Managing yourself creatively
Improve Your Voice
How you sound to others often determines their reactions to you as a person. A shrill, tense voice alienates; a pleasant, relaxed one attracts. Want an idea of how you sound to others? Use a tape recorder. If you don’t have access to one, stand with your face about nine inches from a corner of a room, cup your ears with your hands and say something into the corner. What you hear is approximately what others do when you speak. Like it? Good! If you suspect that there might be room for improvement, however, try the following suggestions:
Tenseness tightens vocal cords, thereby shortens them. Result a higher pitch. Squeezing sounds through clenched teeth tenses your vocal cords – and your listener. So open your mouth and relax your jaw when you speak.
MOVE YOUR LIPS WHEN YOU TALK
If you don’t give full value to vowels, your speech will sound shurred, be difficult to follow. Don’t be afraid to pucker on sound like “oo”, as in room on tool. We rarely move our lips as much as we think we do. Practice before a mirror and you’ll see.
Tension or strain can cause monotony. Many of us speak several tones too high to begin with. By starting off too high, we have no place to go unless we strain some more. The solution is to discover your best basic pitch from which to raise or lower your tones. By trial and error, with hands cupping ears as you face a corner of a room, lower your pitch until it sounds soft and pleasant. This is your basic pitch. With it, you have room on your speech scale to raise an important word without forcing or to lower it for an interesting change of tone.
If you’re ever watched a hypnotist at work, you know his secret; a soothing monotone. Want to lull your listener to sleep? Then do the same thing. But if you want to create interest in what you are saying, develop vocal ups and downs, vary the pace of your speech, and let your voice reflect the meaning of key words. Thus, “That’s the best idea I’ve ever heard!” leaves no doubt as to what you mean; you’re using your voice as a true instrument of communication.
Delegate a job; or add it to your own chores? Hire a painter; or “do-it-yourself”? Take that extra half-hour for lunch? Knock off early today? If you know exactly how much your time was worth, you might find that such questions answer themselves. Based on 244 eight – hour working days a year, you can make an eye-opening chart that will tell you the true value of your time.