The 7 most important tips for more charisma in the voice
Harald Schmidt, the successful entertainer with solid acting training, is reported to have said “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” There is a lot in it, though not the whole truth. On the phone and in video conferences, a confident, charismatic voice is more important than ever.
A convincing voice carries weight.
When video or telephone conferencing reduces the entire performance to the voice and a small window on the screen, professional voice control becomes even more important.
The most important expert tips for more charisma in the voice:
1. no cold start in the morning
The voice needs time to wake up. Up to three hours. Keep that in mind when you schedule an important job interview or video conference in the morning.
The fact that you may have already exercised and are freshly showered, correctly parted and sitting in front of the screen with a hot cup of coffee in good time only counts to a limited extent when it comes to your voice.
Help your voice find weight and ideal pitch before important conversations with a few small exercises:
2. tap the body
Singers know this easy but effective exercise: stand upright and first let your left arm hang down in a relaxed manner. Begin tapping with the right open palm starting at the back of the hand and moving up to the shoulder and back down the arm. Also tap the chest vigorously a few times and bring the tapping right hand back up to the back of the left hand.
Do the same with the left hand, tapping along the loosely hanging right arm. Again, please do not forget the chest area. The expression “with the tone of conviction” does not come from nowhere.
Then bend down and tap the legs from the ankle front and back. Finally, each strong slaps on the buttocks. Now before you skeptically raise your eyebrows and click away – try it out.
You will notice that with this exercise you will get a more conscious feeling for your body. The whole body is important for the voice and is loosened by this exercise. The chest area, an important center for the voice, receives an additional wake-up call.
You might say now, which already brings us to the next exercise. Imagine you are about to fall asleep and someone is still telling you something. Exactly this calm, deep, relaxed Mhhhhh that you would give at this moment to signal that you are definitely still listening is required. Repeat it a few times. You use it to swing in your voice.
Charismatic speakers exhibit a wide range in their speech melody. You can sing a simple word or sound up and down, similar to a musical scale, before starting the first conversation.
The word itself has no meaning. While singing, try to come up and down with your voice as much as you can, stretching your voice as an athlete would do with his muscle parts.
With this simple exercise you will find your vocal center position for the first or the most important conversation. Because it’s the first sentences that matter. Since a very high pitch is considered less competent, your opening words should not be in a high pitch but rather in the mid to low range.
As soon as we speak passionately about a topic, our voice gains dynamics and volume. We also automatically vary our speech melody more on topics that are close to our hearts. Since important topics are often, but not always, connected with personal passion and sometimes fear is also involved, a little trick helps, although it is easier to demonstrate in the home office: Turn on your favorite music, loud, louder, even louder, and dance and sing along to it without restraint.
The silent version for the office or other environments: The mental attunement. Look forward to the conversation. Even if a very difficult conversation is ahead of you – see it as an opportunity to be able to contribute your point of view, learn something new, get clarification. Train your brain, like an athlete, to embrace this positive attitude and look forward to finally “getting it on.”
5. YOUR appearance
Some people who have a lot to say tend to be reserved and don’t love being in the foreground. Heinke Kirzinger, the head of the Voice Center at the University of Dortmund says “Voice training is personality development.”
Quieter people often don’t allow themselves to be present and take up vocal space. They tend to leave the “room” again after a short time, rather than occupying the space with a calm voice until the end.
For people who don’t belong to the “Whoops, here I come” category, telephone or video conferences are therefore sometimes a pain. When it is finally their turn to speak after notorious frequent speakers or when they have successfully spoken about the respective established rule, they are usually shorter than necessary and can be easily interrupted.
Whatever it takes: Use YOUR chance to speak and do not shorten your speech out of exaggerated consideration for the other participants in a kind of self-censorship. Politely but firmly rebuke others who interrupt you that your speech is not over.
Otherwise, you will still be annoyed hours later that you did not present all your arguments at the decisive moment. It is the moderator of the conference call who must ensure a balanced share of speech, no one else.
