Is the quality of your voice holding you back in business?
Having a quality pitch to your voice is a big plus and frankly, a must for getting your point across, selling your product, or moving up the ladder of your profession.
We’ve all experienced voices that are not aesthetically pleasing or lack authority, distracting from the message that the speaker is trying to deliver. The speaker comes off as not confident, unsure, and insecure. When the voice pitch doesn’t push forward the message, the message is in danger of being lost, not convincing, and not taken seriously.
Research by Duke University and University of California studied the speeches of male CEOs of close to 800 public companies. The study by the research teams showed that CEOs that had deeper voices managed bigger companies and made more money. It was found that a decrease of 25% in voice pitch was related to an increase of salaries and longer tenures. An optimal pitch range is vibrant and has a resonant tone that is preferred for professional speaking.
Even if you don’t think that you voice is a problem, or holding you back, and frankly and no one has complained—maybe they’re just being polite, you can always improve on its quality, give it a stronger and richer tone by speaking from your Optimal Voice.
First, let’s talk about the difference between your Habitual Voice and an Optimal Voice:
A Habitual Voice pitch is your routine and consistent tone of voice, which is automatic for speaking, but often is not your best vocal quality.
An Optimal Voice is lower than the Habitual Voice and has a more commanding sound and richer tone.
Most likely you have a substantial gap between your Habitual vocal pitch and your Optimal vocal pitch. It is likely that you find it easier and more comfortable when speaking in your habitual tone, most people do without thinking about it. However, Habitual pitch ranges produce a higher, thinner, and a nasal tone that makes you sound less confident, unsure of yourself.
When a person is judged on her/his voice, s/he is usually assessed by the quality of the pitch. So, if you want to have strong, rich, and pure vibrant tones to your voice, producing and ideal quality voice with natural projection that is pleasing to your listener, you need to speak in your Optimal Voice pitch.
So, how can you find your Optimal pitch?
Okay, let’s try it by saying, “Uh-Huh.” Make the “Uh” come from the mid-range of your speaking voice and the “Huh” at your voice’s lower range. If you do this, three or four times, you’ll hear your voice range, then, from there, determine where your Optimal Voice mid-range is located. It will be half way between the “Uh” and “Huh.” The “Uh” will be the upper limit of your Optimal voice range, and the “Huh” will be at the lower limit of your Optimal voice range. This Optimal pitch is where you should start your speaking voice but, of course, it will fluctuate within your Optimal voice range, (between the “Uh” and “Huh”) otherwise, you would be always be speaking in a monotone.
A fast way to remind yourself as to where your optimal voice pitch is to use your voice to make the sound “ummm-hummm” to get you back on track.
In order to produce the most resonant and vibrant tone, you will need to practice speaking from your Optimal voice range. It will make you sound more confident and surer of yourself to those you are speaking to. You definitely will be presenting yourself in a more authoritative manner.