Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Tag: public speaking

Is Your Voice Sexy Enough to Sell?

Is your phone voice sexy enough to sell?We spend ages improving our marketing skills but there are even more fundamental things that we should also concentrate on when trying to influence people.

One of these is the sound of our voice.  


We all know the phrase ‘Sex Sells’.  But could your voice be “sexy” enough to sell your product or service? 

And don’t think this doesn’t affect you if you are an Internet marketer or never meet your potential buyers.  Today we are using more and more audio and video online and all of us use the phone on a regular basis .. maybe not selling but buying is part of the profit cycle as well.


I do a lot of public speaking.  Group sizes can range from a handful of people to several hundred in an audience. When I’m on radio the potential audience size can run into millions. People tell me they find my voice compelling, that i am full of enthusiasm, that my voice sounds sincere and trustworthy and that they could listen to me for hours.  Yet I know I make many of the classic public speaking mistakes.  I speak too fast, sometimes I don’t project my voice correctly and … well let’s just say I make many mistakes.

The truth is that although we are the “talking ape” we could all improve our talking technique.

So what makes for a good speaker?  What makes a difference when we speak on the phone or in person to a potential customer?


In the King’s Speech we see reality dramatised when George VI is given speech therapy for his stutter.  Maggie Thatcher was also coached to give her voice more gravitas and authority.  You see people tend to prefer a deep voice; it fills them with confidence.  They don’t actually mind accents .. in fact many are actually liked a great deal.  My American friends often comment postively on my deep English accent (which Brits would recognise as strongly Devonian) so I guess culture and background do play a part here.


However most cultures and people don’t like the nasal sound that is produced when we speak down our nose.    They are also adverse to high pitch voices; especially where it is unexpected, for example in a man.  Maggie Thatcher was coached to produce a much lower pitch and it gave her gravitas. 


Some politicians gain reputation as great orators.  Churchill was one.  His trick was to speak slowly with big pauses.  Think of his “fight them on the beaches” speech.  Each sentence had several pauses.  Of course Churchill also wrote, “If I had had more time I would have written less”.  He recognised the power of “less is more”.  He said little but made every word count.


As I said a rich voice is liked by many people.  I’ve been described as having a voice like dark brown chocolate (there’s nothing wrong with chocolate). The trick is to let your voice resonate in the throat and bone cavities in the skull.  I also amplify my voice from the stomach rather than the mouth.  It provides more depth and allows you to throw your voice to the back of a large room.  It is important that everyone can hear you without you having to shout.  I also hate using a microphone when speaking in public! 


Have you noticed how some people are really bad at this?  You sometimes hear them on a teh phone in a train or public space making themselves heard by shouting down the phone.  The trick is to project the voice rather than shout.  


Can I help you with this? No. You need a speech coach to go beyond the obvious tips I’ve given.  What is useful however is to record yourself and critically listen to your delivery.

Public Speaking: Don’t Fear Speaking in Public on Radio or in Front of an Audience.

Stefan Drew - The Marketing MagiciaSpeaking in Public needn’t be daunting: How to Speak in Public.


I regularly speak in public both on radio and in front of audiences that consist of anything from a handful to several hundred people; so I understand how frightening this can be.  The way I overcome my fear .. and the way you can as well  …. is to follow these simple steps. 




1 – Prepare thoroughly.  Think carefully about what you are doing .. and why.  I usually prepare weeks in advance and always run through my notes or slides many times before the event.
Remember —Proper preparation prevents pretty poor performance.
2 – Arrive early, check the venue for lighting, seating, and technical problems. Anticipate questions.
3 – Make sure if you need anything extra, projectors or similar that they arrive early. Test them several times.
4 – Have any reminders on small cards in your pocket.  Sometimes I use a single acronym written on a csard to reminder me of the points I need to cover.  No one sle need to be able to see this .. just put it on the desk in front of you or pinned up in your sightline.  if you are in a radio study you can have a few notes with you but try to restrict them to one side of A4 and DON’T read them out over air .. they should be prompts and NOT a script.

5 – Dress well.  Wear clothes that make you feel and look good as this boosts your confidence (even on radio)


6 – Build rapport, create great first and last impressions.  This applies with your interviewer if on radio or with your audeince if on “stage”.  Remember that at these events  you are “on stage” all the time .. even during coffee breaks.

7 – Take three deep breaths a couple of minutes before the start .. and again just as you are about to start.

8 – Recall a time you felt fantastic, keep that in your mind.


9. Remember you are the expert and people are there to hear you because you know your stuff (this is why preparation is important)


10. Go for it.  And enjoy it.