How We Can Use Our Voice To Influence Our Audience
As business leaders in the speaking and training scene, we want to connect with, engage, influence and inspire our audiences. We want to ensure we have a powerful, energetic and confident presence on stage. And we want to create an indelible impact with our message. However, do you know the crucial role of your voice in achieving the above outcomes?
Your personal insight into your voice.
Have you ever listened to the sound of your own voice on a recording? Eeeekkk!!! I hear you say! The reassuring news is that we ALL sound completely different to how we actually sound due to the complex process involving the anatomy of our bodies and the physics of sound.
A simple explanation is that when we speak our bodies vibrate as well as simultaneously receiving the sound-waves of our voice through our ears, hence we process two pieces of information to hear our voice.
Conversely, our listeners only receive the sound-waves of our voice through their ears thus receiving only one piece of information to process. The astonishing consequence is that we hear our voices differently to the rest of the world and our universal response is one of great disappointment and embarrassment as we perceive it to be foreign.
The uniqueness of your voice is created by the flow of many different individual embedded qualities. Amazingly it is possible to become attuned to each one separately.
The pitch of your voice
This is created by the vibrations in our vocal cords which move rapidly in a complex sequence of movements stretching forward & backwards repetitively. You can simulate this by stretching a rubber band whilst plucking it simultaneously and listening to the different pitches produced.
Also women are anatomically predisposed to produce a higher pitched voice than males due to the comparative shortness of the length of their vocal cords. Interestingly with trained vocal instruction, males are able to learn to produce a higher pitched voice than females due to their longer apparatus however women are anatomically unable to produce a lower pitched voice due to their shorter apparatus.
Your Vocal Language
When pitch is blended seamlessly with other vocal elements, our inner emotions are revealed.
A high pitched voice requires the vocal cords to be tense & stretched with the larynx (voice-box) raised high, hence in tense situations where we are feeling emotionally stretched the pitch of our voice is raised beyond our regular conversational vocal pitch.
A regular pitched voice requires the vocal cords to be relaxed with the larynx (voice-box) lowered, hence in relaxed situations where we are feeling emotionally at peace the pitch of our voice is lowered to our regular conversational vocal pitch.
When we speak to our audience, the pitch of our voice should be consciously varied vary according to the content and the intended message(s) being expressed as this enriches the perceived quality of our voice which is a strong determinant in the audiences’ attention to our speech and their concentration to our content.
Our confidence is also expressed through our voice by its strength unwavering, steady and controlled quality. As vocal coaches we are excited by speakers whose vocal pitches frequently waver uncontrollably giving an unconvincing impression that they are not confident with their topic (thus we have many fresh clay-pots to mould!).
As mentioned earlier, our presentation objectives are to ensure that the audience establishes a high opinion of our credibility and thus our message(s) are internalised and deep-rooted.
How you can use this knowledge to improve your voice
So what can you take from this to implement some changes in your vocal presentations to enhance the outcomes for your audience?
- Take the courageous step of listening to your voice on a recording on your smart phone.
- Identify what you love about your vocal pitch and what you would like to improve?
- What is one outcome you are aiming for and how are you going to measure this?
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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