May 06 2015

Big Voice, big…

Published by under 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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Feb 12 2015

The secret to a great Valentine’s Day conversation

Published by under Musings

8551938948_1c2a58ae9c(Do not read this if you are completely prepared for every upcoming conversation that matters.)

Valentine’s Day can be confusing, if not downright depressing. This often stems from the fact that all those little cupids and hearts put pressure on you to have an important conversation. You stress and sweat about what to say, when to say it and where, and even with whom…and the day just gets closer and closer. Well, never fear. There is a secret to finding the right thing to say at the right time. All you have to do is answer this question honestly and the conversation you need to have will fall into place:

 What is your intention for the conversation?

Now, it’s not just the question, it’s also the opportunity to “get honest with yourself”  that solves the puzzle.  Frankly, that may be the hardest part to figure out. But it’s necessary because intention is an aim that guides your action. If you know your intention, you know what to do.

Consider this–  if you want talk to your special someone about a upcoming ski trip, that’s a very different conversation than talking to them about spending your life together. More importantly, saying you want to have a conversation about skiing when you’re really intent on the bigger conversation only leaves people confused. I’m not saying there can’t be surprises in life.  I am saying that once you get clear about your intention, you’ll be much clearer about what to say, when and where. Of course, the hardest part may still be the action piece, but at least you’ll know what you SHOULD say.

To read how this applies to other conversations that matter, please read my post, Intention: The prescription for an authentic voice.

photo credit:  via photopin (license)

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