Timbre is a great word. It’s the description of the sound of a musical instrument or voice. The better the one’s timbre, the more pleasing or powerful the voice. The masculine voice can be very powerful. I think most men have no clue about how effective their voice can be. I listen to Christian McQueen and Dagonet and immediately recognize the power of the male voice. Their podcasts are very much about their respective voices. I wonder if they know that.
In my past life, I was a part-time radio guy. I was part of a morning FM zoo team and then went on to be an AM radio talk show guy. I also did voice-overs for local political candidates. This experience forced me to be far more aware of my voice. I sought the expertise of a speech coach and she taught me some cool things. I blogged about it, too. Read it. Now.
The power of the male voice was reminded to me again recently. While out and about, I was in eavesdropping mode. Damn. Men have no idea about how to control their voice. I heard low talkers, shouters, mono-talkers, and other sounds from male vocal cords that were simply awful. If a man can’t manage his voice, he’s at a serious disadvantage. Humans are social animals and the inability to communicate effectively is a very bad thing. Technology is not helping.
When I use my radio voice out in public, the response is consistent. People pay attention, women especially. I was not gifted genetically with good “pipes”. I worked on it. I paid attention to how I spoke – words, tone, and inflection, and pacing. Years ago in middle school, I was in the chorus. The instructor taught her students how to sing from the diaphragm. I never forgot those lessons and make a point to speak from my diaphragm when the situation calls for it. For the record, I sang alto because my voice didn’t change until I was 16.
I understand that certain elements of a man’s voice are controlled by the genetic lottery. If a man has a voice higher in pitch than his peers, how people perceive him cab be negatively affected. The pitch of a man’s voice simply cannot be fixed. However, every man can benefit from the following:
- Speech therapy/coaching – Ask around, do your research
- Drama classes – Community theatre can be an excellent way to expand your social circle
- Toastmasters – Very good for content but my experience didn’t have much in the way of voice improvement
Given all the technology that is acting as a barrier to direct, face-to-face communications, a man can really stand out with just his voice and how he presents himself verbally. This is all about a man’s confidence.