WEDNESDAY WORKFACT: How To Make Your Voice Sound Better So People Will Really Listen To You

Often it’s not what you say but how you say it that gets someone’s attention. The power of voice is something we tend to underestimate. There are some people you don’t want to stop talking, even if they are talking about the most mundane things.

To make your voice sound better so others will listen, start by knowing why you are talking. Having a purpose will keep you on track and focused. Also, use shorter words. News broadcasters know the effectiveness of this already.

Be sure to breathe. Breathing is a skill like any other, though people don’t usually think of it as one. It slows you down and makes you easier to follow.

Use Shorter Words. Vary your sentence length, though in general aim for shorter sentences you can march through on one breath. Clarity, simplicity, is everything,  says Donna Mac, a communications coach and broadcaster who has worked in radio for over 25 years.

Listen To Yourself. It is quite simple to record yourself these days. Just do a voice memo on your phone. Of course, just because such feedback is easy to obtain doesn’t mean people avail themselves of it. Many people hate listening to themselves. That’s thanks in part to the structure of our heads that makes our voices sound different internally than they do to others. But 98% to 99% of all voices are in the normal range,  says Mac, and the point of doing this is not to sap anyone’s confidence.

Slow Down. We’re living in a world that’s so fast and furiously paced,  says Mac, that if you want a secret weapon for being heard, more times than not, it’s slowing down.  Slowing down gives you a chance to articulate your words and emphasize the ones that matter most. Even if you’re reading something dramatic and exciting, you can convey that through shorter sentences, spoken at a measured pace.

Finally, end strong. Your closing is the final impression you will make, so it is important to make sure it’s good!

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