This weekend, my friend Stella and I were discussing the quality of our voices. I have worked with a voice coach in the past but it was primarily to prepare for a large presentation I was giving in front of a crowd of 5,000 fellow Accenture employees. I was so worried that I would get in front of the audience and either speed through my presentation or haltingly struggle through. My work was well worth the effort. The presentation was great but I have never forgotten the lesson, and lately I feel that I have fell out of practice.
I know someone with an amazing speaking voice that never fails to enthrall me. There is little doubt that much of his influence comes from this power. He has both the body language and voice of a leader. It is a winning combination.
According to vocal coach, Laura Sicola, when your choice of words is inconsistent with your delivery and non-verbal queues, it creates an issue of credibility. Most of the disconnect is caused by the tonality of the speaker’s voice. In her TEDTalk, Sicola offers some great tips on sounding credible.
According to Sicola, the voice has both cognitive and emotional effects on the listener. It’s a shame that we spend so much time on developing content, only to have the tone of our delivery cause the message to land off-target. Implementing her tips requires you to be authentic. The key is identifying the characteristics of your personality that need to shine through in a specific situation based on the needs of your audience. Context is key.