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Your voice – caricature or full-fledged portrait?

by | Executive presence, Public speaking, Voice


This is me, seen by the eyes and drawn by the hands of my then four-year-old son. A lovely piece of art that I have proudly hung on my office wall, but am less likely to put on my CV. There I’d prefer to have a photo that more fully represents the way I look (or even enhances it). Like most people, I do care about the visual impression I give off.

Let’s make an analogy with the voice – the audio version of our personality. Is your voice a simple,  black-and-white caricature of your persona, or is it a full-fledged portrait, with colours, shades, and nuances? Do you always sound the same, regardless of what you are talking about and what mood you are in? Or can other people hear when you are enthusiastic, upset or amused?

I often come across business people – men and women – whose voices have gotten “stuck” in a professional, reserved, and unemotional soundtrack. While competent and high-performing, they often find it hard to motivate and inspire others when they speak. To connect with the emotion of those you want to inspire, you need to let your own enthusiasm and conviction colour your voice. If you don’t paint an appealing picture, how can you expect others to see it?

Listen to your voicemail message. Does it sound like the audio portrait you would like to paint of yourself? If not, would you be willing to work on it, to explore the full potential of your speaking voice?

Why not start by checking out VoxImpact’s Express Vocal Tips – a series of brief and practical videos? Or if you would like to go one step further and work with a coach, see the Coaching section of this site.