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Why Your Voice Is Not Enough (and What You Can Do About It)

If you expect others to really listen to your message, you must connect on a more personal level.

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BY Peter Economy - 07 Sep 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

The Internet is a beautiful thing. Not only is it an expansive informational resource, but it's a way for us to communicate in new ways and in a more frequent manner than ever before. As a global network, it gives all those with an online connection the chance to effortlessly speak to an audience, large or small.

But whether you're communicating in an online or offline space, it's easy for your voice and your accompanying message to get drowned out. You are, after all, potentially competing against billions of people for the microphone. Just because you have a voice does not mean you are heard--and even further, just because you are heard does not mean your audience will listen.

In a world where your audience--customers, family members, friends, and even your boss--is constantly overwhelmed by texts, emails, and social media notifications coming at them from every angle, it is absolutely crucial that your message can easily, and more powerfully, stand above the rest. Want to know how to pull this off? Don't focus on being loud, getting your message out first, or even simply being heard. Instead, focus on resonating.

In today's short-attention-span digital age, the mere existence of your voice is not enough! In order to have what you say truly resonate with the listener, do the following:

Speak the right language

You may have the most incredible message in the world, but if you are communicating to someone in a language they will never understand, your effort may be a bit meaningless. I'm not just referring to cultural language either--use appropriate and relevant language, verbal and nonverbal, depending on your audience. This method of linguistic mirroring asks that you mimic the subtle behaviors--vocabulary, speech patterns, pace, tempo, pitch, and even volume--of those you are communicating with, in order to create rapport and build trust.

Be specific

Don't leave room for any confusion! If you want your ideas to resonate, make what you are trying to say undoubtedly clear. If a listener walks away unsure of what you are asking from them--or even worse, that you're asking anything from them at all--you lose not only the present opportunity to have them listen, but future chances as well. After all, who wants to trust someone who can't properly communicate his or her thoughts and expectations?

Above all else, make sure your voice engages the audience so deeply that by the end of your message, they can fully and wholeheartedly answer the question "Why should I care?" The more clear and obvious this answer is, the more likely someone will relate to, absorb, and remember what you have to say, amidst the sea of messages, notifications, and digital bombardments.