What does an elegant woman sound like? And is it totally necessary to always be aware of how you sound to others?
Both of these are tricky questions – elegant can mean different things to different people. Some believe that voice awareness is important. Other’s don’t.
The thing is, no matter who you are, sounding elegant is NOT about suppressing your natural voice or personality. It’s a matter of thinking about the way you speak in consideration to others – so you can present the best version of yourself and hopefully be top of mind as a charming and professional person.
So what exactly does it mean to sound elegant?
Well, I like to think of one example that showcases just how important sounding simply lovely impacts a personal brand.
Before Catherine Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge, she most definitely had a natural way of speaking to her. Everyone is unique, right? Supposedly, she did get training on how to speak like a royal – which means she has to be understood well by all, control her vocabulary, and control the volume at which she speaks depending on the situation.
Over the years you can hear how her voice has slightly changed (mind you, she always sounded quite lovely).
I can appreciate what Catherine learned – speaking elegantly is something I have been working on for years and can proudly say my speaking skills have allowed for ample opportunities and job offers. It’s nice to hear “you sound like you know what you’re talking about” even if you feel you don’t.
So today I want to give you some tips I learned, and some I’m sure Catherine has learned, on how to sound like an elegant woman. Keep reading!
1. Practice Enunciation
Both of my parents were immigrants and I learned language from them. English was my first language, but because I had foreign parents, what I knew about enunciation came from them. It wasn’t very good. And I got made fun of for mispronouncing words, talking too fast, and slurring my speech.
What worked in correcting my enunciation was practicing. And yes, I would say things out loud: slowly and making sure that I spoke clearly with every syllable until I got it right.
2. Avoid Swearing
Now this isn’t a criticism on anyone who chooses to use swear words regularly, but swearing can be off putting in a professional setting. If you want to sound elegant, reserve the swearing for home and mind your manners while out (yes, even if you stub your toe). An elegant woman doesn’t swear in the company of others.
3. Choose Your Words Wisely (the Royal Approach)
The Royal approach is to use simple and understandable language to all. Choosing words wisely doesn’t mean flipping through your thesauruses to say “thus” instead of “so”.
When you speak, speak so that others can understand you. Speak simply. Speak so you don’t intimidate others with your words. (I got this idea literally from a job posting for a social media coordinator at Kensington Palace!) When you do this, people will appreciate you because you aren’t showing off and you are making sure they feel included. An elegant woman always takes others into consideration.
4. Speak Without Fillers
Fillers are words you use between words. It’s a very common practice and isn’t necessarily bad.
They are words such as “umm, like, uhhh, err, ahh, and so”. Good speeches don’t use fillers.
But elegant women use them too! Just keep it to a minimum. Fillers are used mostly because someone is struggling with what to say. They haven’t thought about it before speaking. It’s sort of like mind before voice in this case.
An easy way to prevent the “umms” and “likes” are to speak slowly. Form the sentence in your head before saying it. And the best tip I learned? Replace the fillers with pauses. It’s usually where fillers want to go: between thoughts and when the sentence changes. So instead of saying “umm” or “like” just pause…and continue with your story.
Let me know how this works for you! It really helped me.
5. Control the Volume
Elegant women know when to use their indoor and outdoor voices. Even when they laugh indoors, they are considerate and avoid turning heads. It’s actually part of their charm…they are soft spoken and often times the person listening to them needs to lean in a bit more to hear them.
While it might seem “popular” to be talking loudly about your new car, an elegant woman never boasts, never yells, and certainly knows that there are others around her who are there to enjoy meals, read books, or carry on with meetings.
6. Speaking with Kindness and Grace
One of the most important ways to sound like an elegant woman is to speak with kindness and grace. They know their manners: they know when to speak, when to listen, and when to interrupt. An elegant woman sounds pleasant with her words and make sure others feel enlightened, not unimpressed after speaking to her.
You see, none of this is about suppressing your personality. An elegant woman can still be moody, hyper, happy, heated, sad, confident, shy, or any emotion you can think of.
But most of all, sounding elegant is just being considerate – and the world could do with a bit more of that, don’t you think?
What does sounding elegant mean to you? I’d love to read your thoughts. Please leave a comment in the comment box section below this article. Let’s chat!