Branding Your Executive Voice

August is about how we show up for others and how that presentation of ourselves impacts those around us.

It is said that you have 7 seconds to make a first impression. Any time you stand in front of a new group of people to introduce yourself or make a sales pitch, you are being judged – how you hold your posture, your appearance, the grip of your handshake, and how you sound.

Your speaking voice can make the difference in whether someone takes you seriously or their attention wanders to the next meeting. Your voice is unique and authentic to you. It is how people perceive you – the most crucial part of your brand.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is running for president, and the first time people hear his voice, they are taken aback. He has a vocal impediment that makes him sound old due to the frequency of sudden involuntary pauses. For this reason, some take his candidacy less seriously as a result. They have limited faith in his ability to be authoritative enough to represent the United States on the world stage. He may or may not have the most suitable ideas or be the appropriate person for the job, and the way his voice sounds makes people pause – which can be an advantage when used strategically.

Some aspects of your voice cannot be controlled, and several others can. You can change the meaning of your words by changing the tempo, quality or pitch, volume, accent, or enunciation. How you speak can make a difference in whether you are taken seriously and whether your message is heard. Your speaking voice is also a vital part of your personal brand.