The Magic of Voicepower
By Peter Urs Bender
The most successful salespeople are often those that don't know the most about the service or product they are presenting. But they make commission checks that boggle the minds of their co-workers. They bring smiles to the faces of their sales managers. They make the accountants speechless.
I believe it has to do a lot with their voices.
The deeper a voice, the greater its believability. Just listen to commercials on the radio. You will notice calm, relaxed, deep voices.
Have you ever paid attention to voices?
Norm Voice Range occurs shortly after one begins to talk (assuming the voice is not too high or too low). This is the level others recognize you as being you.
Pitch is the level (high/low) of one's voice. A pleasing one is mixed, high at times, low at others.
Pace is the number of words per minute. We use 145 words per minute on average. The older one gets, the slower the pace.
Pauses are the breaks we build into our speeches, so the listener can think. But one has to have confidence to use pauses.
Projection is they way we emphasise clarity and tone. If one lacks confidence, the projection will give it away. One will sound uncertain and that will be recognized instantly.
As soon as the voice rises above Norm Voice Range, the believability of the message diminishes. The minute it drops below the Norm, the believability of the message increases.
Imagine two sales people. It doesn't mater what color, sex, or in what industry they are. They're both equally qualified to do the job. Educational background, physical appearance and even religious beliefs are both identical. They had the same mother and father. They are fraternal twins. They work for the same company and live in the same neighborhood and buy their clothes from the same store. They both even drive the same kind of car.
There is only one difference between them. One is a winner who sold quota three times over, and a $50,000 bonus cheque was deposited to her bank account. The other hasn't sold anything for the last few months. He knows if he doesn't produce, he's had it.
How does the winner feel? Confident, self-assured, happy and fulfilled. She has a positive outlook towards her future, and an inner feeling of real accomplishment.
It would be no understatement to say the other twin feels nervous, uptight, unsure, insecure and unconfident. Life isn't fair!
Assume both have to make a presentation this afternoon to equally qualified prospects.
The one who sold three times quota subconsciously assumes that if the prospect doesn't buy, he would be stupid and miss out on a big opportunity.
(I did not say she thinks like that, I said she feels like that.) The projection of her voice automatically varies. (She is exited to make another sale!) That makes any presentation more interesting.
Just before she comes to the close, she pauses. (It's like playing roulette - will I win, will I lose?) She has all the confidence in the world she will win. Then, when she asks for the order her pace gets slower. That means her voice gets lower and the believability of her message increases. And what are the results? She gets the order. Pure luck! Just ask any loser.
The other twin is extremely nervous. Very uptight. He feels that if he doesn't sell, he's a loser. Remember, he might lose his job. When it comes to closing, he gets even more nervous and starts to talk faster, so his voice rises. As soon as that happens his believability decreases_
This is not the result of academic research. It's the result of Peter Urs Bender's field observations. It's not always what you know that matters, it's how you present it.
When one is under great pressure, one talks faster. Therefore the voice rises. When that occurs, believability diminishes. How can you avoid that?
Next time when you get nervous, slow down your speech. Make a conscious effort to do it. It will make your voice deeper, and that will signal that you're in control. Your confidence level will increases, as well as your believability. It can give you that extra oomph required to close the sale or make that deal.
The power your voice commands is very important. It's extremely critical in any situation in which you have to make points come across. It does not matter who you are, believability is one of your most important asset.
Here's a simple diagram to show what happens.
To make a powerful, impressive and lasting presentation, you have to work on Pitch, Pace, Pauses, and Projection. If you want your voice to carry higher believability, here's what you need to watch for:
Peter Urs Bender is one of Canada’s most dynamic and entertaining business speakers. He lives and works out of Toronto. He is the author of four best-selling business books: Leadership from Within, Secrets of Power Presentations, Secrets of Power Marketing, Secrets of Face-to-Face Communication, and Gutfeeling.
To read excerpts from his books visit www.PeterUrsBender.com.