There’s been a lot of flap in gender politics over the quality of voices. Many have vehemently said that we shouldn’t judge someone based on how they sound.
I agree with this. We shouldn’t. But expecting people to not make these judgements is about as unrealistic as the old cliche about not judging a book by its cover.
We will make subconscious decisions about people based on how they sound. High pitched, breathy voices seem juvenile because that’s how children sound. Expressionless speakers sound disengaged and bored because their voices demonstrate little emotions. A weak voice will make the speaker seem as though they don’t carry conviction about what they are saying.
Many vocal characteristics are physically determined. Women have higher voices than men because of the shape of our voice box and vocal cords. We can’t do much about that. But we are capable of training and improving our voices and our mannerisms.
Some people find push-ups easy because their physiology gives them an advantage. But just about anyone can get better at push-ups by training them.
Your voice can also be physically trained. You can train your core muscles to give it more strength and support. You can work on your intonation and breath to give it more richness. You can discover how pitch and pace can create emotional range.
When you train these things, you aren’t pandering to gender politics or prejudice. You are recognizing that the quality of our voices affects our message, and are working to make that message clearer.
Train your voice. It’s an investment into one of your primary communication tools. There are lots of options out there – singing lessons, acting lessons, speech therapists, speaking coaches, books by people like Patsy Rodenberg. Find an option that appeals to you, and start training.