Your unique voice as a leader can have a dramatic effect on how people perceive you, how influential you are as a leader, and your team’s commitment to your vision. However, your leadership voice is about much more than simply your tone of voice or speaking style. Understanding your unique voice and how to make the greatest impact with your voice is a crucial leadership quality.
We all have a VOICEPRINT
Just like a fingerprint, we all have a unique and characteristic voiceprint. Your own voiceprint comprises so much more than simply your voice itself. It is defined by the way you speak, as well as your energy, your core values, and the authenticity of your message.
Understanding and developing your voiceprint enables you to make the most of your voice and influence the way in which your message is received. From conducting board meetings to addressing your team, to speaking with clients and stakeholders, having a strong and persuasive voice which is uniquely and authentically yours can have an incredible impact on how your message is received.
It’s not simply what you say, it’s how you say it
As a leader, the message you are delivering is only part of the equation. How you deliver that message will ultimately determine the way in which it is received and the impact it will have. Leaders who speak too quickly, too slowly, or without proper articulation are far less likely to make a meaningful impact. In fact, research suggests that your non-verbal style is just as – if not more – important than your verbal style. A recent study conducted by Science of People highlighted this notion. In the study, viewers were asked to rate TED Talks both with the volume on and off. The results were astounding.
“TED Talkers spend so much time and energy on what to say–the words, the script, the bullets. But is how they say it more important? We found that there was no difference in ratings between people who watched the talks on mute and people who watched the talks with sound. Yes, you read that correctly.”
According to this research, an audience will rate someone’s intelligence, credibility and charisma based on their non-verbal signals. You needn’t be giving a speech to make use of non-verbal skills; You can have the same effect when conducting a meeting, delivering feedback to your team, or even in training your staff.
There are several key non-verbal elements to developing your leadership voice and commanding attention. These include:
1. Accessing different pitches and tones
Varying your pitch and your tone based on the situation is important for conveying the importance of the message, as well as your expected reaction from your audience.
2. The power of the pause
Becoming comfortable with silence is an incredibly powerful tool for leaders, and silence can be just as impactful as your words themselves. Knowing when to pause for effect helps to increase gravitas, allow your audience to take in your message, and to give listeners time to react.
3. Eye contact
Making eye contact not only shows your confidence in your message, but helps you to connect better with each member of your audience.
Leadership Voice – Developing vocal awareness
The benefits of having a strong leadership voice cannot be overstated. The impact of your voice as a leader can include having people stop and listen when you speak, take note of what you’re saying, and be inspired and persuaded to act or make changes based on your message. Developing an awareness of your leadership voice, and having your team develop vocal awareness, can make a great impact on your team’s connectedness, ability to collaborate, and more.
Unfortunately, a strong leadership voice doesn’t come naturally to many of us, despite having the best of intentions when delivering our messages. Working with an experienced speaker coach can help you to develop your personal voiceprint, finetune your leadership voice, and make a greater impact on your team.
To develop your leadership voice and transform the way your message is heard
If you would like to work with an experienced and certified Public Speaking and Business Storytelling Coach to help you prepare and deliver a pitch, award or conference presentation, then let’s chat about how we can work together.
If you’d like a complimentary analysis of your speaking style and message or you’d like to chat about how I can help you develop your own unique leadership voice then please get in touch.