A Publication of WTVP

You are dressed to the nines and ready to go to a fancy party. Perhaps you are donning a new hairstyle. Your focus is on projecting a positive self-image to others. So, you are all spiffed up and then alas! You open your mouth!!!

Voice image is one of the most vital, pervasive, meaningful and controlling factors in our lives. It designates the way you perceive your own sound and the way you perceive others’ sounds.

Reflect on the people who have made life’s most lasting impressions on you, good and bad. In thinking of a teacher, parent colleague or competitor, do you remember their attire, their posture or the color of their eyes? It’s strange how those visual perceptions fade over time. In most instances, what remains is a voice image.

How often have you said of someone, “He’s a great guy, but he’d be a lot easier to take if he didn’t whine on about things”? This suggests a negative voice image at work and can cause a person to be viewed as an unattractive person.

Conversely, you have perhaps met another whose effect on you was inexplicably positive. “I was prepared to dislike her, but she won me over. I don’t know what it was about her, but I was taken with everything she said.” Some people call this charisma. Others call it presence. I call it a positive and compelling voice image, a voice that draws you into its spell. Such a voice presents the essence and character of the speaker, as well as the content of his or her ideas, in a positive light.

In short, others may not listen to what you say, unless they are engaged by how you say it. Learning to use your voice in a manner that will enhance your personal and professional life can be an adventure. This is yet another opportunity to learn about ourselves in an “inside/out” dynamic.

The proper use of your vocal mechanism and choice of material that says exactly what you wish to communicate to others will make yours the voice of success. Listening to your inner voice and learning techniques to use your outer voice to transmit the information, perception and emotion that you wish to share describes to others who you are. The sound of your voice is your primary tool of communication.

There is an intangible power that commands attention and generates success. The source of this intangible power that advances people is the power of communication. Successful communication depends largely on the effective use of the voice.

The magical voice of success can be yours with self-awareness and the application of practical principles. A well-produced, natural and healthy speaking voice is a valuable asset. The manner in which you first listen to your inner voice and then how you choose to voice these thoughts is the key to your identity. Style is being yourself, but on purpose!

Whenever we step out of our home, all speaking becomes public. Then, there is no such thing as “private speaking.” The fundamental elements of voice production and how to choose million-dollar words apply to everyone. They’re easy to learn. The desired result is always the same, and that is to improve the quality of the voice—to make it attractive, healthy and effective. By using our speaking voice to share the truth of our inner voice, our lives will indeed have the magical ring of success! iBi

Edith Barnard is an executive speech coach, motivational trainer and consultant based in Peoria, Illinois. Visit her online at