to act perfectly on a global scale
“The international voice” – my latest lecture topic!
Business English is standard: only how does it sound when everyone speaks English with a different imprint from their mother tongue and culture?
As a singer, I have sung in 7 languages, so I know how other languages feel, because they are “formed” in different areas of the head: sometimes more “in front”, more “behind”, in the throat, on the cheekbones, more consonants, more vowels etc. German can sound throaty, low and harsh from the consonants and even monotone for other nations and often harsh especially for English native speakers. British English is higher in speaking pitch than German, with a greater and higher variability of voice pitch, especially for men. This is again very unusual for German men.
How does one speak and how does one come across to others?
In a seminar in England, this was confirmed to me by a German seminar participant who has been living in England for 20 years confirmed this to me: English people often perceive Germans as “rude”, as impolite. At the same time, English people often come across to Germans as too polite and not as assertive: where does this interpretation come from? In my opinion, the voice, the tone of the voice and the way the voice is conducted play a decisive role.
How does one arrive at such a classification: our subconscious immediately judges: the higher pitch of the speaking voice subconsciously signals “I am flexible” “I am more emotional” “I am flexible”, etc. …. the lower pitch of the voice and the almost monotonous pitch radiates on a subconscious level: “I am steadfast”, “I remain steadfast” – because you don’t move much vocally. And the first impression is already set.
In addition to the origin, there is the uprightness of one’s own personality, which has an effect on the voice: If we manage to consciously clarify our subconscious imprint and then change and adapt it to fit – harmoniously – the situation, this is of great advantage for good feelings among ourselves, which in turn is the basis, in my opinion, for good clear communication. Adapting to the other in other languages (“you mostly like what you know and can do”) can build a bridge in tricky verbal communication situations.
Through the use of one’s own voice, one also learns to read the mood of our counterpart and to be able to assess the person differently, because one recognises the deep state of mind of the interlocutor more quickly. You can react to this consciously, tune in better and faster and also consciously distance yourself. In this way, one achieves such an important goal: one remains capable of action and self-determined, because nervousness, stress and stage fright often lead us into feelings of powerlessness and being at the mercy of others – and nobody wants to feel that!
In today’s English-speaking context, to be aware of one’s own origins and vocal imprint, to consider how one wants to sound in an international context and to be able to shape the voice in this direction and with this sound. That is voice coaching for the international voice!
Sometimes this is exhausting and confusing, and sometimes you don’t want to have to worry about these things too. Instead, ambiguities can suddenly dissolve, processes run unexpectedly smoothly and many things become easier and clearer – because the other person feels understood and at home and that, as we all know, opens doors!
SPEECH COACHING TIPS super.simple.effective.
- Do you like to think about speech and languages: what actually sounds like?which language do I like, which sound do I prefer – do I know why? What attracts me to it? How do I feel about my own speaking and my mother tongue?
- For the test, speak your greeting sentences to yourself in different languages – which you know: “Hello, my name is … Welcome!” Ask yourself: “Does it sound different in other languages?” Go on a search: what sounds higher, deeper, freer and what feeling or sound I want to achieve do I take with me into the other language?
Make the confident difference for yourself and your voice and create the right mood with your voice even on international terrain! It will pay off – in many areas! Look forward to it!