We hear a lot about “finding your voice.” It’s a wonderful theme, and a genuine challenge – to find your authentic, inner, true-to-yourself voice. (I got an e-mail about this today).
I always think of Diane Rehm’s book, Finding My Voice, when I read anything on this theme.
I’m a fan, a big believer, in the value of this pursuit.
But, for speakers, there is another simple reminder – after you find your voice, you need to use your best speaking voice to speak effectively in that “genuine” voice you have found.
In other words, after you learn and cultivate your inner core, your true north, your one true message that you want to launch out into the universe, you have to make sure that you are saying it clearly enough that everyone in the audience can hear you, understand you – can “get” that true message you are communicating.
So, the old rules apply, no matter how recently you have found your true voice.
When you are speaking to an audience gathered to hear your true message:
Pronounce each and every word clearly.
Learn to use vocal variety and verbal punch – never, never! speak in a monotone.
Be loud enough to be heard easily – by the person sitting in the very back row.
These three reminders are just the basics. There are many more voice “skills;’ to develop, like — effective use of pauses; learn to speak in phrases, not words… But, these three basics are always critical to effective speaking.
In other words, if the true voice is about the content of your heart, your mind, your life… (deciding what to say — what Aristotle called “Invention”), your best voice is all about delivery. Always deliver your message – the message that flows from your true voice — in your very best voice.
(And, by the way – back to Diane Rehm. If you listen to her, she always speaks in her true voice. And, with her physiological voice problems, she works extra hard to speak in her best speaking voice. What a lesson for us all).