Good Vibrations: Putting Your Best Voice Forward

August 9th, 2010

Is your voice attracting others or pushing them away?

Several months ago, I received a call from a prospective client. The voice that greeted me was strong, friendly and confident. Instantly, everything inside me wanted to say, “Wow! You seem like a great person. I want to work with you!” We had a pleasant conversation, and after hanging up the phone, I marveled that my response had been so immediate and powerful. After all, I’m a voice coach. I’m supposed to be listening objectively.

More recently, I received a voicemail that, within seconds, created the very opposite reaction. It had nothing to do with what was said (just a simple request for information). But the sound of this voice instantly raised red flags at a gut level. The voice seemed immature, suspicious and defensive. I actually shivered and said aloud to myself, “Ugh. Stay away from me!”

If a voice and speech coach, someone who listens very carefully, even analytically, can be affected so immediately and deeply by the sound of another’s voice, how much more must the average person be affected at unconscious levels by the voices they encounter?

Since you’ve been speaking since infancy, and giving very little thought to the process, you are probably using only a fraction of your potential voice. Furthermore, it’s likely your voice is distorted by tension, bad habits and lack of technique. To make matters worse, you assume this voice is natural, that it can’t be changed, like your height or the color of your eyes.

I’m happy to say that everyone has the potential for a good voice. A good voice isn’t necessarily a big voice or a deep voice, but it’s clear, resonant, expressive and effective. It doesn’t just sound good, it feels good and communicates well. Your best voice makes others want to be with to you.

Finding a voice that is powerfully attractive to others is a very straightforward process. First, you must get comfortable in our body. Tension is the enemy of your voice. Then you must learn to breathe and speak with your whole body, not just with your mouth. You have to engage the entire instrument. And finally, you must learn to be generous with your whole being. You must give yourself permission to come out and play, to really put something out there for others.

When you master these three principles, your body becomes relaxed and energized. Your voice becomes strong and powerful. Even your thinking becomes positive and creative. You begin to express who you really are, have a significant impact on others and start living the life you are destined to live.

You find so much more than just your voice.