I’ve been talking about how important tonality and the quality of your voice is for the last three years. Scientists have documented proof that our voices are measured by listeners in milliseconds. Faster than it takes for you to blink your eyes, someone will judge the confidence in your voice.
In an article published by Forbes from David DiSalvo, he provides information on how our brains process a human voice. He also sites research done by Xiaoming Jiang and Marc Pell, on the way our brains process this information. These studies showed that if you are speaking more confidently, it’s less effort for your listener to decode what you are saying — it’s almost instantaneous but if you are speaking with less confidence, it requires more effort on the listener to understand you.
Think about people who have to engage in conversations for their job, sales people, doctors, insurance agents, teachers etc. I imagine that their days are very challenging and they feel like they are in a constant battle for gaining approval or respect if their voice works against them.
It’s easy to practice speaking to help you build your confidence and composure. We have developed a conversation simulator that will allow you to measure the composure and temperament in your voice. One thing I have noticed on a regular basis is when a client is conducting a role-play for practicing leaving a voice mail, they start off confident but as they get into the meat of the voice mail, their voice quickly declines in confidence and composure. Why is that? Another observation is some people have the opposite problem, they are too confident. This can be as much of a turn-off as not being confident.
So how do you get the right levels in your voice that will get you the results you want? Practice! Just like anything else in life practice will help you build confidence and composure. I remember when we first launched Mobi-RolePlay, a group of male colleagues asked if I could create a role-play that would allow a teen-age boy to ask a girl out on a date. I didn’t think they were serious but on further thought, it made a lot of sense. If we could practice speaking to people who make us nervous or when we put ourselves in uncomfortable situations, do you think your outcomes would be different if you’d had the chance to practice them over and over again until you felt more confident?
I’d love to hear examples from you who may have done this or when you didn’t speak with confidence and how things may have changed if you had.