The Sound of Leadership
Some leaders’ voices bely their expertise and experience. Strong leaders and influencers in society need to be good orators. They need to convey authority, confidence, and leadership when they are addressing their staff and stakeholders. Every utterance, in fact, reveals the speakers‘ beliefs, insecurities, health status, and mindset.
“What does your voice say about you?”
Leadership Is Audible And Visible
Elisa said, “Yet, I have met many leaders who do not speak in a clear, confident, or articulate way but instead sound rambly, uncomfortable, and lacking in clarity. Stress can, of course, affect the way we speak in public, but what I am talking about is so much more than that. It goes deeper, deep into the leader’s psyche, where all the unconscious patterns and habitual muscle memory are stored. When someone’s past still has an unconscious hold over them, it is audible. The major problem they are facing is that their years of expertise, training, and skill set are not being fully sonically represented when they speak. This is one of the major reasons some corporate executives are not successful in nabbing that coveted promotion. Simply put, when they speak, they do not sound like leaders, yet.“
With each new leadership position comes increased visibility and an opportunity to influence the organization and its strategic objectives. However, this opportunity largely depends on the ability of the leader to communicate to superiors, subordinates, and peers effectively. When the incorrect vocal brand has been adopted by the leader, the speaker’s voice will not match their expertise or status within the company. When this happens, it can lead to ineffective leadership, lack of clarity and direction within the team, and miscommunication between team members.
Many leaders, whether a CEO or manager within an organization or a business owner in their own company, will need voice training to become more effective communicators and leaders in their industry. The process involves a two-pronged approach for most speakers. The first step is to analyze their speaking voice for tell-tale psychological cues that are showing up in their vocal sound. The second step is to teach them the vocal mechanics necessary to fix the issue to begin to sound like strong leaders as fast as possible.
Let’s First Look At The Analysis Process
“Many of our leaders grew up in an era where children were expected to be seen and not heard. The norm for many of us growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s was to be quiet unless spoken to, and when we spoke too loudly, sang too loudly, or were ‘being annoying,’ we were quickly shut down by our carers and chastised for bad behavior. This is a common thread that I see in many of my clients aged forty years and above, and the wounds run deep. If the child was not rewarded or encouraged for speaking up for themselves, not allowed to argue or negotiate, then that child will often grow up to be a quiet, insecure speaker lacking self-confidence. Likewise, when an adult speaker uses certain sounds or patterns of speech, it can disempower both their reputation as a leader and their message,” explained Elisa.
Some Of The Most Common Disempowering Vocal Patterns Include:
- Speaking too fast
- Speaking with a stilted pattern peppered with gaps and stops
- Having the voice trail off in volume and pitch at the end of a sentence
- Speaking with an upward inflection at the end of sentences
- Using no pauses or clear punctuation, which sounds like rambling
- Speaking with throat tension and constriction
- Having a wobbly, weak, or unstable tone of voice
She continued, “When leaders speak with these common vocal patterns, people are less inclined to pay attention. The bottom line is that today’s audiences simply don’t want to work that hard. When we speak in a way that makes it very difficult for our listeners to easily comprehend, our audience simply switches off. After all, we live in a face-paced world filled with people who have short attention spans.”
“Voice & Communication Coaching can Maximise Your Earning Potential”
Elisa continued to explain, “Learning how to speak with clarity, conviction, and confidence can change your life on many levels. The most important change is that people around you begin to listen more attentively to the words you speak. Another positive side effect is that personal relationships are also improved due to clear, authentic communication. Finally, when you need to hold a meeting, as a good communicator and confident public speaker, you will have the skills needed to powerfully take charge of the meeting room and guide the audience in the direction of your choosing. The key to a powerful business presentation lies in the combination of a strong, confident vocal sound and the speech patterns of a leader.
“If you are ready to remove the disempowering vocal sounds from your speech so you can sound more like a leader at work and in business – click here for the free Ebook.”
Elisa James: T.h.M, Masters of Holistic Health and Counseling, M.Mus., Masters of Music – Vocal Pedagogy. Founder and CEO of the Voice of Confidence Public Speaker Training.
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