The way you speak is just as important as the way you look! Itʼs as automatic as the way you dress, or where you part your hair. And like these everyday habits, you can change your speech to sound more confident, business-like and socially attractive.
Few people have ever heard a recording of their own voice, and, when they do, many canʼt believe it really sounds like them. For many people itʼs a humbling if not disturbing experience.
Then there is the practical issue of being clearly understood. Nothing undermines your confidence more than having to continually repeat yourself or find that others keep talking over you. Clear speech, in a pleasing tone, can make the difference between success and failure in both your social and business dealings.
Decisions about how you speak are no different to those you make about the manner in which you dress or groom yourself. If you are changing aspects of your outer image, itʼs a good idea to check also that your speaking style is aligned with your new image.
When your speech and appearance are congruent with your business goals, no only will you feel more confident, you will find that more opportunities open up for you.
Australia is a melting pot of many language influences and there are no longer rigid rules about “right” or “wrong” accents. If English is your second language, and others are finding your words difficult to follow, having voice training could be a very smart decision. Imagine the relief of being understood first time! Even Australian English can lack clarity, and the habit of using too many rising intonations makes you sound unassertive and lacking confidence.
When it comes to speaking style, quite a number of things can go wrong.
Ask yourself – Do I speak too fast, or too slow? Is my voice memorable (for the right reasons) or preferably forgotten as soon as possible – too loud, too soft, rough, breathy, nasal? Do I speak like a robot – in a monotone voice? Is my speech littered with wadding like “sort of”, “actually” and “you know”?
If you frequently repeat statements, find it hard to give information succinctly and in logical order, or would like to change speech pattern, then we highly recommend having a speech pathologist or trainer who specializes in speech and voice enhancement.
Itʼs easy to spot distracting features in others, but not so easy to hear them in yourself. Training enables you to increase both speech clarity and quality. Listeners will attend to what you are saying rather than being distracted by how you are saying it.
Good speech goes a long way towards building credibility in the eyes (and ears) of those you report to, work with and your clients.
If you would like to know what your best friend may never tell you about your speaking style, a voice assessment with a speech pathologist/trainer could be a smart move.