What does your voice say about YOU?
Communication is the way we establish both personal and business relationships. When you think of communication, you are probably just considering the words you use to express yourself. But there are many aspects to your words. Just think about how people may read your email and may react “the wrong way” and get angry, or make assumptions about what you were REALLY saying. You “read” much more into the words, than simply listening to those words.
In fact, when people are getting a “double message”- where they are getting a message from your body language that contradicts what you are saying, they believe your BODY 93% more of the time!
When you are unsure of yourself, uncomfortable with your message, unfocused on what you want to say, that lack of confidence comes across even before you open your mouth. Research shows that people will make a judgment about others in less than 2 seconds! Before you have said one word, another person has made their judgment about you, and it’s very difficult to change that first impression, even after repeated meetings that may be very different from the original time you met someone!
Aspects of your body language that people are reading:
- Out of your mouth: Tone, inflection, enunciation, pitch, pauses (being hesitant), loudness, emphasis, rising terminals.
- Your body language: facial expression (micro-expressions), eye contact & movement, posture, body movement, hand gestures,
- AND, I’d include your choice of clothing as well!
Are you an Uptalker and what does it say about you?
The speech pattern that has become a habitual and unconscious way of speaking for many people started back in the 1970’s. It’s called “uptalking” or “high rising terminals”. It’s a way of speaking where phrases and sentences habitually end with a rising sound, as if the statement were a question. When it first was noticed, it was teenage girls who spoke that way primarily. It was described as “Valley Girl” talk.
Furthermore, if you are SPEAKING using uptalk, your BODY LANGUAGE is also showing your lack of confidence and level of stress! Your body can’t lie! Just check out this photo, and please share your comment below, how you describe what the woman is saying: Does she look like an authority?
Linguist Robin Lakoff (he wrote “Don’t Think of an Elephant”) describes this type of intonation as when people end their declarative sentence as if they were asking a question. He conjectured that women speaking this way were socialized to talk in ways that lacked power, authority, and confidence. The has become a common speech pattern amongst young people of both sexes, and it has even found its way into adult’s speech. If you want to hear an example of it, here’s a Youtube video where you can listen- just for about a minute, to get the gist of it. Once you hear it, I bet you will find it as annoying as I do! Unfortunately, I think that it’s become a habit, and most people are even unaware that they are speaking this way. AND if the listener also speak this way, they probably won’t be aware of it! But listen to a person with real power, and confidence, and I KNOW you will NEVER hear this pattern.
To find out if you speak this way, record yourself a few times during conversations with different people- personally and professionally. Many of the newer phones have the ability to record the conversation, and this can be a really helpful way to find out if you are unconsciously uptalking. Again, people may not even be aware WHY they are judging you negatively, but this speech pattern can be the cause.
Want more tips about hidden communication skills that can help you in your personal and business life? My ebook will be out next week! Make sure to get your name on the list above, so you won’t miss it! I PROMISE you’ll find information there you can put into immediate use to not only change the way that people respond to your communication, but it will also change how YOU feel about yourself! Change your voice, your body language, and it will relieve your stress!