Did you know that 40% of your communication is influenced by the sound of your voice?
What makes us remember someone, makes us want to interact more,after the initial hello? Research says that it takes 7 seconds to make an initial impression. First impressions are made of physical image, feeling/vibe you give and communication style.
Our communication style is both verbal and non-verbal. Contrary to popular belief, non-verbal cues influence the listener 93% more than verbal cues.
So in other words, what you say is important, but HOW you say it leaves a lasting impression.
Body language is an essential part of non-verbal communication. This includes eye contact, handshakes, posture and the list goes on.
The other part of non-verbal communication is how we use our voice, and this is often not thought and talked about much.
How often have we made assumptions about people’s personalities and character traits based on the way they sound?
Think of famous personalities, US President Obama, Former US president Bill Clinton. Consider the factors that makes them sound charismatic. Their voice sounds deep, is low pitch, and has a smooth tone.
Now think of a male who speaks in a really high pitched voice, or a petite lady with a loud, harsh voice. Think of the assumptions we might make about them. Of course not all assumptions are negative, a good speaker is often able to convey their message confidently.
We gather lots of information about a person’s state of being by listening to the tone of their voice. I suppose my point is, we have to be conscious of how we sound, and use it to our advantage to make the best impression.
So, the next time you say hello or pick up the phone, try the following:
i) Smile before you answer your phone or make a call. The listener will feel the warmth in your voice at the other end.
ii)Exhale before your first word. This reduces your reduces your rate of speech.
iii) Mirror the voice of the person you are talking to. Sounding ‘similar’ creates mutual trust and better relationships!
‘Thila Raja is a Speech Pathologist and Director of Speak for Life. She conducts voice and speech coaching workshops, and works with both adults and children. Thila is passionate about helping people create a bigger impact in the world, by helping them enhance their communication style. ‘