My favourite speech maker is Winston Churchill. He might not have been the best at articulation but he made up for it with his ability to speak like a leader. It was his descriptive language and strong emotion that created such a powerful impact.
These days because of mobile phones and virtual meetings, unless you are a politician, actor or speaker you probably have less need to project your voice. That doesn’t mean that you should assume your voice has gravitas and impact though, because if you have a weak voice or mono tonal pitch it does give other people the impression you are lacking confidence and they are less likely to trust and follow you.
I have had many clients who get talked over in meetings or their suggestions ignored and who feel it’s partly down to their inability to speak like a leader. Others feel they ‘sound like a little girl’ which undermines their authority and for some in important meetings their voice shakes or they rush through their updates.
How confident you feel in yourself and in your ability to speak like a leader has a big effect on how people perceive you, however there are also some practical strategies you can use to sound confident and instil trust.
5 Ways To Speak Like A Leader
- Breathe Diaphragmatically – this is a great technique used by actors to project their voice on stage. It simply means when you breathe in your breath should come from your stomach which pushes out when you take a breath in and then sinks when you breathe out. It gives you enough energy to push through your sentences so you have emphasis on the last word.
- Stand Up – in the virtual world many people have standing desks to prevent back ache, but they also give you a confidence boost and because they open up your body language it also demonstrates confidence to others
- Balance Your Head and Chest Voice – both of these are important when you want to present with authority. If you speak from your head it sounds bright and lively, but also can come across as light and weak. The chest voice has the impression of authority but if used exclusively can be boring. Notice which you tend to speak from and do you have a good balance?
- Ground Yourself – whenever I’m doing a presentation or in an important meeting I focus on my feet and the ground below as it gives me a feeling of being anchored which is helpful in reducing nerves and excitement.
- Add Colour and Emotion To Your Voice – try taping your voice and listening back. Yes, I know it’s horrendous but you will learn a lot about yourself. Do you emphasise some words more then others? Can people hear different emotions in your voice? Would you trust this person from the way you speak? If not then listen to actors and the great speech makers, what can they teach you?
You can decide whether my voice sounds like a leader or not if you watch my webinar ‘The 4 Steps To Get More Impact And Recognition At Work‘. or contact me for a call here