As stated by Bales Communications, ‘Your voice is a signature – a unique and powerful part of your professional identity1‘ which I, so far into this course, have realised ‘says much more about you than you could ever imagine.”
You may not realise but when you are talking to a new client or business they will be making all kinds of assumptions about you including things like your age, education, intelligence, maturity and capabilities2.
Personally, I find it hard to define a ‘professional voice’ because is can vary depending on the context; however, I generally define it as a voice that is clear, loud, consists of adequate emphasise and coveys resonance. I find that there are not a lot of presenter that have all these elements; however I believe that Chris Bath3 a long term presenter on Channel Seven News now presenter of Sunday Night is close enough to the mark. Chris is so poise and confident which reflects in her voice contributing to the professionalism factor.
There are several elements that help to contribute to a professional voice.
The first element that helps make a professional voice, in some cases, is the use of inflection4 Inflection refers to being able to give your talk meaning. People can hear the many words you speak; however, they will not understand or relate to the emotions you are trying to portray without inflection.
Another element that makes a voice professional is the pace in which people speak5. The general rule is to not speak too fast but also not too slow. The pace in which a person speaks can covey many qualities such as emotion, urgency and control. Speakers need to be aware of this so it can be controlled to suit each communication situation.
Practice! I’m sure every person especially University students have heard the expression practice makes perfect. To help mould your professional voice it is important to always familiarise yourself to the sounds and different elements of your voice6. Many people practice with a voice recorder, as we are doing in this course, this is done to make evident a person tone, accent, breathing, phrasing, inflection, pitch and loudness. Take notes of what you don’t like and work on them. As hard as it may be for some to listen to their own voice it is definitely a worthwhile element in making a voice sound professional.
There are also many other elements such as accent, being conversational, breathing, using appropriate phrases that have meaning and a person’s tone7. Once you become familiar with these elements you are on your way to possessing a professional voice.
1Bales Communications, “Does your voice say ‘energetic, intellegent and professional”, Bales Communication, http://www.bates-communications.com/articles-and-newsletters/articles-and-newsletters/bid/59787/Does-Your-Voice-Say-Energetic-Intelligent-and-Professional (accessed July 15, 2012).
3WA TV News, “7 News Sydney (17 Feb 2011)”, YouTube. Online video clip, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B7PY3hh4-c (accessed July 13, 2012).
Bales Communications, “Does your voice say ‘energetic, intellegent and professional”, Bales Communication, http://www.bates-communications.com/articles-and-newsletters/articles-and-newsletters/bid/59787/Does-Your-Voice-Say-Energetic-Intelligent-and-Professional (accessed July 15, 2012).
Please note: YouTube clips do not feature in the reference list according to the Turanbian referencing table found at https://www.avondale.edu.au/Departments::Library::Endnote_Turabian.pdf