Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Voice Altering

As a freight broker, trainer and salesman I spend a lot of time talking with people on the phone. Just saw an interesting segment on voice coaching. I do some business coaching of freight brokers and other executives by phone. This piece caught my attention and made me think about the image I project with my voice. Here are excerpts:

Most people admit they can't stand hearing their own voice, but what happens when how you speak defines the way people perceive you? "It's OK for everybody to sound different," says celebrity voice coach Roger Love, "but we're supposed to be the best we can be within that difference."

Roger shares his three tips that everyone should know if they're looking to improve their voice:

• Melody. "Most of us speak like we're one note on a piano. A piano has 88 keys -- you gotta touch some of the other keys! You gotta go up, you gotta go down and you have to practice that. Melody is key."

• Volume. "We've become a world of whisperers. We're talking to everyone like we're not public speakers. I say we are all public speakers. You might be talking to one person or your dog -- they're your public. You don't have to have a thousand people. We are all public speakers the second it comes out."

• Breathe. "Most of us are holding our breaths when we speak. You should breathe in through your nose, not your mouth. When you breath in through your nose it sends moist air to the chords. Pretend you have a balloon in your stomach. Fill up the balloon, and then when you're speaking, the whole time you're speaking your stomach is supposed to be coming in. If it's not, then you're holding your breath."

This article also shows how this voice coach helped 3 woman. One had a baby voice, one had a manly voice and one had a heavily accented voice. Their retooled voices gave them a new confidence. To read more click here.

I found that quite intriquing. I speak loud for sure and with lots of melody. I’m pretty sure I don’t hold my breath while I speak but I do have an accent. I often have students with interesting accents. Our voice differences are interesting and make us unique but when your listener has much trouble understanding what you are saying perhaps you should consider a voice makeover.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

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