While there is no doubt that a loud voice can be most painful to your listeners’ ears, have you ever considered how your loud voice affects the image that you project? We are all concerned about image. Look at the number of articles and books written today on image and what it means for your success, both professionally and personally.
While a loud voice can be overbearing, it is important to recognize that other people may be judging you unfairly because you happen to speak with too much volume. Other words that come to mind, in addition to overbearing, are obnoxious, insensitive, demanding, boorish, domineering, and even arrogant.
Now it is quite possible that none of those adjectives describe you, but if your voice gives that impression when you speak, then the image you are projecting is not true and certainly something you would be wise to correct. When you think about someone you know or someone you just met, what is the first thought you have of that person? If it is my father, for example, my first thought would be kindness. When I think of my brother, my first thought is personable. When I think of my cousin, the first thought that comes to mind is loud.
Let’s turn to the opposite extreme. What is your first thought when you meet a very soft-spoken individual? More than likely, you may think of that person as being shy. But there are a host of other adjectives that could wrongly be applied to the soft-spoken as well: reticent, insecure, immature, diffident, reserved, secretive. The list goes on and on. While it may not be fair to judge someone in that manner, your voice speaks volumes about you. And, if your volume is too loud, it is saying much more about you than may wish.
Learning how to correct your volume is your first step in changing the image you are projecting. What is important to note as well is that your volume requirements will differ according to your environment. If you were standing outside amongst a large group of people, a bigger voice would be justifiable. However, there is quite a difference between a loud voice and a big voice. The loud voice is accomplished by yelling; the big voice results from projection – and it won’t hurt your listeners’ ears to boot!
If your voice is too loud, isn’t it time to change the image you are projecting?
For more information on volume and your ‘real’ voice, visit my voice training services page.