Voice Skills

by Judy Apps

Introduction

Speech is power.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s vital to have a strong influential voice if you wish to achieve success in any public sphere. If you want to be taken seriously, so that people listen to what you have to say, and if you want to influence and inspire people, so that they do what you want them to do, then you need to be able to use your voice with meaning, determination and passion.

When you are working with a group, your voice is essential to your ability to maintain interest and keep control. On the telephone, your voice is you, your sound the only aspect of you that the other person can relate to. In selling, vocal flexibility allows you to tune in to what is required in each situation. Your ability to influence the result of a personal interview will depend very much on how you voice your ideas and opinions. In these days of judgement by TV, when those aspiring to high office undergo interviews watched by millions, people respond as much to their voice and the way it enables them to come across as to their policies.

This topic will cover, simply and practically, all that you need to know. There are plenty of exercises to help you to get voice skills in the muscle.

First, it’s useful to understand the basics of good voice production – how to breathe well for example, and how to produce your voice more fully so that it carries and is pleasant to listen to.

Building on the basics, we cover how to create an impact in various ways – how to sound more authoritative, confident, trustworthy, interesting, passionate, how to turn up the volume, and so on.

We’ve included some quick tips that can make an instant difference to how you come across – how to put more weight on certain words for effect, how to articulate clearly and how to create the sentence rhythms of the greatest speakers.

Finally, there is a section on how to look after your voice, so that you avoid common vocal problems, such as hoarseness, a sore throat and tiredness.

The voice is a human sound which nothing inanimate can perfectly imitate. It has an authority and an insinuating property which writing lacks. It is not merely so much air, but air modulated and impregnated with life.

Joseph Joubert