Your voice is an auditory business card.

In meetings, interviews, sales pitches or just chatting with colleagues, how you use your voice can increase or decrease the effectiveness of your message. People can tell how confident you feel, how knowledgeable you are or even what mood you’re in.

You may have the right words but then kill the message with poor overall voice quality.

Action – Generally speaking, here are some key things to watch for.

Pitch … is your voice high or low, squeaky or deep? Knowing how to control your pitch can accentuate the content of your message.

Pace … do you talk really fast all the time, not taking a breath and just babbling? … or is your pace measured and appropriate? Too fast and your listener gets lost; too slow and they get bored.

Enunciation … if you don’t enunciate well or if you were to slur words together, the whole meaning of your message can be lost. Say the entire word and be careful not to exaggerate as that will sound condescending.

And always use appropriate voice volume. Too loud and you can alarm or frighten people. Too soft and your listener has to focus so much on the words, they literally don’t hear the content.

The obvious place to improve voice control is at a public speaking class or group. But if that doesn’t appeal, try your local drama or debating club – these are great places to learn the power of your voice.

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