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The Power of the Human Voice—Part 1

As a gestating child develops,  the mother’s voice is heard reverberating through the amniotic fluid. It is magical to the fetus. Voice is a human’s first powerful connector.

Not enough time and attention is shone on voice training and how your voice is perceived by others. Here is a study I learned about on NPR,  “Can Changing How You Sound Help You Find Your Voice?” The premise was targeting female voices and if their credibility as leaders was affected by the sound of the voice. See if you agree. We can have a “Google Gaggle (group)” around this is you like or use the S.O.S. Group on Linked In. The audio link is below.

As a stage performer, I know the power of voice and tone. It is the coloration that can turn a compliment into a sarcastic comment or an emotional appeal from the quiver in the throat. 

So, please record your voice and play it back as if you were answering a phone call. What do you hear? Is there sincerity, attentiveness, or nasally twang? How old do you sound to your ear? After doing this, you may want to consider re-recording your inbound message to reflect who you want to project.

The sound of a voice can inspire confidence. Sometimes, practice is required to achieve your goal. Like the old joke, “Would you buy a used car from this person?”, the tone of your voice can make or break a sales opportunity.

Company senior managers need to call into the toll-free number or a help line to hear what the customer is hearing—the results will be showstopping! If a receptionist at a medical professionals office sounds like 12 years old, it’s time to change that voice or person because subliminally they do not inspire confidence in the professional being contacted.

My personal favorite is the “panel” that sits in front of a sardine-packed waiting room. If you are onsite, you can experience the impatience and eye-rolling first hand. Considering the demographics of the audience, some impatient tones are rude, waving arms, and discourteous comments, especially to an aging population who may be a bit hard of hearing!

The results of this experiment transcend just wanting to look good. Credentials are on the line, and with fierce competition in every industry, a simple edge can be found in ability to engage and invite people to hear your message.

Technology aside, people want to be heard about what is important to them. You can improve the chances that you will be heard and taken seriously when your tone fits the situation.

As a coach, I find many clients undermine their career promotions and status with poor speech patterns and lowly vocabulary. Consider a time when you were swept up in a situation when the speaker had a magnificent voice. It almost didn’t matter they were saying as much as the lyrical essence of the tones. 

I will publish more on some antidotes and ways to stand apart by using your speech. As always, your feedback is enjoyed and welcome. MC

PS—If you would like to listen to the NPR segment, do so here. Enjoy. mc


As a credentialed business coach and analyst, one of my primary functions is to work with individuals and company managers to clarify where they are presently, where they would like to advance, and what tools they have and need to achieve their desired outcome.

I use a variety of tools to assess perceptions including Platinum Rule instruments, my experience and training in assessing behavior. My preferred tool is the EQ-i®, emotional intelligence inventory. I have specialized training on the EQ-i® and DISC Inventories and access to multiple other sources including a company culture index. I prefer the EQ-i® because it is the least judgmental instrument I have found. It focuses on strengths and areas of development related to the goals set by the individual. For example, people are more likely to apply the EQ-i®’s information rather than label themselves by the Myers-Briggs categories.

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