Your Vocal Impact
Others are forming impressions about you from just the sound of your voice. Your voice alone can make you sound more knowledgeable, credible, or even friendly. In fact, the sound of your voice matters twice as much as the words you say.
Your voice is your signature; it is part of what identifies you. How to know whether it’s helping your professional image or hurting it? No one likes the sound of their own voice, which makes it particularly difficult know how others may be hearing it and perceiving it. And what if you realize there’s something different about it, can you really change it?
You certainly can, with practice. And as with all instruments, practice is what most people need to unlock their very best speaking voice. One that can lift your entire professional image, your credibility, likability and even make you a better influencer too.
Unlocking Your New and Improved Voice
There are a number of factors to a quality speaking voice: tone, pitch, pace, volume, inflection, and articulation. Practically everyone could use a tune-up in these areas.
Let us elaborate more on some ways professionals can improve their vocal quality:
1. Watch your tone
Your tone of voice conveys your attitude. Do you sound happy, sad, rushed, or distracted? You may sometimes mean something but people would perceive it differently.
A person’s first impression of you comes from the tone of your voice alone in face-to-face interactions. Like when on the phone, without the added support of facial expressions and eye contact, your tone of voice can be even more critical.
Our suggestion: Make a point to speak with more energy and volume. Focus on conveying sincerity, cheerfulness, and confidence with your voice.
You can also try talking into a mirror when you’re on the phone so you can see your facial expressions.
2. Good pitch.
Pitch is how high or low your voice is. A lower-sounding voice is perceived to be stronger, confident, credible, and project the appearance of more control over a situation than a high-pitched voice. An overly high-pitched voice suggests a non-authoritative status and even immaturity. not exactly the message you want to send when working with clients on what’s likely the biggest purchase of their life.
Learn the full range of your voice. Find a comfortable lower pitch. You may need to relax your throat so it doesn’t tighten and sound irritated as you try to go lower.
3. Good pace.
How quickly or slowly do you speak? The average rate of speech for most presenters is 150 to 160 words per minute.
Be mindful of your pace. When you slow down, you will help someone understand more and they will absorb more information because you’ll become more articulate. When you’re giving fact-based material or instruction or stats, speak at a pace 20 to 30 percent slower than usual.
Try testing your pace. Read something aloud, and time yourself for a minute. Be conversational and natural as you read at your normal rate. Figure the word count that you covered in that time span. It can be a good gauge of how fast a talker you are.
4. Powerful language.
The words and phrases you say can unintentionally sabotage you. It’s not just how you say it, it’s also what you say. But in real estate, you’re working in a vital adviser role to clients and your words will have an impact, so make every percentage of that impression count.
The language you choose can make you more influential and professional in the eyes of your customers.
Pay attention more closely to your word choices.
One of the worst speech offenses is talking too much. Know when to turn off your voice.
In real estate, a transaction can be filled with emotions. Know when to talk, and when to listen.
The most influential person is usually the one asking the most questions, not the one doing all the talking.
Become more in tune with your voice. After all, a controlled, expressive, authoritative voice will help you persuade and influence your listeners; earn the respect of your boss and co-workers; make sales; gain promotions; and help capture the attention of every audience to whom you present. Putting your best voice forward connects you to your listeners and helps build rapport.