Talking Beyond Talk #6: Articulate for Influence

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 Describing The Articulate Voice  

The articulate voice brings the world around us to life. It is descriptive of our experiences, ideas, opinions, and feelings. This is the voice that bridges us to what is happening around us and within us.
Beyond narration, the articulate voice also acts as a powerful tool for affirmation, validating the experiences of people, bringing a sense of connection and inclusiveness to the conversation. It is why in SoundWave, we believe that ‘to articulate’ carries a great power for influence
In everyday life, the sound of this voice is continuous, and quietly assertive. It is the background beat of dialogue, our everyday articulations…’yeah, well…I spent the first hour on the phone to Tom; nightmare!…I need to do something about his attitude. He just never stops. But then I managed to speak to Nadia and the world seemed a bit brighter.’ Or, ‘Look, let me explain this to you for a moment…I don’t think I’ve been clear’.
It is important to be mindful that in the SoundWave context, the articulate voice is not synonymous with eloquence, as in, ‘she’s very articulate’. The verb describes the use of a way of speaking (a voice), the noun a level of capability. For us, one can be using the articulate voice and yet be profoundly inarticulate or highly articulate.

Articulate Voice: The Hidden Power

In Soundwave, the articulate voice refers to the brilliance of storytelling. It is to narrate the world around you in a way that can explain, describe and illuminate facts and ideas to others, drawing them in, capturing their attention and imagination, and imparting a sense of belonging. Its power goes way beyond the simple provision of information.
This voice holds an important place in growing our own oratorical presence. It acts not only as an illustrator of experiences and the connector of ideas, but also creates acceptance and support, even when there is difference of opinion. Simply tune in to a documentary or a podcast, and see how easily you are swept along by the clarity of a story well told.

When we can paint a clear mental picture, and create feelings of validation within people, we are more likely to convince them. The power of clarity and affirmation carries influence, and that is why the impact of this voice is subtle but strong!

Using the Articulate Voice Too Much, And Too Little 

In conversation, do you ever find yourself holding back from interrupting someone, wishing that they’d get to the point? Or have you ever been told that you ‘talk too much?’
As a voice of narration and description, the articulate voice has the tendency to ‘drone on’, talking beyond the point of no return and de-energising or overwhelming our listeners, who may feel frustrated and annoyed.
However, it is important to use the articulate voice when it is called for, otherwise it amounts to a lost opportunity for influence. Others might come to the view that you don’t quite care enough to intervene, that you’ve become marginal to the discussion and now lack interest.
So where do we find the balance? It is easy to risk overusing or underusing the articulate voice. The rule of thumb is to ensure that your contribution is:
  • sufficient, saying as much as you can, while ensuring that your contribution is
  • necessary, saying no more than you must.

How Can We Articulate For Influence Skilfully?

The articulate voice holds an important place in growing our own oratorical presence. It acts as an illustrator of experiences while connecting ideas together, and is a brilliant example of the subtle influences in our lives. Think of the articulate voice as a tapestry needle, bringing together the strands of ideas that you hear and weaving them into scintillating summaries that attract others and draw them in.
To fully exploit the brilliance of the articulate voice, it is important for us to:
  1. Remember to be impartial – the articulate voice draws power from its neutral and dispassionate tone
  1. Pair it with other voices to avoid the risk of overuse. For example, start by set out the headline of what you have to say, and shift to the inquire voice to understand what your listeners may be thinking
  1. Listen carefully and attentively in order to help people make sense of things

The SoundWave concept highlights ‘to articulate’ as a bridging voice, connecting the dots between understanding and prompts for action. Perhaps this is why good articulators are viewed as natural mediators. Their ability to listen carefully and attentively, and summarise different points of view together clearly helps people reframe their differences and make sense of things. As a result, parties involved feel validated, affirmed and a sense of connection.

Are you an Arch Articulator? Take our SoundWave Brilliance 3 Communication Assessment to find out your top preferred voices!

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Maalikka is the latest addition to SoundWave's team of marketing and content extraordinaries. As an avid reader, writer and learner, she’s always on the lookout for new information online or interesting conversations to inspire her. Her other passions include gaming, Netflix, and cats.

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