It may be wise to not judge a book by its cover, but it is human nature to do just that. And extremely fast.
According to PsychologicalScience.org, “How Many Seconds to a First Impression?” the reported study said people made snap judgements about you in 1/10th of a second.
If you truly think about your own life, you do it too. There is one area that solidifies or changes these snap judgements… how you speak.
I have seen male-model type men be approached by some of the most beautiful women in the world, only to open there mouth and have these women running for the hills in less than 2 minutes.
Likewise, I have personally noticed a woman not even acknowledging my presence till I open my mouth, and within those same two minutes I had solidified a very positive impression in her mind.
Talk Slow And Low
I will be the first to admit my natural voice was higher than I liked and I always spoke too fast. With years of practice, I have mastered the ability to speak with a rich baritone and to slow my natural speech patterns way down.
And the changes you will experience are dramatic.
Speaking in a deep, rich and unrushed speaking voice communicates authority, confidence, self-control and masculinity. Without even worrying about the words, just having a deeper and calm voice, you instill trust and comfort into your intended communication partner.
As my career has progresses I have noticed that most successful business men, as well as all very successful ladies men have had a slightly deeper and slower talking voice than the average man. The key is not to make it sound fake, but if you really pay attention you will find that as you speak faster, your pitch goes up. But as you slow down, your voice will naturally get deeper. Work on making it a fuller and richer voice by learning to breathe deeply and slowly with your diaphragm. This takes pressure off of the vocal chords and they will naturally vibrate at a lower frequency.
You should also focus on taking the tension out of your voice. Relax your shoulders, neck, jaw and throat. Relaxed and poised is confident. Tense causes a sense of caution in your listeners.
Have you ever been around someone that laughed a little too easy? Or made a lot of excited little noises when you talked? Or even just kept talking to fill the silence?
What did that communicate to you?
To most people that communicates low confidence and lower social standing.
Imagine you are a King of a mighty empire. You are sitting around with you advisors and court. For the most part they are filling you in on the latest news, gossip and business matters to address. Do you think you would be nervous? Do you think you would be making wise cracks or trying to release the tension?
Hell no. You are the King.
So it is in your own world.
When you speak, have a reason. Joking and charm is fine, as long as the purpose is not to defuse tension you feel. Actually, you shouldn’t feel tension in most circumstances, but even then you should be evaluating the situation, not be making small chit-chat to try redirecting the issue at hand.
In business, communicate a deliberate message. Know what you want to accomplish and communicate it directly and with conviction. This conveys power and confidence.
If you don’t have that clear vision yet, then be quit and evaluate. Listen to those around you and seek out facts with your deliberate questions. Do not rush it interrupt or start your sentence when someone else starts as this can make you seem a “little too eager” which also portrays lower confidence. Instead, encourage those around you to say their piece. This is what the top CEO does before he makes his decision – he deliberately encourages those to tell him all they want on the subject.
One of the more dramatic techniques that demonstrate both masculine and confident traits is the pause. Say what you are going to say, look your audience in the eye(s) and pause. Let your words sink in. Let them absorb your energy and feel your presence. Watch for reactions. The slightest eye movements can tell you more about what they think than any words might.
In a University of Michigan study, Jose Benki found the following to be true:
When people are speaking, they naturally pause about 4 or 5 times a minute. These pauses might be silent, or filled, but that rate seems to sound the most natural in this context. If interviewers made no pauses at all, they had the lowest success rates getting people to agree to do the survey. We think that’s because they sound too scripted. People who pause too much are seen as disfluent. But it was interesting that even the most disfluent interviewers had higher success rates than those who were perfectly fluent.
A deliberate pause can create tremendous energy in your audience. Energy that can help you achieve whatever your goal is.
Own What You Say
Now, I will caveat this one first. Sometimes I am wrong, and when someone challenges me with a logical argument, I believe it is in my best interest to hear what they have to say, research more facts if needed, and act accordingly.
With that, I own what I say. I am not ashamed of my views, my experiences, my values, my positive or negative traits. When I speak, even in flirting or challenging a woman to create attraction in her, I own it.
One of my favorite qualifiers for a girl is “Are you bisexual?” I really mean it since I only date bisexual girls. But sometimes a girl will “act” offended with a “I can’t believe you asked me that…”
“Yeah, I said it.”
Cool and calm.
I am not much for arguing, so I rarely get into heated discussions. But I have no problem enjoying the crazy, fun, challenging and sometimes wise things that come out of my mouth.
When you speak with conviction, people are going to challenge your beliefs. They are going to try and determine if your value and belief system is really that strong, or if you are a chameleon – just disguising yourself as a strong man. The only way to maintain your masculine energy is to own what you say.