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The Power of the Human Voice—Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 in The Power of the Human Voice Series.
When silent films became “talkies”, the world changed forever. Hearing a speaking character in a film brought credibility and texture to the tale. We wanted the hero to be confident and have a strong voice without sounding like a bully. The power of hearing the character was why radio was wildly successful. It used the power of the human voice.
Subconsciously, we use cues from someone and relate to aspects of the human voice to create a definition of the speaker—Translation: Is this a safe connection? For our own comfort we notice the following:
  • Pace
  • Tone (confident, condescending, prissy, scared)
  • Volume
When we mirror these qualities, we give ourselves permission to engage with the other person.
Public speakers can provide pointers on key techniques. They know the value of pause, enthusiasm, and non-verbal cues as they express emotion through their bodies. A speaker can stir emotion by the choice of words, establish empathy through storytelling that is believable, and lead us to what they want as a conclusion (like merchandise at a conference). For example, check how dating advisors use this same information. For example, upon meeting a desirable prospect, the speaker attempts to mimic the body language (non-verbal cues), tone, and makes eye contact with the listener. By doing so, comfort and safety, the hallmarks of emotional intelligence, are established. Now the listeners will follow your voice because it resembles their own.
So, why do we believe them? They are exercising emotional intelligence. They establish credibility with the listener is golden. This is why listening to all touch points in your business can make or break a connection with your prospect. It is about impressions that must flow through all marketing materials audio or not.
Now it’s your turn . . . really!
Make use of this information, stop and call into your 800 number, voice message, and customer care lines. Listen to the voices of the people responding to the call. How do you feel when they ask if you can hold before even speaking to you yet? Do they sound intelligent, pleasant, mature or 12 years old? Do you believe what they’re saying? If not, you have work to do
Attention is perceived over a phone call even when the listener cannot see the speaker. So, do not commit the mixed-message “sin” of multitasking while you are on a call; the listener perceives your split attention. It translates into, “You’re not that important.”
Now, let’s circle back to the power of the voice. How does all this information affect your career when people do not listen to what you have to say? When you give a presentation, how will you assess the impact of what you are bringing to the meeting? Are your listeners riveted to your message or playing with their cell phones and answering email!
Here’s the good news—One antidote you can manage is practice. Listen to your own voice and the effect when you close your eyes of the image that you portray. Get feedback when people listen to your voice.
Consider the high squeaky voice or the mumbling of people who appear to lack confidence enough to project their ideas rather than swallow their words. (At this time, you may be thinking of a few examples in your workosphere™.)
Here’s an example: National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed a woman who did a study on women’s voices because she wanted to see if there was a correlation between promotions and the perceived power of the female person. Here is the link: http://n.pr/1CIjGdD
Remember, the entry-level people assigned to telephone work are often the first point of contact with the prospect. I recommend that quality of voice be considered when hiring for this position.  
Want more attention, power, and creditability? Put It All Together
Here are a few tips to get you started on refining your speaking voice:
•   Stand when you are recording a sample of your voice or answering a phone call.
•   Read a short article into a microphone. When playing it back, listen for tone, pace, and sincerity in your voice.
•  Start imagining how old the person is, what emotional connection do you have with this person ((do they sound like a relative?) Would you trust this person to watch your dog?
•  What image do you perceive of the company based on the sound of the voice you hear?
• Are your words crisp and clear or mumbled and swallowed?  These qualities are important f because it demonstrates you have nothing to hide when you speak clearly.
• Is your voice halting, are there many pauses, or is your cadence flowing and smooth? Again, there is a subliminal judgment by the listener to hesitation and credibility if you sound like you’re making it up on the fly, that reduces the power of your message.
• How does your word selection support the intention of your message? Do you sound pompous, or are you using Plain English or your native language you speak to your audience so that they get the best understanding of what you’re saying.
• For now, go back and listen to your recording again and adjust your tonality. Now let’s review your first reading according to these tips.
The show phenomenon called The Voice auditions people without being seen. Why do you suppose that is so powerful? Please leave a comment on this post or email to mcubas@positivepotentials.com.
Copyright 2014 Positive Potentials LLC, Michelle Cubas • For Permission To Publish, please contact 480-510-7166



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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