The pitch, tone, inflection, decibel, and timbre of your vocal chords when they deliver your personal sound become richer with age. When you speak with a six-year-old, her voice is like a flute with soprano qualities. It’s so high, no adult can mimic it.
Even pre-teens have that kid-like quality to their voice that denotes youth, and it’s precious just before they reach puberty.
For young women, especially, the quality of their voices and how they elect to deliver the syllables of inflection in a professional setting can often be their downfall.
There have been many different types of speech coming from teens and 20-somethings. Most notable is the Valley Girl delivery popular in the ‘80s and still evident in this decade. Today, there’s something called vocal fry where the end of a sentence is twanged with a vibrato of the vocal chord to hang on to a syllable longer than usual. The Kardashians are notorious for this.
For an example of what I’m talking about, hit this video monologue by Faith Salie on CBS News and you’ll see a variety of sounds resonating from this woman as she imitates a range of sound delivery.
Have you ever listened to your own voice via recording? I encourage you to record your voice on your iPhone and listen to it. Or, make a video and interview someone as you stand behind the camera. Listen to how you sound when you’re in a professional interview.
One of my fave (hilarious) videos with Gini Dietrich, of SpinSucks fame, in Soulati Media On The Street has me guffawing and inflecting strangely all over the place not to mention the too-fast speaking, but I had tons of fun laughing through the three minutes. I knew I was inflecting for laughs, and it was purposeful. Would you be able to switch it up yourself?
Listen To Your Voice
When you are cold pitching someone as you look for a job or try to snare earned media, think about how your voice comes across on the phone. It’s your asset, and you should regard it as such. There’s a maturity consideration for voice intonation via the phone.
It’s imperative you lower the timbre of your voice as much as you can and never inflect up at the end of a sentence as this becomes a question where there is none. If your delivery is nasally, and Americans are notorious for speaking through their nose, it sounds like you’re in a tunnel or you have a cold.
Your voice needs to signify confidence and positive self-esteem, and how you elect to impress someone on the other end of a phone line depends a lot on your delivery (and of course what you say).
If you have a nervous giggle or speak too fast, you can easily adjust these habits. If you have serious inflection or timber issues perhaps you may want to consider a voice coach to help you adjust your tone to be more professional versus not yet seasoned.
Not all young people come across as light and airy on the phone, and when I encounter them I know immediately they have a command of professional delivery with a firm hand shake.
This post originally appeared on InNetwork by Jayme Soulati.