Get your message across by speaking with authority and with confident.
Words count for 7% in communication, where as voice tonality counts for 38% of what is actually being heard in your message to that other person you’re trying to connect with.
Now you’re going to get a slight change in the percentage if you’re connecting with a visual learning that needs to actually see what you are explaining to them (view pictures or diagrams) in order for it to register in their brain. But for the audible learns they will hear and process 38% of your message if it’s expressed in the correct tonality of your voice and said with confidence.
What do I mean by this?
Don’t discount what you’re about to say, and don’t contradict your advice you’re sharing with others. Which sounds like this: Discounting: “I’m not an expert in this, but here’s what I think.”
Or, “I’m just thinking off the top of my head right now.” Or we’ll say, “Bla, bla, bla,” and then we’ll add “Does that make sense?”
This is more predominant in women because unfortunately in our culture when we speak really powerfully and without any apology, sometimes that does make us come across as less “likable” and displaying a threatening manner. Women are the peacemakers and they want everyone to like them, so to appear threatening goes against their ancestor heritage.
So woman are constantly walking around on eggshells because they’re afraid of being stereotyped as being bossy, or a bitch. “Who does she think she is trying to tell me how to do my job?” Or, “I’m the expert in this area and she’s only just come on board, how dare she?”
So what’s the solution to this problem?
How about saying, “I’m not the expert in this area, but I thought maybe we could try it this way?” Speak with confidence and talk out loud using “up talk.”
Now let’s explain “up talk.”
This is when women raise the pitch of their voice at the end of their sentences in the same way that we do when we’re asking a question.
So, for example, if we’re asking, “What sizes do you carry this in?” In English we go up at the end of our question in tone. What happens for women is we start doing that with our statements.
So, we say, “I’m so grateful for this opportunity.” Raising the pitch of our voice when we say “nity.” And what it sounds like subconsciously is that the person listening to us is that we’re tentative, we’re questioning what we are saying. Also, what can happen if a woman speaks in a high frequency voice, a man will tune out everything she said. His mind will switch off and he will not hear a single word.
So work on bringing the pitch of your voice down at the end of your statements, as it expresses you’re going to be giving advice, and you’re the expert on a topic, and you’re the authority and they need to listen to you. Make sure during your talk your voice tonality goes up, down, down. There is nothing faster to putting someone to sleep or having someone’s mind drift off, or tune out, then a voice that remains constant in tone level. If you want to listen to an expert in voice tonality to gain authority, listen to Oprah Winfrey. She connotes authority, for sure.
Allow for a pause. Women tend to get interrupted when we’re talking more than men so they start to compensate by going, going, going, to make sure they get their full thought out. If you ramble you could say things you shouldn’t. Be really aware of those pauses and put a period on the end of your sentence. By allowing for the pause you’re making sure that they got to ask all the questions they wanted. Which, if you’re rushing through and talking the whole time, they might come away thinking, “Well that woman talked at me a lot, and I never got to the follow-up questions or the information I wanted to hear and I never felt like I had a space in the conversation to say anything.”
Lose the “justs” in your vocabulary. It’s such a little thing, but it has a big impact. I “just” have a couple more questions.” Then think about how different that sounds than, “I’m concerned about bla, bla, bla.”
“I’m coming to tell you something boss, that really is bothering me and will just take a minute to talk to you about.” Drop the “justs.” It’s almost like you’re not deserving of the time, the moment, the thought. It’s as if it’s not of value.
Don’t try to change these things all at once because it is changing a habit. So you want to pick one at a time.
You can also ask one of your colleagues or a friend you have at work to listen to you and let you know when they hear it and how often they hear it.