A Voice Without Expression Is Like a Garden Without Color

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For 5 months of the year, my garden is brown, lifeless, and dull. Were it to remain colorless through the rest of the year, I would have no passion or interest in gardening.

That which makes the voice interesting to listen to is known as color. It is represented by vocal variety, facial expression, and body language. It is what all listeners want to see and hear. If those we watched on TV and in the movies had no expression, Hollywood would not exist.

We expect color in our homes, in our clothing, in our offices, in our cars and even in our iPhones; yet, there are those who speak with essentially one level of tone in their voice. This is known as speaking in a monotone. (It is also known as boring.) They exhibit no life or expression in what they say no matter what their topic.

At a voice & presentation skills workshops recently, one of the participants had a voice which was flat, colorless, dull. Having previously been speaking with little or no expression, Brad thoroughly enjoyed the session on color and was well able to show variety in his voice and in his body language during and after that session.

  • What did this young man do differently? He gave himself permission to allow for expression when he was speaking.

We all have the ability to speak with color. The question is whether you will permit yourself to do so. Essentially, you have spent your entire life keeping your emotions on the inside and not allowing others to see them. And, the psychological aspect of ‘letting go’ in this manner may well cause you concern for fear of what others will think. Guess what? Those who speak with color are more interesting to listen to than those who do not. And I will take this one step further: people are more impressed by those who speak with color than by those who do not.

Once you allow yourself to be expressive when you speak, your goal is to make it a habit by remembering to do it at home, at work, with your friends and even at the grocery store. It takes work but with a conscious effort, it will become second nature.

Life is filled with color and so is your speaking voice. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s in there. Give yourself permission to make use of it and you will be surprised at the positive reinforcement you’ll receive from your listeners!


Watch the ‘before & after’ of Dawn and notice how much more expressive she is – not only in her voice but also in her facial expression and body language.