How many times have you spoken to a stranger on the phone and formed a mental picture of that individual only later to be surprised when you met that person face to face? How we speak and how we sound often conflict with our education, our cultural background, and even our intelligence.

Your speech reveals many things about you and yet it often does not reflect who you truly are: your training, your experience or your abilities. You may be well-educated and have a great deal of knowledge but because of carelessness, laziness, lack of attention, or even limited knowledge of the power or possibilities of your vocal instrument, your voice and/or speech may tell a vastly different story.

I once heard the late John F Kennedy, Jr., speak during a dinner held for his magazine, George, and during his speech he twice said the word gentlemen. In both instances, he never pronounced the t. Thus the word sounded like gen-l-men. There is no doubt that this young man was well-educated; however, the way he spoke in no way announced the fact that he had been to college or law school.

If you care about how others perceive you, then it is important to recognize that your language, your speech, and your voice speak volumes about you; however, what those characteristics are saying may not necessarily be the truth.

Even back in the ‘40’s, renowned voice and speech coach, Elisabeth von Hesse, remarked, “Tune in for one day and evening during the season when political discussions are on the air, when prominent leaders in spiritual matters are frequently heard, when the better advertising programs are being given, and what do you hear? These speakers are supposed to be our Exhibit A in fine speech performance, yet 90 percent of them are guilty of some, if not many, of the common faults of American voices – high pitch, throat tension, lack of resonance, and clumsy handling of the speech tools.”

Today, we are all concerned about the visual image we project. Yet, little attention is paid to the way we speak or the way we sound. If you possess a whiny or nasal voice, if you speak too softly or too loudly, if you mumble or speak in a monotone, if you slide over your words instead of giving them the attention they deserve, then the image your voice and speech is giving is probably not one that matches your visual image.

If you want to project an image that reflects your true self, improving your voice, your speech, and your delivery is the answer.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover the best means to sounding more mature.

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