In this fourth video in our series on how to develop magnetic leadership presence and sales presence, we focus on the fourth characteristic of presence: Speaking with a full, resonant voice (projecting presence). If you have yet to watch the first three videos (or read the transcripts), you may want to do that before engaging with this fourth video/transcript.
Presence is your personal power: Who you are, being projected into the world. When you project your courageous, confident, most powerful self into the world with positivity, you create magnetic presence.
Why is a resonant voice important to projecting presence?
A deep, resonant voice comes from speaking with a relaxed chest and abdomen and standing or sitting upright while breathing with the lower parts of your lungs. Because resonance is a reflection of your level of relaxation, other people interpret your resonance at either a conscious or subconscious level. More resonance is interpreted as more confident, secure and trustworthy.
Psychological studies suggest that people trust others with the deeper resonant tone. This may be because a deeper resonant tone of voice is a reflection of one’s comfort and confidence while speaking. When people are comfortable with themselves and confident in what they are saying, we tend to trust them and believe them. This adds to their presence.
Having a full voice and being able to project your voice when needed also adds to presence. Your voice is your vocal instrument for communication. Speaking with a full resonant voice creates stronger presence.
In this video, you will learn very specific ways to deepen the resonance of your voice to have more presence. Join speaker agent Kim Tracy and me in learning to develop greater personal power through enhanced leadership and sales presence, either by watching the video of the interview that Kim originally produced or by reading the transcribed text below, which was edited to enhance readability.
Kim: Hi, I’m Kim Tracy with the Maxwell James Speaker Agency. So excited to be with Dr. TC North. We are doing our presence or personal power series and we are on number four which is resonant voice.
TC: We are, and I’m going to do a quick review of the other characteristics. There are five characteristics of presence, our magnetic presence series. Personal power projected is a great definition of presence. The five characteristics are 1) having courage, 2) being confident, 3) carrying yourself in a high power body position or sitting, walking, talking in a high power body position which is expansiveness. 4) working on resonance and 5) the visual presentation of oneself. We’ll wrap up with that and I will touch on the fifth one at the end of today, if that’s ok. I’m probably not going to do that one, but I’ll explain why.
So I’d really like to talk about resonant voice, what it is, why it is important and how your brain interprets a resonant voice. I think this is pretty fascinating to understand. First of all let me just give you a comparison. I want you to notice how my voice sounds right now to you. Now I want you to notice what this voice sounds like to you. Notice the difference in the first voice? What do you notice? Is it higher? Is it a little bit squeaky? Can you feel the tension in it? The only difference is I tightened my chest for the second one and the first one I was speaking from a nice, relaxed, full body relaxation.
My chest is relaxed, my abdomen is relaxed, my whole body is relaxed. That creates a deeper resonance and what we’ve found psychologically is that when you speak from a relaxed place or when you have deeper resonance in your voice – whether male or female -people trust you more. People designate more authority to you. You have more authority just by how your voice sounds.
So, in terms of creating your presence, it’s actually really important what your voice sounds like. And it doesn’t matter whether you start out with a high, or low tone of voice, that’s just in your DNA, but what does matter is you create the resonance within whatever tone you have. Does that make sense?
Kim: It does.
TC: You don’t have to worry about what our natural tone is. The question is do you create that resonance? When you have good resonance in your voice you can – if you pay attention – actually feel a little bit of vibration in through here. Like right now I just brought my attention and I can actually feel just a little bit of vibration in there. And that’s good, that means there’s a deep resonance.
TC: All good? So keys to having a resonant voice are 1) being relaxed, 2) creating a mindset of confidence and 3) how you breathe. So, if I’m breathing high in my chest I’m going to create that really tight sounding, squeaky voice which has no power to it.
To train yourself to deepen the resonance in your voice, remember to breathe slowly and deeply. It’s really key. When you’re not speaking practice making your exhalations about twice as long as your inhalations because when you do you’re triggering the parasympathetic part of your autonomic nervous system which signals your whole body and mind “relax”. This is versus the sympathetic nervous system which says “get excited because you’re in danger and you have to take care of yourself”. Does that all make sense Kim?
Kim: Very much so.
TC: I have a couple of tips I’d like to share in creating a resonant voice. If you want, there’s a process to really work on to learn to feel this resonance. When you’re not speaking just practice exhaling about twice as long as you inhale. If you focus on that long, slow exhalation you automatically will take nice deep inhalation so you don’t have to think about it. Focus on making them about twice as long. There’s no magic to exactly twice as long, it just helps you have a framework.
When you do this you trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, which again is the system that helps you relax. When you relax this you can create deeper resonance with your voice.
But you can’t actually have full sentences and talk in paragraphs like I am right now by doing those long slow inhalations so you have to learn to take quick inhalations but still take them down deep. And that’s the second part of breathing is learn how to take them sharp and quick while you’re speaking but take them deeply enough that you can still create the resonance and your exhalations will be naturally longer than your inhalations while you speak like this.
TC: Practice speaking and feeling the resonance even though you have taken sharp, short, deep breaths.
TC: And that wraps up the first four pieces of our resonant series.
Kim: Excellent. What’s the fifth one?
TC: <chuckles> The fifth one is the one I’m not qualified for.
Kim: Which means it’s the secret sauce!
TC: Yeah, there you go. So I’m going to tell you why. The fifth one is visual presentation. I live in the Boulder Colorado area, I have for a long time, and Boulder gets written up for a lot of reasons with a lot of interesting designations.
Here are a couple of the designations. One is that the city of Boulder is considered the most educated city in the United States by virtue of how many people have degrees in the percentage of the population. Then, if you look at graduate degrees, we’ve got people out here pumping gas with Ph.D.’s. Having a graduate degree is no big deal here.
We’ve also been designated the fittest, thinnest city in the United States. I have no idea how they measured that. But here’s the one I really like – we’ve also been designated as the worst dressed city in the United States because in Boulder business formal means wearing your best t-shirt, shorts and Birkenstocks. And what was really funny Kim was one journalist summarized these designations and wrote “Boulderites don’t look good with their clothes on, but they sure look great naked”.
Kim: Oh my gosh!
TC: With that, I’m not qualified to discuss visual presentation of self!
Kim: He’s not qualified to talk about this. And this wraps up this exceptional series. If you would like to bring TC in for a great keynote, workshop or seminar contact me, Kim Tracy, through www.MaxwellJames.net. Thank you again.
Speaker agent Kim Tracy at the Maxwell James Agency produced this video. Please contact her at www.maxwelljames.net if you’re interested in having me deliver a keynote, workshop or webinar on developing presence for leaders, sales professionals or executives. Or contact me at www.TCNorth.com if you would like individual coaching to strengthen your personal power through presence.