What does your voice say about you? Yvonne Gilan believes that your voice may be the most telling aspect of your personality. And that can have a major impact on your business relations. Listen up.
In every business setting, you project yourself in a number of ways. Your eyes transmit confidence or fright. Your body conveys poise or unease. Your hands are expressive or awkward. And then there’s your voice.
Preparation and training are as necessary for the development of a powerful and attractive voice as they are for running a marathon, singing an aria, dancing Swan Lake or playing Hamlet.
The ability to speak comfortably, convincingly, even charismatically is within everyone’s grasp; but it needs to be learned and, once a vocal technique has been established, it is there for ever.
The actor Ian Richardson received this advice from his principal at drama school: “Now look, Richardson, by no stretch of the imagination will you ever be a matinée idol. You’re not muscular, you're not particularly tall and you're not particularly handsome.
“But you do have a remarkably fine voice. And, if you have a fine voice, you can always persuade people that you are tall, muscular and handsome.” Richardson later reflected that, “The voice I have now is the result of a conscious effort to make my vocal sounds as impressive as possible”.
By the time we are three, we have accomplished one of the most complex skills we will ever undertake: learning to speak. From that point on, we seldom give it another thought. Yet, language and the ability to communicate are perhaps the most powerful tools at our disposal. Speech has always been the most important way of letting people know what we think, what our ideas are and how we feel about them.