I think we’ve all seen it happen. We spy a seemingly beautiful woman. And then she opens her mouth to speak and we recoil in horror. Okay, so maybe we don’t recoil, but we may be dismayed by what is coming out of her mouth. When we last explored the secrets of mid-century poise, we discussed the importance of having an inner glow. Now let’s discuss our voice. As Mr. Powers tells us,
The voice itself is an important element of beauty. It can be one of woman’s most fatal attractions–or distractions! It can weave an hypnotic spell over her listeners or send them running for cover. The way you express yourself, both in sound and subject, indicates to others what kind of person you really are.
Here are my modern-day thoughts to keep in mind when you are speaking:
1. Voice Modulation: Do you speak in a monotone voice or an animated voice? A monotone voice makes people think you are boring or bored. We are naturally drawn to an animated voice. Also, consider whether you are engaged in these annoying habits and eliminate them: Whining, sing song, and high pitched voices.
2. The 12″ Rule: Some people refer to this as the Indoor Voice. The 12″ Rule is often used by teachers to remind their students to speak only loud enough so the person you are talking to can hear you but not disturb others. Conversely, if you are soft spoken like I am, make sure others can hear you without strain.
3. Cell Phone Voice: The rest of us don’t want to hear your cell phone conversation. Enough said.
4. Language: Do you sound like your word choices should be bleeped out or you should be on a reality TV show? Poised women do not use crude and “sailor-like” language. We are ladies, after all. I love “A Word a Day” to both increase my word power/vocabulary and to make sure I’m pronouncing a word correctly.
5. Filtering: There is a saying that goes something like this: “Just because you think it, doesn’t mean you need to say it.” Every thought doesn’t need to be said. And silence doesn’t always have to be filled by talking.
6. Intelligence: There is another saying that says, “Just because you think it, doesn’t make it true.” A poised woman relies on multiple sources of information–even those with whom she may disagree–so that she can carry on thoughtful, intelligent, and lively conversations. Sounding ignorant and angry does not give a lovely impression.
7. Authentic: Do you sound authentic and confident in who you are? Or do you put on airs and try to be “high falutin’?” This often happens when someone is bedeviled by the “impostor syndrome.” Being yourself is much more charming than trying to be someone else.
Mr. Powers finishes by telling us:
Manners, breeding, refinement, good judgement–all the qualities of a lady–are revealed in what a woman says and how she says it. Whether we are aware of it or not, we all tend to “type” people according to their speech habits and their conversation. Through your voice and your words, you indicate your consideration for others, your intelligence and your charm.
I’ve listed seven things to consider. I’m sure I’ve missed others! Please share your thoughts with us.
To your fabulous Technicolor life!
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