As a leader, do you have the voice that successfully conveys what you want and need to convey without being misunderstood and misinterpreted? Does your voice work for you in engaging, inspiring and influencing your teams?

It's not only what you say, but also how you say it. As a leader, you cannot overlook this powerful tool, your voice. Is your voice helping you or failing you in establishing credibility, commanding respect, and conveying your authority?

There are four elements in a leader's voice: clarity, confidence, command, and concern.

1. Clarity

If you mumble or talk too soft, people can't hear you and they doubt your competency and credibility. They probably wonder, "Is he trying to hide something?" Remember how Clinton spoke when he was on the television, trying to hide the truth about Lewinsky scandal? He was surely not articulate.

To speak with clarity, enunciate your words distinctly; slow down and avoid swallowing syllables and words.

2. Confidence

This is fundamental. If you are not confident as a leader whenever you speak, you lose your credibility and conviction. It's difficult for people to believe a leader who sounds uncertain himself/herself. Consciously or subconsciously they ask themselves, "Is what he/she says really true?"

To speak with confidence, take a breath every time before you speak and then speak on your out-breath. This will give your voice enough power to sound strong. Say the end of your sentences clearly. Do not rush or swallow. This makes you sound self-assured.

3. Command

As a leader, you are the captain. You and your team share a common goal and you want to make sure you are heading towards the right direction. You can't stay nice to people at any time. In certain situations, you need to be firm and determined. This is where you need to project authority.

To speak with command and authority does not mean you need to shout or appear fierce. Rather, the great strength comes from being calm and flexible. Project your voice instead of shouting. Speaking with downward inflection at the end of your sentences will make you sound sure and determined.

4. Concern

"Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand." If you don't care for your people, focus too much on the job or yourself, you are not going to be effective and experience lasting success. All great leaders know that the heart comes before the head.

To speaking with concern, speak from your heart. Align your voice with your thoughts, feelings and words. In a longer term, develop your voice resonance. It'll work wonders not only for projecting your voice, but projecting yourself as authentic and magnetic.

Voice improvement takes time and practice. Commit yourself to the work and you'll find the result worthwhile.

Author's Bio: 

Cynthia is a voice and speech coach and trainer, based in Singapore. She helps you discover your inner true voice that is authentic and confident. She also helps organizations on voice and presentation skills training.
To get more updates on voice through articles, podcasts and video lessons, subscribe Cynthia's newsletter on her website -