The Power of Your Voice

image of string instruments

This is iSpeak Clearly’s second article in a four-part series on the power of voice and vocal health. The first article, about caring for your voice to maintain vocal health, can be read here: https://ispeakclearly.com/2019/01/31/voice-first-impression/

Is there an actor who captivates you, regardless of his or her role? Or an instructor who makes even the most boring topic mesmerizing?

Chances are, they engage your attention by creating a full, natural sound with their voice.

Positive or negative impressions are formed on the quality of the speaker’s voice

The voice is a key component in capturing the interest and attention of our listener. “The sound of a speaker’s voice matters twice as much as the content of the message, according to a study of 120 executives’ speeches,” wrote Sue Shellenbarger in the Wall Street Journal (1).

Our audiences, clients, and customers react to the sounds they hear. A voice that is strong and full is pleasing to hear, while a voice that is harsh, hoarse, nasal, raspy, or shrill may be perceived as unpleasant and difficult to pay attention to. Think of listening to a professional violinist versus a young child playing his first notes. Which do you prefer?

Factors affecting the power of your voice

The sound of your voice is influenced by many factors, some of which are predetermined by gender (males generally speak at a lower pitch than women) and physical characteristics, including body size and shape and range of the larynx—similar to the sound differences in string instruments such as the viola, violin, and cello. The male voice is often compared to a cello, and the female voice a violin.

How we use our vocal mechanism also influences the sound. Some of us use our voices efficiently and effectively without any thought. Others have developed bad habits that negatively impact the sound of our voice, and in some cases even our vocal health. These include tension, inefficient breathing techniques, pitch variations, and lack of resonance.  

Many of us cringe when we hear a playback of our voice on an audio or video recording.

But how does your voice sound to others—your clients, your colleagues, and your audience? Does your voice sound strong and confident? Are your listeners attentive when you speak?

If you would like to create a strong, confident voice in the professional setting, contact iSpeak Clearly. We can help you assess your voice, speaking, and communication skills to identify areas to be developed and improved.

Acquire new skills and maximize the power of your voice.

References
1.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323735604578440851083674898