What is Your Voice Saying?
I’ve had the pleasure of working with people all over the world for the last twenty years on improving their voice and presentation skills, but voice is my thing! Clients tend to refer to me as a voice intuitive because I can instantly hear in the voice what is going on and why that said voice is not captivating the room or even worse, repelling it. But, here’s the thing…the audience can hear what’s going on also, they just can’t quite put it into the same words as me. But, they hear it, sense it, feel and certain things that a voice projects make the audience say, “Hmmm, not sure what it is but I just don’t know about that guy (or girl). I’m going to have to think about it.” The goal, for the audience to hear a voice that makes a big impact, that makes them scream out YES, YES, YES, whatever you’ve got, I want it! So what is your voice saying?
In voice work, or at least what I’ve done over the last twenty years, I’ve discovered there are two layers, the top and the bottom, either one can be troublesome if you aren’t aware of them and don’t fix them. The top layer is where the voice technique as I call it resides. The top layer is where we hear the pace, the pitch, the volume. In that top layer we hear the words you choose to stress and make clear we to us that we need to pay attention to them. The top layer of the voice that houses those key stress places also brings them to life with the vocal variety and the key shifts in pace, pitch and volume. The voice we hear also holds the key to pausing and elongation, two very powerful ways to get our attention and captivate us with your voice. In other words, the main voice we hear is the voice that has the ability to bring the words to life, it’s the vocal orchestra we hear. We want to hear a beautiful melody of variety and emphasis that touches our senses and in turn affects our emotions. It is in that space, that space of vulnerability that we can truly relate, connect, engage, learn, be sold and have our lives forever changed.
Now, all of this is the goal for the speaker, the CEO, the entrepreneur, to be able to bring those words to life and with some technique, I believe that anyone can do any and all of those beautiful things to bring music of the words alive in our ears and change us for the better. Granted, some people have mastered these skills more than others but many people do strive to accomplish the list above that creates a voice that makes a big impact and that is great! However, over the years of teaching and coaching and researching the voice and the impact it can or cannot make I’ve realized something else. After looking at why some people sell more of the same product, get a better impact with the same story, share the same experience but with completely different results, I really wanted to see if my voice theory held true, I’d like to share it with you now.
Beyond the beauty of the vocal orchestra and what you do with the nuances of variety and stress and getting the words and breathing, there is another layer and I believe it can be a big problem that you never, ever would have even realized. It’s so subtle, it never enters your mind to even think about it. The other layer that we can hear in the voice is the tone and melody of fear, anger, sadness, desperation and of course joy, excitement and delight. I believe, I have no doubt that our voice is designed by our psychology. The way we speak can be changed because the way we speak or don’t, we put into the muscle memory based on our own psychology. I have another article about the psychology of the voice on my website www.captivatetheroom.com
Now the lighter emotions, if we hear them, that is usually a great thing. Happy, joy, free, we like that, we are attracted to that type of vocal energy. But, the darker emotions, the fear, the desperation, the sadness, the boredom, if we hear those, it’s as if they create an invisible barrier between me and you and it makes it hard for us to connect. In fact, I’ve studied this long enough to see that negative emotions lie right on the edge of the voice and they can be detected. The problem with these negative emotions lying right on the edge of the voice, peeking their sound in and out when least expected, is that they can affect our bottom line. If you are desperate and you sell things, that desperation will be heard in your voice. A perfect example is actors that are desperate for a part. The intensity of that emotion bleeds right through the voice as an undertone. I don’t believe the casting director says, “Oh, I hear the desperation in his voice.” But I do believe the casting director says, “No, something’s not right.” And that is the end of that, you won’t be getting that role.
So ultimately, if you are in sales or business or do podcasting or whatever you do that you use your voice for and you are not getting the results you want and you just can’t figure out why, then maybe it’s time to take a look at the psychology of the voice. What is your audience hearing and what they are not hearing from a top layer perspective and from the perspective of the emotions that are lying just underneath?
If you’d like to find out more about my work and the psychology of the voice, you can find me at www.captivatetheroom.com