One of a multi-part series on how our voice can serve, move and influence.

The sound of our voice and how we use it are important and make us feel good. A 2012 article in Evolution and Human Behavior reported just hearing the voice of our loved ones versus a text conversation reduces our blood cortisol levels and heightens the release of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone associated with bonding.

I received an email from someone I’ve never met and most likely never will. As a voice actor, aside from a client’s gratitude, I rarely know how my storytelling affects the listener. My delight and surprise at receiving the message was surpassed by how deeply their words affected me.

Hello Liz,

I know you don’t know me. I just wanted to write and say that I really enjoyed your narration for the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NLS.) Yes, I’m totally blind. It was a pleasure to hear such a warm and human voice giving life to the characters.

Never underestimate our human ability to connect, regardless of distance and time. I’m grateful to know I reached someone, and they reached back. A poignant reminder the thing I love to do – connecting with my voice – is a is an act of service.

How are you connecting?

Let’s start in the most basic way: Be yourself. Yeah, yeah. I know. Be authentic. Show us as you are. Yada, yada. But how we show up – vocally, as well as physically – creates genuine connection. And humans like that. When you think of someone who commands the room in meetings or plain, old conversations, what makes them memorable, their words and ideas valued? Studies show our voice influences our impressions.Our voices matter as much as our words matter. They have the power to awaken the senses and lead others to act, close deals, or land us successful job interviews.  When we struggle to get our message across, it’s a good time to physically write down what our mission is, what story we want to tell and how we want to serve our client or friend when we communicate it. If we’re clear about our intent and what we have to offer when we craft our written message, our mind, and voice will follow along when we connect with the emotion behind those words.

Our voice is as unique as our fingerprint, so it follows our vocal imprint contributes to our success, and even contributes to perceived attractiveness and charisma.

We create nuances of meaning, our emotional state and can develop communication skills to elevate executive presence — that je ne sais quoi in speakers who attract us with their confidence and charm, a skill that can be developed and refined with time and practice.

In the next post, discover what your vocal image is and how to elevate it.