Your Most Overlooked Tool
When it comes to professional speaking, most speakers and aspiring speakers spend too much attention and time on crafting their stories, improving their body languages, building their stage presence and finding the next speaking engagement. Yet, they’ve overlooked their most powerful tool, their voice.
There’s nothing more powerful than a speaker’s voice. It can make or break a connection, and motivate or demoralize people. It can move us to tears and inspire us to take action. It can stir your thoughts and evoke your emotions.
Why should your audience listen to you?
Your audience is bombarded with information.
There are over 1.8 billion websites on the internet, according to the Netcraft 2018 Web Server Survey.
More than 400 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every single minute. That’s the statistic as of July 2015! YouTube has yet to release the latest statistics ever since. You would imagine much more than 400 hours!
With a touch of a finger, they could find more information online than you could ever present in 45 minutes.
What’s even worse is that, with fake news and false information running rampant, the world has seen significant decline in people’s trust in business, government, NGOs, media and platforms (e.g. social media), since 2017, according to The Edelman Trust Barometer.
“As we begin 2018, we find the world in a new phase in the loss of trust: the unwillingness to believe information, even from those closest to us.”
Why should your audience listen to you?
The Call for Voices of Authority
The audience listens to you because you are the authority.
The Edelman Trust Barometer shows an increase of trust in the voices of authority, as experts in the field of technology and academia, successful entrepreneurs, etc.
If you are a speaker, if you ever stand on a stage, you are the authority.
Does your voice reflect that authority?
What do you need to develop to speak with a voice of authority?
As a speaker, you may be under tremendous pressure in many situations, client’s expectation, audience’s anticipation, and so on. When you are under pressure, your voice can make or break you in how your audience perceives you and your capability in handling pressure.
Under pressure your body gets tense, which will immediately affect your voice. Your voice might go high-pitched, or tremble, or your pace may go fast, all of which projects you as someone who is not able to stay in control and who is easy to lose your composure under pressure. You will lose engagement and respect from your audience, and eventually lose the opportunity to get rehired.
You may not be able to change the fact that your body gets tense under pressure, but you can change how you project your voice without tension getting stuck in your throat.
Most people do not engage their whole body in voice projection. When you can project your voice with your whole body, you’ll have your whole body take on the tension resulted from pressure and your throat will not be affected by the tension. You’ll be able to sound composed and calm even under extreme level of pressure. Your audience will respect you and place more trust in you, seeing you as a speaker who is in control and can handle pressure with ease.
Speak with a voice that projects credibility is critical in building trust with your audience.
Gravitas in your voice is a powerful way to convey credibility. Gravitas is the grounded and solid quality in your voice. It builds a strong foundation for trust.
A voice without gravitas sounds like floating in the air and without a base, projecting an image of a speaker who’s not reliable or trustworthy. Trust crumbles.
Voice gravitas can be developed. Voice is a breath of fresh air going into your body and coming out with vibration. There’s potential in your breath and voice vibration. When you can tap into the potential, you’ll be able to speak with a voice that vibrates in your whole body, projecting a sound that’s grounded and present, and a voice that increases your presence.
Mean what you say and say what you mean.
A speaker with a voice of authority speaks with conviction. Without conviction, your message will get lost, your impact will be diminished, and your audience will cease to trust.
It is not just the words you say. It is how your voice carries those words.
A voice with conviction is a voice that shows emotion.
In the business world, expressing emotions is seen as a sign of being weak and affecting work efficiency and productivity. As a result, most people have kept their emotions bottled up and their voice has become a mere tool to convey information. Interestingly, we are often drawn to speakers who speak with genuine emotions and who mean what they say.
Showing emotions appropriately will not make you look weak, rather it helps you create openness and connection with your audience. Trust is built on authenticity. A speaker needs emotions to establish connections, to motivate, and to inspire. Those who speak with genuine emotions exude radiance that draws people in. We call that charisma.
Start noticing your emotions and express them appropriately. You will feel greater liberation and make more impact when you can feel your emotions and express them through your voice.
Author: Cynthia Zhai
Cynthia is a Voice Coach, Speaker and Author. She has helped business
professionals and professional speakers from 46 countries across 5 continents
with their voice to speak with impact and conviction, engages and inspires
people to embrace change and take action.
Cynthia has been a professional speaker and coach for the past 17 years
and her engagement spans 4 continents in countries as U.S., Finland, The
Netherlands, Argentina, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau,
mainland China, India, Brunei, Vietnam and The Philippines.
Cynthia has appeared in U.S.A Discover Your Talent Show, Singapore
Radio Program 938Live 4 times, Hong Kong Radio 3, and Malaysia Business
Radio Station BFM as a guest speaker on the subject of Voice.
Learn more on how you can develop your powerful voice here: powerfulexecutivevoice.com
Connect with Cynthia here: