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Leadership Communication #12: The 3 Vocal Styles

Updated: May 6

The leader's emotional state is conveyed through the sound of their voice, their tone. While there are many shades to a vocal tone, there are three vocal styles that every leader needs to have in their toolkit.

Listen to this lesson on "The 3 Vocal Styles" on Apple iTunes.

How do you use your voice to get people to listen? There are three vocal styles every leader needs.

  1. The Assertive Voice - When you have a strong recommendation or solution, the assertive voice heightens the credibility. Examples: Peter Jennings, Lester Holt, Indra Nooyi

  2. The Motivational Voice - When you want to excite the room, the motivational voice builds passion for the idea. Examples: Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins

  3. The Consultative Voice - When you need to calm down the room, the consultative voice creates a safer atmosphere. Examples: Bob Iger, Mel Robbins


Reflect on what your habit voice is. Embrace this sound as your dominant style. You will build trust with audiences by connecting your vocal style to your intention. It is hard to excite an audience without some enthusiasm in your voice. It is hard to calm down an audience if you using an assertive voice.

Learn how to match your intention to your vocal tone and master your version of the 3 Vocal Styles.

Experiment with using all 3 vocal styles in one half hour meeting. You will deepen your impact of the discussion and make that meeting feel more significant. You may even drive the discussion to a faster decision by creating more energy with your sound.


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