6. in tranquility lies strength
This is especially true for the voice. Hectic fast-talking is almost equivalent to non-participation. You could have saved yourself the time. Your content is not getting through.
Less and quieter is more. Pauses between sentences that are as short as possible are essential. If unfocused participants or participants distracted by multitasking think that your pause is the end of your speech: See point 3.
7. melodic instead of monotonous
The melody of language is older than language itself. It is highly critical to how charismatic your speaking is perceived to be. Variance in pitch, tempo, and emphasis determines how much weight people give to your words. Sympathy values are also strongly influenced by speech melody.
Speakers who are perceived as charismatic are characterized by a great deal of variety in their voice. Steve Jobs was considered a charismatic speaker. One might be inclined to believe that this was because of the Apple products he talked about mostly in public.
Linguists at the University of Southern Denmark, who under Prof. Oliver Niebuhr have been researching for years which elements of speech make a speaker charismatic, have equipped a navigation system with voice components from Steve Jobs. Although some of the information provided by this wayfinding system was incorrect and had also been recognized as incorrect by the subjects who were familiar with the location, his voice was nevertheless assigned more competence than other voices.
8. like on the coach box
A speaker who is convinced of himself stands with both feet grounded on the ground. Since not every conversation is conducted standing up, try to imagine yourself in your desk chair, sitting on a carriage seat, holding the reins. Slide forward a little so that you have both legs firmly on the floor.
If you haven’t been to Vienna in a while, check out professional choirs rehearsing in the rehearsal room. You will immediately recognize this typical attitude, which you should adopt for important conversations.
And yes, this also applies to you dear ladies, not only to the gentlemen. Here, a telephone call and a video conference clearly have advantages. No one will see that you don’t cut an elegant figure under the desk right now. The bonus: A voice that comes across as clear and confident.
9. relaxed to make it exciting
Our mood influences our voice to a great extent. The importance of the important phone call or video conference probably already provides enough adrenaline. To ensure that your voice has maximum charisma at the decisive moment, the following things help in advance:
10. if possible, do not allow tensions to develop
Admittedly, easier said than done. In stressful situations, men tend to tense up strongly in the shoulder area; in women, it is sometimes the shoulders, but often also the abdominal area. Relaxation is a big topic of its own. Whatever is good for you, be it sports, sauna or meditation – do it or rather, don’t refrain from doing it, because this is of course not a quick-fix, but an important issue of your lifestyle and quality of life.
Professional singers can sometimes be seen to invest a lot of time and effort in physical training. This pays off in difficult roles, and not only in terms of acting.
11. stay liquid
Too little liquid makes the voice rougher and requires unnecessary throat clearing. Make sure you have drunk enough water, especially if coffee consumption was high in the morning.
One of the most effective ways to reduce agitation and anxiety in the short term is conscious breathing. Two very simple exercises can be found here. You can breathe loudly and firmly anytime and almost anywhere. Often, after a successful action, we expel our breath loudly and violently. According to the motto: DONE! More effective for the voice is to do this in advance.
The better you prepare for an important phone call or video conference, the more confident your voice will sound. Professional preparation is important. Think precisely about what messages you want to send in each case. What issues/arguments are so important to you that you want to raise them in every case. Write down these arguments. Everything else can then be the freestyle.
In more unknown rounds, a short introduction is common. You should be able to recite the script for this when you are woken from a deep sleep at 2:00 am. Preparation is also 80 percent of success here. All other things necessary for professional preparation of a videoconference you can read in the article on videoconference etiquette.
In sports, we trust a coach and his coaching skills as a matter of course. For more charisma in the voice, it is worthwhile to train with professionals such as the media trainer Sabine Ziemke to optimize the voice tone and voice resilience for presentation. Just as one trains for athletic competitions, the goal here is to remain vocally convincingly calm and confident in stressful situations in order to better bring out one’s own arguments. All said.
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