Of course you shine on paper and your attire is impeccable, and that's enough to seal the deal in your next round of job interviews, right? Not always. It's a little-known fact that something else about you has been proven to speak volumes about the type of person others consider you to be. A recent Stanford University study found that people "hear" personality in the voices of others, and that the sound of one's voice biases opinions about everything from credibility to sexual prowess.
Whether you're a suave-sounding person or a speed demon when you speak, stop to think about your current pattern of speech. Use this information to see what your voice says about you and how you can make your speaking pattern stronger.
What Your Voice Says: People who speak in squeaky, high voices sound insecure, inexperienced, and give the illusion of not being confident. Even worse, after only a few sentences your future employer or coworkers might consider you too aggravating to be around.
Career Saving Quick Fix: Contrary to popular belief, people with high voices aren't stuck with them, though trying to fix your tone on your own can prove to be damaging to your vocal chords. A trip or two to a vocal coach can bring your voice down a notch or two while bringing up your marketability.
What Your Voice Says: You're calm and confident enough to trust that people will wait around to see what you have to say. Because of this, you attract admiration and respect. You're also soothing and pleasant to speak with because you appear relaxed and in control. Unless, however, you're *too* slow, with multi-second pauses between words for unknown reasons, which is a speech no-no.
Career Saving Quick Fix: People who are slow talkers also tend to be monotonous as they speak, so watch for this and make a conscientious effort to vary your levels.
What Your Voice Says: Recent polls say that seven out of ten people are annoyed by people who have a nasal quality to their voice. You will sound demanding and calculating, while appearing less professional, if you allow a nasal tone to overwhelm your voice.
Career Saving Quick Fix: Look in the mirror to see how wide your mouth opens when you speak and try opening your mouth a bit more as you talk in order to encourage the sound waves to come from your voice box and not from your nose.
What Your Voice Says: Whether deserved or not, a gravelly voice gives the illusion of experience and authority and commands attention and reverence from fellow workers. Many singers actively cultivate a gravelly voice because it is considered to be an intoxicating aphrodisiac to the ears.
Career Saving Quick Fix: Unless you're in a environment where the goal is to sound young, hip and cool at all times, a gravelly voice won't deter your career goals. However, if you find your voice becoming more and more gravelly, see your doctor as it may be a sign of health concerns like a thyroid issue, perpetual throat problems, or even a symptom of chronic disease.
What Your Voice Says: Speaking too quickly gives others the idea that you are sloppy and not particular enough to ensure that the other person can understand what it is that you're talking about. Fast talkers also appear nervous and easily taken advantage of, which are not especially good qualities to have attributed to you when on the job.
Career Saving Quick Fix: If you find your speech speeding up, try taking a deep breath before you speak. You can also slow your speech down by working on other positive communication skills while you speak, like practicing eye contact, taking pauses, and stopping every few sentences to allow coworkers to chime in.
What Your Voice Says: It depends. A low, powerful voice exudes strength because a deep voice is a sign of high testosterone. If you wield your low, deep voice properly, it commands much more attention than a fast, squeaky voice, but if you're a low talker who mumbles, you're in worse shape than your voice-challenged counterparts. Regardless of how you sound, if no one knows what you said it's a lost cause.
Career Saving Quick Fix: Make sure you're being heard when you talk, especially in loud places and with older people. Don't just take visual cues as proof-occasionally ask if you're being understood, and make an effort to raise your volume in larger groups, just in case.
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