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Leadership Communication #11: Enhance Vocal Presence

You have to be heard. A strong vocal presence helps your ideas be heard. It helps you keep people's attention.

Reflect on what kind of voices you like to listen to? Howard Stern, Morgan Freeman, and Oprah Winfrey style voices stand out. Why do you like their vocal styles?

We associate vocal qualities with personality traits. And, now, there are AI tools that will make these assumptions about our voices to help other influence us. Eek. Thank you, Crystal.

We make a lot of assumptions about a person by the way they sound. We make assumptions about their knowledge, capabilities, competence, leadership potential, and motivation. We make assumptions about how well that person handles conflict. We make assumptions about their level of happiness and stress. We make assumptions about their ability to focus and listen by the way they sound. We make assumptions about their decision making and time management.

How can you create a vocal presence that conveys both confidence and credibility?

Design the voice YOU want. If you don't like your voice, change it. We must understand what vocal presence is in order to change it.

Learn how to use your voice to convey confidence, credibility, and connection in this lesson on Vocal Presence.

Vocal Presence is the most misunderstood communication tool.  This is how you get an audience to listen.There are 6 elements of the voice:

  • Pitch 

  • Pace

  • Volume

  • Variety

  • Weight

  • Direction

We associate seniority with pitch. Low pitched voices sound more experienced.

We associate patience and sense of urgency with pace.  Slower paces sound more relaxed.

We associate confidence with volume. Louder voices sound more confident.

We associate passion with variety. Dynamic voices sound more emotional.

We associate conviction with weight. Heavier voices sound more determined and convicted.

We associate preparation with direction. Linear voices sound more purposeful and prepared.

What do you want to convey with your voice?

It will change from meeting to meeting. Ask yourself what you want the audience to feel and put that quality into your vocal tone.  

If you feel like you keep repeating yourself and no one is listening, change one of the vocal elements or a few of them, even. 

If you think you cannot change your voice, you are 100% wrong.  We have vocal coaches who can help you break free of the vocal patterns you have been practicing for years and find fresh ways of getting audiences enthralled.


Would you like to work on your voice with a private coach? Join Speak by Design University to go through our Vocal Presence course while working with a private coach.

If you join by March 31, you will also get the new course for April, which is Credential Stories. Stephanie will lead us through 3 lessons on how to build and deliver stories that inspire, educate, and convince your audiences.

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