"It's great reconnecting," she said. Her voice boomed through the phone with a power that penetrated my entire body. It dominated her presence. I could see her speaking to me, through the miles between us, the phone line, the very air separating us.
"I agree," I said, without anywhere near as much impact, I am sure.
We talked business. We talked personal lives. We laughed. We shared a few stories. We took the frayed edges of our lost connection and began to repair them. The color of our lives improved. We went from gray to red... and variations between.
I find it encouraging to talk to women on the phone when their very presence is demonstrated by the power in their voice. One of the areas I feel most strongly about is in the use of one's voice to accomplish goals and achieve more results. Women tend to be quieter. We tend to be gentle, if we need to push the other person in our direction. We shy away from the booming, startling voice of authority... the voice men use, mostly, when they talk business.
This is not about why men get more done or why people listen to them more or why they command a higher presence in business. It's about how women can improve their position in business, no matter where they are, by using the power of their voice.
Sound can be a weapon. A weapon need not devastate. Sometimes a weapon is a means to an end. Sometimes the end does justify the means.
Picture yourself in a crowded room, people are sitting, fidgeting, gathered around tables or standing in the back of the room. They're clearly anxious. The lights are turned down low. The rustle of paper programs can be heard among the whispers.
At the front of the room is a stage, with a lectern. All these fussy people are waiting for ... you. You are behind the curtain. You are speaking to this group of anxious people, men and women, from businesses across the nation. You are keynoting a conference.
How will this turn out? Much advice revolves around how well you know your topic and whether you've practiced enough. That goes without saying, doesn't it? My advice is this - get a voice coach. Improve your speaking voice.
Be confident and demonstrate power by dominating that room...as soon as you open your mouth. Create the outcome you want by owning the experience.
Your voice is more than a way to share your story, it's a tool of immense power that should resonate in the ears and minds of every person in that audience, long after you're gone.
I am still struck by the phone conversation I had two weeks ago, with this powerful woman I am so glad to be reconnected with. Who is she? You will learn in weeks to come. For now, I wanted to share the story of a powerful voice, rather than the people who have powerful voices.
It doesn't matter how tall you are, how much you weigh, what you look like, or the color of your hair. It doesn't matter where you grew up or how many times you've been published.
What matters is... how confident are you? Your voice will tell your audience (audience of one or one thousand, it doesn't matter) that you know who you are and they will leave knowing who you are.
In the process of discovering who you are, they will learn more about your passion and your mission and you will gain followers.
Learn to speak out loud. #womenofpower