To mark World Voice Day, communications specialist Ishbel Smith asks: ‘If you could use your voice to talk with anyone today, who would it be?’
Today marks World Voice Day. From Argentina to Australia, Greece to Ghana and Slovenia to South Korea, events are taking place to celebrate the uniqueness and value of the human voice. In different accents, different languages and with different tones, people will sing, speak and share about the importance of being kind with and to your voice.
So who would you talk to? How many of us would seek a conversation with a speaking great such as Barack Obama, David Attenborough or Oprah Winfrey (or, of course , any of the great speakers from Speakers Buzz! )?
I suspect, however, that many of us would prefer to hear the voice of a loved one – in the flesh rather than on a screen. While podcasts, Skype calls and YouTube go some way to letting us hear how people sound, there is nothing like being in the room when they talk.
There is a world of science which seeks to prove what (in our hearts) we already know – that whether it be by pheromones or magic, when we are in a space with someone using their voice with passion, confidence and concern, we can share something very special and unique.
When I work with people who are seeking to share a message that matters to them, it is important to remind them that a speech is not a one-way process. Presentations are conversations in which only one side speaks.
Use your unique voice
For it truly to connect, it needs to engage the audience as individuals, helping them to internally process the words you are sharing, allowing them to respond to the emotions that you are expressing and challenging them to act on the message you are delivering.
And the best tool you have to do this is your own unique voice. Learning to find, be confident in and use your own voice rather than trying to replicate another’s is the best way in which you can share the message that lies in your heart.
Perhaps that is why, then, we still seek out the experience of sharing a room with a great speaker. It can be thrilling, inspiring and challenging to hear someone using their own voice to share a story that matters to them and can matter to you.
On this World Voice Day, take a moment to notice and celebrate our distinct human capacity to share, connect and learn with the most ancient form of communication we have – the voice.
For over 20 years as a commercial litigator, Ishbel Smith was actively engaged in the art of persuasive talking for a wide range of corporate clients. But her passion always lay in exploring the ways the voice can be used to captivate, convince and change people and the world they inhabited. Her communications consultancy, Heart in Mouth, was created to help empower folk to find the message they wanted to share, explore their connection with others and use their unique voice in a confident, effective and engaging manner
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