When I first came to live in the US, I was often told that I should go into sales because of what others referred to as my charming British accent (actually my accent was a strange combo of Irish, British, and Australian) - and they thought it would be a bonus in getting people to pay attention to me if I was in sales.
They were wrong! Yes, people were initially charmed by my voice, but not enough to make me successful.
Having said that, I believe our voice is one of the most powerful tools we have to help us stand out and get attention. But a charming accent alone just won’t cut it. We must know how to use it and allow our true voice to come out, Your voice not only has the capacity to draw people in and listen to what you have to say but also has the power to influence and move others emotionally.
And just think of the consequences if you could do that. Imagine how a powerful voice could benefit you in your work, business, and your relationships.
True connection happens within the voice – and it’s not so much the words we use or how good you are at dropping your ums and ahs or eradicating the use of the word like– I’m not referring to technique here (although those things are important).
To use your voice powerfully is to speak from a place of conviction and authenticity. It’s about letting go of the insecure and overly self-conscious stories we hold on to when we’re communicating. It’s about letting your heart and soul speak through you unabashedly and unapologetically. There's nothing more powerful.
There’s a wonderful scene in the movie, Dead Poet’s Society, where Robin Williams’ character talks to his students about how to not waste their lives and how to seize the day. I’ve posted the link below for you to watch.
Listen to and feel the power that emanates from him – the conviction and emotion he stirs up in his students. And now imagine that same scene, those same words, acted out by someone with no conviction or feeling. It just wouldn’t hold up because it’s not the words that take precedence – it’s the emotion of the person saying those words.
That’s the power of someone who knows who they are and who believes in what they’re saying.
Whether you’re selling shoes, giving a presentation at work, talking about an idea, or you’re on a date with someone, never underestimate the power of your voice.
I’m happy to say that I’ve found my voice – and what I mean by that is that it’s taken me years to know who I am and what I believe – to be able to show up in the world with confidence and conviction - to be comfortable to talk to others from my heart and soul and not my head.
That's the piece that was always missing for that young woman who came to the US all those years ago. She had a charming accent, but her true authentic self was buried in layers of insecurity and self-doubt.
The charming British accent is still there – but it’s now just the icing on the cake.