Have you noticed that when you hear someone speak for the very first time, you can actually hear whether they are a leader or not?
The bottom line in business is this: If you want to be a leader, you need to SOUND like one.
In this blog/video, I’m going to show you how to develop executive presence when you are speaking…
So, if you are a leader in business or you want to be…
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FULL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
As an executive voice coach for CEOs and business leaders all over the world, many people sign up for training because they need to sound like a leader to be more effective in their role at work.
What we are talking about is the sound of leadership or executive vocal presence.
There are 3 elements to executive presence in general:
- Appearance – the way that we show up in person. The way that we look.
- Communication Skills – the way we are speaking and commanding when we’re speaking.
- Gravity of vocal tone – the way that our voice actually sounds and whether you have to be taken seriously.
We are going to focus on 2 and 3 as it pertains to you as a business speaker.
Let me start by asking you this question: When you are speaking at work, does the sound of your voice reinforce the message and establish you as a leader in your field? or instead, do you feel it undermines your credibility?
It’s all in the way you deliver your message not so much the words that you say.
Let me give you an example of a lack of credibility in a sentence: “This is such a great opportunity for me. I’m super excited” (in a drab, boring tone)
When there is a claim of passion or excitement, but there is no evidence of it, this creates a problem of credibility with your audience because there is a disconnect between the words you are saying and the execution or delivery of those words. So, let’s fix that now, shall we?
3 Keys to Vocal Presence:
KEY #1: PREPARING YOUR PRESENTATION THE RIGHT WAY .
Many people know about the study that revealed the importance of vocal tone over verbal content. In other words, the words. The study evaluated whether the speakers sounded sincere. They identified that 38% of what we say and whether we are taken seriously is due to tonality, which means the musical inflections we use during speaking and the pure SOUND of our voice.
7% is attributed to the words we say and 55% is attributed to nonverbal cues such as posture, facial expressions and hand gestures. However, anyone who is a fan of podcasts will realize the power we have purely with the sound of our voice where no visual cues are needed to hold someone’s attention if they’re good podcaster. So here is what I suggest: When you are preparing your PowerPoint presentation for work, instead of stressing over the content, creating amazing animations and impressive graphs, spend at least 30- 40% of
Your preparation time rehearsing your content and your vocal delivery of that content. Remember is not what you say, it’s HOW you say it that makes an impact.
KEY #2: FIRST INTRODUCTION COUNT – SAY YOUR NAME RIGHT
Have you ever forgotten someone’s name less than 5 minutes after you were introduced? That could be because of nerves of course, or a lack of focus, but many times it could well be the way they are saying it. If we say our name too fast and drawn together like it’s one word, it can be hard for people to catch. Like any spoken sentence, tonality and inflection is important if you want your words to be remembered… even your name!
Here is how I would recommend you introduce yourself to somebody new, if you want to sound like a leader: Look them in the eye. Stand tall, smile and say your name clearly and slowly with a slightly upward inflection as if I’m not finished then my last name in a downward to let people know that I’m done. Some people use Upspeak, that upward inflection way too much and it makes you sound like you have a constant need for validation because you are constantly asking people for their approval? When you are stating something important, finish in a downward tone! Then what you say will be remembered… including your name!
KEY #3: MATCH YOUR PERSONALITY TO THE SPEAKING TASK
Many people think that this is the voice I am born with so this is the way I sound. Not true. If you want to change your body shape or weight, you go to the gym and do exercise, right? Voice training is the same. When you learn how to use your vocal instrument strategically, people will understand and remember the message as well. Now, everyone has different facets to their personality, but some of us are just too afraid to use them during our presentations. But I ask you this: Would you call out in a stern authoritative tone to prevent your child from running across the road and getting killed? Of course, you would! Would you yell out if someone were stealing your car or bicycle? Naturally! You would be angry or aggressive. Have you ever coached your son’s soccer team? If yes, then you know how to inspire the kids to kick that goal with the sound of your voice, right? We all have the ability to change our vocal tone at will. So, if you need to sound like a leader to get ahead in business, start applying the sound of leadership into your presentations. Use tonality, downward inflections and authority to the task that need it. You CAN sound like a leader, if you practice.
Do not forget: Speak up. Speak out. Be ready to be heard because remember: YOUR VOICE MATTERS.