Speaking from Your Spanx

Today I had the privilege of speaking with the volunteers and mentors of the New Jersey chapter of Dress for Success-– thank you again for making me so welcome!

Among the topics under discussion was the importance of speaking from your diaphragm as doing so lowers the tone of your voice, making you sound far more authoritative.

At which point, one of the ladies asked, “But what if I can’t take a deep breath because of my Spanx?”

The ensuing hilarity aside, for me this touched on a deeper issue: the ways in which we ignore, neglect, or play down the needs/importance of our physical self—not only in the presentation of ourselves but in our day to day lives.

But here’s the thing: as those of you know who have read “How to Wow” or Dr. Mehrabian’s work, 38% of our impact comes from our tonal quality.

So if you’re not in touch with your diaphragm—and consequently your voice— you’re doing yourself a disservice.

(And just because the headline of this piece includes the word “Spanx” does not mean the gentleman are off the hook. Leaving aside the fact that there are Spanx items for men, I had one male client who, when I talked about speaking from his diaphragm said, “But I don’t think men have those.”)

So—male or female—do yourself a favor and get familiar with your diaphragm and its capabilities. For starters: lie on the floor, put something heavy on your abdomen, breathe until it goes up and down and then stand up and speak.

I guarantee you’ll sound calmer, more authoritative–  possibly even sexier.

And it won’t have cost you a cent.

Frances Cole Jones