Finding Your Voice
Your tone of voice is so much more than just how you sound. In fact, it’s something that can actually be improved.
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event with Dr. Wendy LeBorgne, voice pathologist, speaker, author, and master-class clinician regarding vocal wellness and vocal athletes.
They shared key tips and personal experiences of how you can develop a strong tone of voice and the impact it can have on your career.
According to communications researchers, your voice makes up 38% of how someone perceives your communication ability. If you have a strong tone of voice, others may perceive you as a strong communicator. In fact, how you say your words affect how your words are received by your audience.
In this day and age when we are doing so much by video (zoom calls, video conference meetings, etc.) and by audio (podcasts, clubhouse, etc.) the quality of your voice and the elements that go into your overall voice become imperative.
Just by listening to your voice, people will make judgments – anything from your gender to your level of education and everything in between. The good news is, it’s all in your control.
2. Diaphragmatic Breath Support
Your voice is supported by your respiratory system which is your voice’s power generator. The best way to support the sound of your voice is to have adequate breath support, which comes from speaking from your diaphragm.
In the Soulcast Media | Live event, Dr. Wendy gave the example of a car with one slightly flat tire. Sure, the car will move, but it won’t be efficient. The same can be said about your voice. Yes, you can still speak without using your diaphragm voice, but you won’t be as efficient and your body will compensate for this lack of efficiency.
You might find yourself getting vocal fatigue because your body just doesn’t have the stamina to continue speaking clearly and with projection. It’s why breathing and speaking from the diaphragm is so important for endurance.
3. Getting feedback
When you hear your own voice on a recording, you are probably thinking, ‘wow, is that what I sound like?’ You’re thinking it doesn’t sound great. That is because we aren’t used to hearing ourselves via a recording. And, we generally only concentrate on the flaws.
This is why when you are crafting your tone of voice, it is a good idea to get feedback from your peers or from your trusted friends. It’s how to keep it objective. You can ask them specific questions about why something sounds good or doesn’t so that you can focus on controlling that element first.
4. Can You Change Your Tone Of Voice?
The short answer is yes – you can change your tone of voice, however, it has to be authentic to you and who you are as a person. We can all make our voices artificially higher or lower, but that isn’t who we are and it isn’t sustainable.
Your voice is the valve to your soul. You’re always going to want to speak with a tone that matches who you are.
Finding your authentic voice can be challenging. In our e-course The Art Of Communication, we talk about authentic storytelling and breaking free of mental barriers that can prevent you from finding your authentic voice.
5. Playing With Your Voice
Just like an athlete training – some of the exercises they do may seem strange or even feel funny, but the end goal is that it will help them better perform.
The same can be said about playing with your voice. It may be uncomfortable at first or make you feel silly, but you have to allow your voice to stretch in order to help maximize its potential.
Just like exercising, you can’t get in shape by watching someone run on the treadmill (if only that were the case, right?!) The same is true with your voice. You can’t just read or listen to someone else, you truly must do it yourself.
Remember, the key to finding your voice is to discover what feels natural. Review all the points we just listed and start trying. By playing with your voice and practicing vocal exercises, you will not only improve the quality of your voice, but you’ll be less fatigued when called upon to speak at length.
The best tip – try modulating your tone of voice in the privacy of your own home!
If you would like to see the full LIVE version of Jessica and Wendy’s conversation, check out Jessica’s YouTube Channel.
Need help finding your authentic tone of voice? Join our Soulcast Media Membership community where you’ll receive the help you need!