By CYNTHIA ZHAI
The moment people see you, they begin to make decisions or judgements about you. Those decisions or judgements are reinforced or questioned the moment you open your mouth to speak.
You may have invested a lot in personal effectiveness training, management training, and leadership training. You may have practised self-affirmation to become more confident and positive.
You may even have people design your wardrobe and have been working out for a better physical image.
Yet you still see the doubt in people’s eyes when you speak. You find that you are not being taken seriously for whatever you say.
You get bypassed for the promotion you may well deserve. Perhaps you still do not have the respect you wish to receive from your subordinates, let alone be able to motivate and inspire them.
It may be because you fail to speak clearly, confidently, and convincingly. You have long overlooked your vocal image, your voice. You fail to realise how powerful it is to your personal image and professional success.
A person’s vocal image could make or break the person. What is your vocal image like? Does it work for you or against you?
The voice you hear is totally different from what others hear. If you have heard yourself in a recording, you would know exactly what I am talking about. You were probably shocked by the voice you heard, saying, “Is that me? Why do I sound like this?” Then you start to blame the recorder.
Unfortunately, what you hear of yourself from a recorder is your vocal image; and it is also how others recognise you. If you have not heard yourself in a recording, you had better do it now.
The good news is that we all can improve our voices with proper training and practice. You do have a real voice inside you.
The reason you have not discovered it is because you are not producing your voice properly and correctly. You may be using too much nose, too much throat, or too little chest voice as an amplifier.
Once you find out how to make use of all those organs, you will be amazed that voice-producing is a physical process and you’ll discover your innate rich, warm, and mature voice.
When you sound better, you will feel better, and you will definitely look better.
Food for thought
As a leader, do you have the voice that successfully conveys what you want and need without being misunderstood and misinterpreted?
Does your voice work for you in an engaging, inspiring and influencing manner in your teams?
It is not only what you say, but also how you say it. As a leader, you cannot overlook this powerful tool, i.e. your voice.
Is your voice helping you or failing you in establishing credibility, commanding respect, and conveying your authority?
Cynthia is a voice and speech coach and trainer, based in Singapore. She helps you discover your inner true voice that is authentic and confident. She also helps organisations on voice and presentation skills training. To connect with Cynthia, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more insights, go to www.leaderonomics.com
Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 13 December 2014
Cynthia is a voice and speech coach, trainer and speaker, based in Singapore. She helps you discover your full voice that is authentic, confident and authoritative. She also helps organisations on voice and presentation skills training.