Giving Great Voice
Technology has been a great asset in expanding our communication. These days, we can communicate via text, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, just to name a few. And much of the new norm is to “reach out” with these new virtual forms. But I believe with all my heart that using our voice is still our most powerful way to communicate. We are human beings, after all, and our humanity relies on a certain amount of intimacy which is cultivated by touch, body language and voice.
Say it’s a friend’s birthday – We post “Happy Birthday!” on Facebook. Or if we’re checking in with a parent, we might send him a text. But what if we called them instead?
Think about the difference between, “I love you,” spoken to someone you care about, versus the texted “I heart U.” The spoken word is always going to be more meaningful. When they hear the warmth of your voice and respond in kind, our human connection is deepened. The joy of a belly laugh can never be replaced with an “LOL.”
Somehow along the road, we’ve forgotten this, and allowed this new written paradigm, which was once unheard of, to become the norm rather than the exception. Text and email used to be for factual information, and now we are going so far as to break up with people via text, or “ghost” them rather than face the music. True human intimacy can’t be replaced with an app, especially as we are more and more disconnected, due to our “virtual connectedness.” We need to take time out to connect to our family, friends, and community in real time.
In addition, in our professional life, using our voice is important. Because you can’t tweet your presentation or text your interview. You have learn to do what I call “Giving Great Voice.”
If we want to inspire our employees, or impress our employers and peers, we need to convey an attitude of confidence, trustworthiness and authority. But how do we do that through our voice? That’s where Giving Great Voice technique comes in.
I call it Giving Great Voice because, when we’re expressing ourselves with our voices, it’s actually a beautiful gift we’re giving. When we take the time to call someone on their birthday or speak with them in person, it’s special – it’s a gift.
As Sherry Turkle says in her book, Reclaiming Conversation, human relationships are rich, and they’re messy, and they’re demanding, and we clean them up with technology. And when we do, we sacrifice our conversation for mere “connection.”
Open-ended conversations are risky and imperfect – there’s no spell check or time to make it look just right. Face-to-face (or voice-to-voice) intimacy requires courage and vulnerability, but the rewards of creating and sustaining meaningful relationships makes it worth it!
So how do we Give Great Voice? How do we use this powerful communication tool most effectively in our lives? I’ve been a voice actress and actress for over twenty-five years, and the secret is to start thinking like an actor. I believe that each of us can become a voice actor in our own lives.
The first tip is to think about your intention when you speak. Do you want to inspire, command, calm, cajole? How can your voice best communicate that intention?
For example, say you want your teenager to pick up his socks for the hundredth time. You probably wouldn’t use the same tone with him that you would use to ask your boss for a raise. So what’s difference? Your intention. And your intention changes the tone.
How we say “please pick up your socks” is going to have much more impact than the actual words we use. The old saying you can attract a lot more bees with honey than vinegar is a good analogy. So say it with a “sweet sound” instead of a “sour sound” and you might just get them to pick them up… again.
My father, who was my first acting teacher, used to say, “I love you” can mean a thousand different things. It can mean, “ I love you” or “I need money.” It can mean “Have a good day,” or “I hate you.” He would teach me, “The intention is much more important, because the intention conveys the tone, much more than the words themselves.” Understanding this is the first step in learning how to Give Great Voice.
Giving Great Voice is the art of confident verbal communication, in whatever role we are playing. Whether it is speaking to a friend, inspiring our employees, making a presentation or gaining the courage to ask out someone we’re interested in.
The art of confident verbal communication is the key to leading a successful life. As much as we may like to, we cannot text or email every form of contact. We still need to Give Great Voice, in order to lead a fulfilling, connected life.
As an Emmy-nominated actress and voice over artist for over 25 years, I have given great voice to many roles, from moms and CEOs, to Jedis and green villainesses, and even an inspirational guiding voice for meditation. I have recognized the power of voice, not only in my professional life, but in my personal life as well. Now, I am inspired to empower you, and teach you how to Give Great Voice.
How can I help you Give Great Voice? Book a session with me and we can work on putting your best voice forward, together!