Want to use your voice in a way that underscores your authority and commands respect?
Listen to Fulton County, GA District Attorney Fani Willis read the Trump indictment, then listen to her dialogue with reporters. Notice how much louder she is when she’s reading? And how much higher her voice is pitched?
The louder you speak, the harder your body has to work to take in the air to support the sound. That fight for air creates tension in the throat, and that tension in the throat contributes to the higher pitch and instability you can hear in Willis’ voice.
You can hear her voice crack as she reads, especially as the pitch gets higher. As she reads the names of the accused, her pitch goes up and up until, when she reaches the end of the list, she is way up in the highest part of her range.
When she begins to answer questions, she backs off the volume. Because she’s no longer working so hard to take in the air to project her voice, her body can relax and she becomes much more physically animated. She uses more gestures and more facial expressions. Her pitch drops and her voice sounds warmer and richer – and more authoritative.
She goes from sounding almost out of control to sounding like the calm and powerful leader she’s known to be.
Sometimes it’s the simple adjustments – like managing your volume – that have the biggest impact.