Your voice says more about you than you think. In fact, a study at Stanford University study found that people make assumptions about your personality based on the way you speak. So, here’s what your speaking style says about you, and how to change people’s minds if it's not the impression you'd like to give:
- The high-pitched voice. People who speak in high, squeaky voices are considered insecure, inexperienced and lacking confidence. Even worse, they’re often pegged as annoying. So, how can you fix it? Lower your voice, but beware. Doing it on your own can damage your vocal chords! A couple of trips to a vocal coach can safely bring your voice down a notch or two.
- The fast talker. Speaking too quickly gives others the idea that you’re sloppy, nervous, and don’t care whether people understand what you’re saying or not. Take a deep breath before you speak and practice positive communication skills, like eye contact, taking pauses, and stopping every few sentences to allow others to chime in.
- The slow talker. That makes people think you’re calm, confident, and in control and that you should be respected and admired. However, you have to make a concerted effort not to sound monotonous and boring. Because if you speak too slowly, putting multi-second pauses between words for no apparent reason, people may think you’re not very smart.
- A nasal voice. Recent polls say that 7-out-of-10 people are annoyed by nasal voices, and judge the speaker to be demanding, calculating, and less-than-professional. Hum for 5 minutes a day and pay attention to the vibration in the center of your chest. If you can replicate that feeling when you speak, your voice will lose that nasal quality.
- A gravelly voice. Whether it’s deserved or not, it gives the illusion of experience and authority, and commands attention. In fact, a lot of singers try to sound gravelly because it’s considered pleasing to the ear. If your voice is becoming more and more hoarse, see your doctor. It might be a sign of a thyroid problem, or a chronic disease.