If you are looking to make the best impression possible, sounding like a Valley Girl is not helping that objective. When you raise the pitch of your voice at the end of every sentence, you lose all semblance of credibility because your statements sound like questions. You may be very credible; unfortunately, a rise in the pitch of your voice at the end of statements does not sound that way.

  • Generally speaking, questions go up and statements go down. It is as simple as that.

I want you to think of a few actor who you admire. When these people speak, do their remarks sound like questions or do they sound like statements. Aside from certain television shows specifically featuring the Valley Girl sound, the majority of those we watch on TV (and in all movies) do not end their sentences on the upswing.

In the old days (as in 25 years ago), when you attended a business lunch or dinner, you would stand and introduce yourself. It was – and still is – common to hear people introducing themselves on the upswing. Unfortunately, today we hear it in normal speech and in presentations. The result is that it leaves the listener questioning the ability, the credibility and the professionalism of that person.

When I worked with a group of management consultants in Toronto a few years ago, 7 of the 8 participants (all under the age of 33) not only introduced themselves in the style of the upswing but delivered their presentations in the same manner. I was stunned because this was the first time I had heard Valley Girl-ese in a formal presentation. And, it was not just the women who spoke in this style but the men as well. While I knew they were all intelligent people, their tone of voice and style of speaking did not lend credibility to their positions.

If you are unsure if you talk in this manner, the best advice I can give you is to record yourself both in conversation and in a mock presentation. Play it back and listen to your manner of speaking. Do your sentences sound like questions? Does the pitch of your voice rise at the end of your statements? Do you throw in the verbal tic like throughout your speech?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to make a change in your manner of speech. The Valley Girl sound may be cute for a 16-year-old but it is definitely not the image you want to project as a professional man or woman in business today.

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. If you would like to see and hear a dramatic change, from childlike to mature, watch Trish's 'Before & After' video clip.