up came Voice Power Studios offering a free voice consultation/analysis. I told her that her speaking pattern was nasal which meant that she was putting all of her sound through her nose instead of speaking through her mouth, and at the same time she was not using any breath support that would enable her to control the resonance of her vocal sound.
There was nothing wrong with Katie’s throat, lungs or sinuses. She had gotten in the habit of speaking that way when very young. As Woody Allen, pointed out in his movie “Radio Days”, many people in Brooklyn are nasal. With continued practice, it would take Katie about 3 to 4 months to permanently change her speaking pattern and be perceived by her clients as a confident, self-assured and persuasive speaker.
Marsha’s Mother had given her a wonderful gift by encouraging her to speak clearly and loud enough to be easily heard. However, she had worked both as a manager and a director for number of years and as a result fell into a speaking pattern that was professional but just a bit too slow and “no nonsense and monotone” sounding.
She needed to pick up the pacing and use more breath to support her natural resonant and open sound. More breath support and speech melody, would take the “no-nonsense” edge out of her vocal sound. Marsha had a strong voice, and so with practice, it would be easy for her to develop a confident, engaging and non-judgmental speaking voice that works for her on the job and in her personal life. With a little knowledge and practice you can speak well and advance in your career.
Sandra offers a 25-minute voice analysis consultation or call 877-783-2455.