Most aspiring professionals spend their time and money improving their physical image: going to the gym, getting the right haircut, and wearing the stylish outfit, makeup, and accessories. They have overlooked another equally important image, vocal image. In fact, it’s even more important.
What is vocal image?
Vocal image is the impression people formed towards you based on how you sound. To simply put, it refers to your voice.
You can look really good, but if you open your mouth and speak with an unpleasant and unprofessional voice, your physical image will soon be negated. You don’t want that to happen. You also have witnessed how powerful a good voice can do to a person. Just check out the story of Ted Williams. When job offers flied to him, he didn’t even have a decent appearance.
What is your vocal image like? Is it working for you or against you?
Record yourself and check against the top three vocal image killers.
Nasality is caused by too much sound coming through your nose. The most famous character with nasality is the Nanny from the sit-com.
If you have a nasal sound, it does create a negative impression. It is indeed the number one killer to your image. First of all, people find it hard to listen to you for any length of time. Also, you yourself may find that people take what you say less seriously and are doubtful about your capability. It hinders you from any advancement in your career.
You may not have the strong nasality, but you may have a slight nasality that you don’t even know. Touch the sides of your nose while you speak, you should feel no vibration except words with the sound [m], [n], and [ŋ].
To get rid of the unnecessary nasality, relax to make sure your jaw is unlocked and your tongue is resting on the floor of your mouth. Once you’ve learned diaphragmatic breathing, you’ll improve even faster.
Check out the video on Nasality here.
Monotone is rated by many as the number one turn-off in public speaking and presentation. It equals to being boring.
If you have a monotone voice, it shows that you are not interested in the topic or the person you are talking with, even worse, it may projects the image of you being boring, which may be wrong. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, your boss may need to take more consideration as a monotone voice can’t engage, inspire and influence people. Is your voice stopping you from advancement?
To overcome monotone, the number one thing is to think about the audience you are talking with, be it one or one hundred, what value do you want to bring to him/her or them?
If you mumble, you are not articulate. You may swallow syllables and words, and you may not open your mouth wide enough.
Mumble creates an image of being unsure or hiding something. It affects your credibility and people’s confidence in you. People may ask you to repeat yourself or they just cut you off in conversations.
To articulate, relax your jaw and tongue, create more openness in your mouth, and more importantly, believe you, too, carry important messages.
Don’t let your voice be the hindrance in your professional advancement. You do have a better voice inside. Spend some time tapping into it and you’ll find not only the potential of your voice, but the potential of you.