Summary: Turning how you talk and what you say into something with power and polish will make you stand out to your colleagues.
Do you ever wonder how you sound to your colleagues? Maybe you feel you don’t get taken seriously or have a hard time connecting with others but can’t understand why. There is a lot that can be perceived about a person just by the way they talk. Don’t let yourself be judged the wrong way because of the type of language you use, the way you use words, or tone of your voice. Follow these tips to make yourself sound professional, educated, and polished.
You can’t really know what you sound like until you record yourself and listen to it. There are apps that you can use to record a conversation you have with a friend or recording devices. If you are worried that you might change how you talk because you are more aware of being recorded. Ask a friend to discreetly record a conversation of yours without telling you. There is a very good chance that you will sound different than you thought.
Drop the Questions
Do you treat every sentence as a question? Turning everything you say into a question makes you sound unsure of yourself and is very distracting for the person listening to you. How do you do this? Generally, when someone makes a sentence sound like a question, they are ending the sentence on a higher note. To practice speaking without the use of a question at the end of a sentence, practice reading aloud to yourself with your arm held out. When you reach the end of a sentence, drop your arm and your voice.
Baby Talk No More
Do you talk in a high note that makes you sound like a child? There are exercises you can do to loosen your pharynx like singing. This also helps lengthen your breath, which aids in making your voice sound more mature. Try taking up karaoke after work or join a choir.
The words you use tell about who you are. Are you swearing every other word? Do you talk like a Valley girl using “like” and “um” frequently? Filler words make it sound like you are uneducated because you can’t find a better word to use instead of an inappropriate one. Filler words also make you sound like you don’t know what to say. If you are unsure of what word to say next, pause instead of inserting a meaningless word. Pausing lets you gather your thoughts and think for a second so that the next thing you say will have meaning.
Speaking quickly gives an impression that you don’t care about what you are saying or care too much. Either way, it does not give your audience the chance to absorb what you are saying because it is coming at them too quickly. Ways of practicing a slower rate of speech include talking or reading out loud to yourself. At the end of every sentence, clap your hands. This will train your mind to stop for punctuation marks.
A voice that is barely audible will get passed over. Whatever you are saying will seem unimportant. Speaking up will give power to your voice and point. Think of your voice as a ball that you are trying to bounce off walls as a way of helping you project your voice without feeling like you are overdoing it or fake.
Valley Girl Vocals Fry
Have you ever noticed the way the Kesha or Kim Kardashian talk? Their voice has a throaty, creaky sound, which women are trying to replicate in their own voices. This is very damaging to your vocal cords and makes your less educated, trustworthy, and competent. Being aware of the sound you talk with can make a big difference.
What is your greatest struggle with public speaking? Share your struggles and how you try to overcome them with us in the comments below.
Learn how to improve your public speaking skills by reading these articles:
- How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
- 10 Sure-Fire Steps to take the Fear out of Public Speaking
- Treat Interviews Like Public Speaking Engagements
Photo: pexels.comTurn Your Voice into Something Powerful and Professional by Amanda Griffin