How To Transform Your Voice

How To Transform Your Speaking Voice So You Can Sound Like A Badass

Want the missing ingredient to be a confident badass?

Sounding like a badass.

Using the right voice, you'll sound cool, calm and confident. What you say will carry a new weight - surprise! -- people will actually want to pay attention to you.

But let's face it: do you sound "good"? Or is it highly nasal, like Fran Drescher's male character in The Nanny?

Not to worry. I spoke with the lovely Lisa Popeil, MFA, LA Celebrity Vocal Coach, and founder of Voiceworks, to get all the best tips, tricks, and facts about our voices so we sound like a confident gentleman. (To listen to the vocal exercises, check out my podcast interview with Lisa.)

"The truth is, people always judge us based on the quality of our voice, whether we realize it or not," Lisa says.

There's science behind it: when you make a sound, you create waves in the air and move hairs in someone's ear canal. "You're affecting someone's biology," Lisa explains. "If your voice is warm and inviting, people will want to be around you."

Now, as you read this article, keep one thing in mind: fixing it is easy, but it takes real commitment if you want to change your voice. Why? Because since we first spoke, we've spoken without any knowledge or training - so any change can feel strange and false until you get used to it.

Lisa offers this great advice for beginners: 'Use a common voice when you're talking to friends and family at home. But when you're in a business situation, it's nice to be able to push buttons and have a professional voice that sounds natural and effective. It takes practice, but it's worth it."

Now ...... lays the foundation for a good speaking voice.

Create good support

When speaking, it all starts with support. Here are the two main parts:

  1. posture

We spend most of our lives on computers and cell phones, and over time we begin to hunch over. Not only does this make us look bad, but it also makes us sound bad because we limit our voice.

"Because the vocal cords are part of the neck, posture and alignment are fundamental, as boring as that sounds," says Lisa. "For optimal sound, keep your head on your neck and sit on your spine."

Stand with your feet apart, soft knees, and soft upper and lower abdomen, she says. "Then, place an imaginary hook under your sternum and lift your chest slightly," she adds.

Finally, make sure you relax your shoulders and lengthen the back of your neck-you should feel like you're hanging from the ceiling by the top of your head.

It sounds like a lot of work, but this will make a huge difference.

  1. Upper Abdominal Magic Spot

As Lisa likes to say, "Tight stomach, tight throat."

But when most people talk, their upper abdomen contracts. (In other words, when you talk or sing, you tighten your gut or tighten your belly.)

Instead, use Lisa's "Upper Abdominal Magic Spot" technique and push the area out. "This magic spot is located just below your sternum, and when you make a loud 'boo!' It's most prominent when you make a loud 'boo!

So try it now. Stand tall with a long neck and high spine. Put your hands on your upper abdomen and say "shhh!" As if you were shushing someone. Which part sticks out the most? That's where you are. Now ...... inhale and push out the area slightly.

"It makes people sound so much better," Lisa says. "Now you can even do things you didn't even know you could do."