We've talked previously about the importance of being in the zone.
While many behaviors can help put us in the zone, simply raising the volume of your voice can get you there more quickly and easily.
In one-on-one communication, speaking louder than normal isn't necessary and would be annoying. There is an intimacy in one-on-one discourse that doesn't necessitate a strong voice.
Bob Elliott of Boca Grande
But when conversing with two or more people voice volume may have to be cranked up a notch in order to help command attention.
In a conference room with 10 to 12 listeners, kick it up even higher.
And when in front of a large audience, crank it up even more.
We've had to tell many clients to speak more loudly whether in front of a group, on a conference call or leaving a voicemail.
Rarely do we need to tell someone to lower his or her volume.
Ironically, in one of our sessions we had exact opposites - the mutterer and the screamer.
The mutterer could barely be heard over the sound of the air conditioner.
The screamer threatened to cause chronic hearing problems if one stayed in the room with him for more than a day.
Neither of them had their volume set at the right level.
Because three's a gap in how loud we think we're speaking and how loud we actually are speaking, many people find it hard to believe they should raise their voice.
We suggest you ask a trusted colleague what they think about your volume.
Also, it's a good idea to test out your volume in the room where you'll be speaking. Keep in mind when a room is full, you'll need to speak even more loudly.
Editors' note: Bob Elliott, creator of the Boca Grande Camera club and board member of the Boca Grande Art Alliance, spent a career improving communications at large corporations such as Pfizer, Cigna and Westinghouse, where he witnessed many of the faux paus detailed in the book "Make Your Point," which he co-wrote with Kevin Carroll. As a communications consultant he developed relationships with top American companies such as General Electric, MasterCard and Wal-Mart and also worked with personalities such as model-actress Cindy Crawford and tennis star Jimmy Connors. The preceding was an excerpt from "Make Your Point,"which is available at amazon.com.