Ending your sentences on the upswing is what I call the Valley Girl sound. Basically, it means that your statements sound like questions. It may be cute for 16-year-olds, but it definitely does not lend credibility to a professional image. |
If you are ending your sentences on a pitch higher than that with which you started, you should make the change. Careers are built on ability, credibility, and sounding mature – not too old – not too young. When your inflection makes you sound like you are questioning yourself, you are not projecting a professional image. Nor do you sound credible.
Not sure whether you are speaking in this manner? I suggest you record your voice in conservation. Study the playback and listen to the end of your sentences. Is the pitch of your voice going up? (Pitch refers to the highness or lowness of sound.)
If so, practice making statements, taking your pitch down at the end of the sentence. Your next step is to practice asking questions in which the pitch of your voice rises at the end as it should. Train your ear to notice the difference in sound between questions and statements.
A good exercise are the following two statements.
Hello. My name is Jane Doe. (Insert your own name.)
It is quite possible that you raised the pitch of your voice on the word Hello as well as in saying your first and last names. Practice saying those two statements again, ensuring that your pitch drops down at the end of each one.
[You do not need a video recorder for this exercise. An audio recorder will work quite well since your only concern is sound. Of course, you can also use your iPhone or other electronic device.]
It is possible that you have been talking in this manner for several years. Admittedly, it is a tough habit to break but with awareness and motivation, you can make the change. The secret is the awareness which results from listening very closely to yourself as you speak – becoming more aware of how you sound.
The image you project goes a lot further than how you look and what you say. 37% of your image deals with how you sound. If image matters to you, do not ignore the Valley Girl sound. If you want to be taken seriously, make your sentences sound like statements and not questions. I guarantee you will sound more professional.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. If you would like to see and hear a dramatic change, from childlike to warm and mature, watch Trish's 'Before & After' video clip.
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