Debra, a former client, telephoned and said, “I woke up this morning and thought, Sandra will know what is wrong. I need to call her.” Fifteen months ago, Debra had called me to help her pass her consulting job interview and upon completing that project she was looking for her next opportunity. “Please analyze my voice again because I have not gotten past the first telephone interview for the last three jobs. It isn’t because I am unqualified”.
Well right now you sound a little bit like Marilyn Monroe. You know the breathy voice that is fine for some situations but certainly doesn’t sound like a confident expert in her field. What has happened? Have you developed a breathing problem, asthma or is there a new man in your life that likes a breathy voice? “Wow! I don’t hear it”, she said.
I know, let’s bring you back on course. Remember Marilyn singing, “I want to be loved by you, by you and nobody else but you”. She had a little bit of sound in the center of a breathy whisper. Now I am going to take a breath and speak on the exhale so that my voice is totally supported.” I want to be loved by you, by you and nobody else but you”.
Can you hear the difference? Good. In the movie “Some Like it Hot” the Monroe breathy voice works, however in the business world the breathy voice, which is held back, sounds weak, lacking in confidence and certainly not like a consultant who knows her stuff.
Now you try to do both voices so that you not only hear but also feel the monroe roofing contractor difference. Good work. Now to sound more polished, articulate, and powerful you need to project your voice and send it through the receiver into the ear of the interviewer. After all, your job as a consultant is to bring a credible and knowledgeable outside perspective to a business situation. It is important that you are heard as articulate, credible and confident from the moment you begin the telephone interview.
Debra, I feel that modern culture totally emphasizes the content of conversation, and puts little emphasis on the sound of the voice that delivers the content. However, in most business situations and especially in a telephone interview, the sound of your voice is what makes the difference. Most interviewers don’t even realize that they will unconsciously favor a certain voice/sound over another and bring that person back.
Finally we all get nervous before an interview and we don’t want it to show in our voice. Therefore, to feel more comfortable, prepare your answers in advance to the most frequently asked questions. And don’t forget to do the breathing exercises that you learned in your previous voice coaching sessions before each telephone interview. They will relax you and your voice.