Sounding confident

After your appearance, your tonality, or the sound of your voice, is the second biggest factor in creating your first impression. It's vitally important to how people perceive you. If you look great but talk in a high-pitched nasal whine, people will form a poor impression of you and your confidence will be dented. Most of us are blissfully unaware of the sound or impact of our own voices because we don't actively listen to them.

Talking very quietly when you first meet someone smacks of no or low confidence. Barking at people in a loud voice can be construed as arrogance and a need to be the centre of attention. You need to be able to adjust your volume to suit the occasion.

Watch how people respond to you when you talk. If they're asking you to repeat yourself or they don't respond appropriately to something sad or funny, then you're probably talking too quietly. If they're leaning away from you and the conversation isn't reciprocal, that is, you're dominating it, then they've probably given up as you're too loud. Be sensitive to the nuances of conversation and adjust your volume, proximity, or position to suit the person you're with.

If you're quietly spoken, practise singing nursery rhymes very loudly and then speak slightly louder than normal. Your internal volume control eventually adjusts to a louder setting. You can also try playing with the volume of your voice to see how different people react. For example, in an argument when you're shouting, quickly change the volume. The impact might be to sound more menacing than angry.

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