Valley GirlEse Doesn\\\\\\\'t Sell -- Professionalism Does

Published: 17th August 2010
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Recently, I had the opportunity of working with a group of young professionals in a corporate workshop on voice and presentation skills. Comprising six women and one man, the group was under 30 years of age except for one woman who was 32. Smart, savvy, outgoing and most able, this group took me by surprise when I heard them in normal conversation.

Reminding me of a ‘Valley Girl’ in their speech habits, these highly-educated young people (including the young man) ended their sentences by inflecting the pitch of the voice up, as if they were asking a question. They were not, however: they were making statements.

As I sat there listening to this preponderance of Valley Girl-ese, it dawned on me that they were all part of Generation Y and had been raised on MTV and the media – definitely not the best influence on our young people.

My private, group and corporate work in the past has involved men and women of all ages. This was the first time, however, that I had dealt with young people entirely within my own two sons’ generation. Most of these young adults had graduate degrees; and, I was taken back when I heard them speaking in this manner.

Projecting the right image in business encompasses not only your message and your visual image but also involves the sound of your voice and how you deliver your message. If you are over 21 but sound like a 12-year-old, a prospective employer will think you sound immature. If you are speak in Valley Girl-ese to boot, his/her opinion of you will lessen even more so.

Finding a job in today’s questionable economy with high unemployment is extremely competitive; and, businesses are seeking the ‘cream of the crop.’ No matter what your level of education, how you deliver your message – be it in conversation, over the phone, or at the lectern – speaks volumes about you. While you may have the degrees behind your name, sounding immature when you speak negates those degrees. If a prospective employer has a choice between you and someone who sounds confident and mature, the choice will not be in your favor.

If you plan to climb the corporate ladder, drop the Valley Girl-ese and learn to speak with the right inflection; otherwise, those who are experienced and are in a position to do the hiring and firing may find it difficult to take you seriously. Valley Girl doesn’t sell – professionalism does!

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover the best means of sounding more mature.

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