In order to succeed in your job, you must make sure your voice is heard. A successful manager leads with their voice – the sound they create determines how their message is received. Radio presenter and voice coach Paul Johannes Baumgartner explains how to use the power of voice to create authority, competence and inspire your employees.
Invest in your sound design
The importance of sound extends far beyond singers and songwriters. Take, for example, the automotive industry. The development of a new Porsche, BMW or Audi model can cost around one billion euros. From this money, an incredible two to five percent is invested in the car’s “sound design”. This ensures that the new car sounds the way it should. So, how much have you invested in your sound design so far?
No-gos and success factors
In order to be a competent and motivating leader, it is not only important to understand what we say but, above all, how we say something. Critical success factors include speed, pauses, volume, emphasis, articulation, and intonation. People who master these are a pleasure to listen to. As a result, charisma is created.
Want to know a definite no-go during meetings, lectures, and presentations? Anything that sounds monotonous turns an audience off. Those who speak quietly perish and those who mumble are not understood. It is your voice that creates the mood in the room, and that means enthusiasm must sound like enthusiasm. The good news is that you can train your voice just like you can train your body for a sport. With the following tips, you can magically motivate and inspire your team.
A timid mouse or a Spanish bullfighter?
Lesson number one is mastering the right posture. A manager who holds themselves like a timid mouse speaks with a voice that indicates a lack of self-confidence. Cowering behind the lectern while looking down at the floor and mumbling into the microphone makes it difficult to inspire your employees. Power only comes from your voice when you stand in front of your employees with open arms, a smile on your face and a relaxed stance. If you want to inspire passion, you must bring passion with you. So speak with the energy and force of a Spanish bullfighter!
Convey your message with clarity
A factor that goes without saying, but is often underestimated, is clear pronunciation. As you would expect, through precise articulation your messages appear more comprehensible, polished and pronounced. What does that mean exactly? Articulation means moving your lips and separating the teeth more when speaking in order to create clear and distinct sounds.
The rate at which you speak is also critical. Speaking too fast can work against you and can be interpreted as nervous or insecure. On the other hand, slow talkers put their audience to sleep. A controlled speed, i.e. about 140 words per minute, gives the impression of a confidence and power.
Rise and fall
At the end of your messages, consciously let the intonation fall. You will notice that the sound automatically lands in the low range. It is often said that people with a deeper voice are more likely to be associated with authority and competence by their audience. One person who has already mastered this rhetorical trick is former US President Barack Obama.
The power of the voice is often underestimated but, along with facial expressions and gestures, it plays a huge part in the impact we have on others. As a manager, you not only need to use your voice to create a confident, competent appearance, but you must also succeed in emotionally inspiring and captivating your employees.
About the author
Paul Johannes Baumgartner is a passionate seminar trainer, keynote speaker and has been a presenter at Antenne Bayern radio station in Munich, Germany for 25 years.