This is a guest post by Priscilla Morris of Loud and Clear Voice Coaching and if you often struggle to get your voice heard in meetings I think you’re going to like it!
It’s very frustrating to reach the end of a business meeting and feel that you haven’t got your point across. If you’re an extrovert, this is not likely to be a problem, but if you have a less outgoing personality or a quieter voice, what can you do?
Well we suggest 3 simple things: –
- PITCH IT
Let’s look at how to make each of these happen.
This is quite simple science – if people can’t hear you easily, they’ll ignore what you’re saying. Although women can have more difficulty with this some men can have quiet voices too. To correct this you need a two-pronged attack:
1 Mental Say to yourself “I want to be heard”
2 Physical Breathe deeply so that you expand your lungs fully. This breath will then propel the sound made by the vibrating vocal cords, up into the head. Here it’s amplified by the resonating cavities.
This louder voice is available to everyone but if it isn’t your habit, be prepared for your brain to question it.
“Am I too loud?”
“Will people think I’m shouting?”
The answer to both of these is NO but you will need to practice until you feel comfortable and reinforce this by recording yourself and listening back. You can also ask someone else’s advice.
Have you noticed how men with deep voices can always be heard? That’s because lower pitches cut through ambient noise and focus our attention and if your voice is high it’s likely to get lost in the background ‘buzz’.
There’s another difficulty here too. When we get stressed, perhaps because we aren’t being listened too, we start to tense up and this results in a tight, squeaky voice, which is useless!
So how can you access those slightly lower notes which will give you more gravitas?
Well, a larger breath will help, as the resonance lowers the pitch slightly, but you can also learn how to use your pitch range fully. Try this exercise:
Imagine your voice exists on a staircase. Say “Hello everyone” on your lowest comfortable note. DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE. Move up the spoken scale one stair and note at a time. Every few notes ‘stop off on the landing’ and play with the notes around this point. If you record yourself you will notice that the lower levels indicate more serious subjects and the higher you go, the more flippant you sound.
Simply put – our brains recognise that serious, important words exist on our lower pitches.
Practice to find where in your range this “sweet spot” occurs.
If you have already decided what you want to say you’ll always be more effective, especially if you have introvert tendencies.
Actually, practice speaking the words you might use. You don’t need to learn them off by heart but you should have a clear idea of what you want to get across and keep it simple. If you’ve done this you can then focus, during the meeting, on taking that big breath which will get you noticed.
Don’t be a wallflower at your next business meeting.
Get heard and make a difference.
If you’d like to increase your confidence and your gravitas and have your opinions heard by others you can contact Priscilla here.
I want to make it clear that neither I nor Flair profit in any way if you engage with her.
I think you should do it because she’s excellent at what she does and will make a difference.