May 21 2015

Vocal Impact Tip: How to make them choose you over email

Published by under Miscellaneous

iStock_000014368343XSmallIt’s tough to be heard on conference calls especially when so many people are doing other things besides paying attention to your brilliant ideas. Check this out:

82% of people are likely to do something unrelated while on a conference call such as email or even chasing their dog down the street. Women are 3x more likely to mute a call to shop online while men are more likely to use the restroom.

Research has shown that people are not engaged because the emotional elements and stimuli are removed from most conference calls. When people are on mute, their immediate response to humor is gone. When people are not on the screen, you can’t see their facial expressions. And when you only see slides, you don’t get the same sense of connection with other humans. Therefore, if you want to participate successfully, try taking some steps to enhance the human side of meetings, add what’s missing to your voice, and encourage others to do the same.

* First, set yourself up to be accountable to participate. Get away from the computer and other distractions unless you are looking at slides or showing up on video.

* Allow 5 minutes at the beginning of the meeting for everyone to say a few words about what’s going on in their lives.

* Turn on your video and use a good headset and mic for good sound quality.

* Chime in at least every 10-15 minutes to let others know you are there, and participate if there is an interactive moment.

* Use expressive language when sharing ideas. i.e. I am delighted with the terrific results, or, conversely, we have a critical issue that requires our undivided attention.

For more on how to add pizazz to your presence, please see my post 9 Ways to Make Your Topic Sound Exciting Even When It’s Not







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May 06 2015

Vocal Impact Tip: Big Voice, big…

Published by under Executive Presence,Vocal Image

Attention!!Does the size of your voice reflect the size of your personality?

The size and sound of your voice give others an impression of who you are. According to a study last year of 120 executives’ speeches by Quantified Impressions, an Austin, Texas, communications analytics company, the sound of a speaker’s voice matters twice as much as the content of the message.

In another study, Professors from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and University of California, San Diego’s Rady School of Management studied the vocal pitches of 792 male chief executives at publicly traded companies and discovered that CEO’s with lower voices made more money than their counterparts with higher voices.  In a smaller study of 14 female CEO’s, they discovered that we do NOT value low voices in women leaders.  Instead, women CEO’s get kudos for variety of inflection.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful with the voice you have. It means that there are some cultural biases when it comes to voices and that it is a good idea to become aware of them.   Although you can’t change some features of your voice, such as basic type (soprano, alto, tenor, bass,) some things can be changed.  At the very least, become more aware of how you are perceived by the sound of your voice.  Awareness can lead to learning how to create the impression you want.

For more on this topic, please read my post, Investing in your vocal image, a tale of two strategies.

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