Saturday, January 8th, 2011
Ted Williams: A Golden Voice, and Priceless Inspiration
For those of you who follow my blog posts regularly, you know I usually take a story or news-maker from the headlines, and break down the critical communication elements of the speaker, then offer tips of my own for how to perform your best in a public setting. Today, I can’t help but just write for the sake of acknowledging an incredible gift and simply pointing out the power that comes with it.
If you haven’t heard the name Ted Williams from Columbus, Ohio in the last few days, you’ve been living under a rock. He’s the homeless man who has been offered dozens of voiceover contracts and opportunities, full time jobs, and someone even offered him a house. It all came flooding in, when America heard his incredible, velvet, even golden voice.
In media and presentation training I often share with my clients that 38% of your first impression impact is determined by your voice tone. That’s followed by 55% of your impact based on body language and appearance and 7% on words. For the first time in my 10 years of client training, I’m going to say I might beg to differ with more than 40 years of research, this one time! His voice is what grabbed an Ohio videographer and made him stop and shoot video of Ted. His voice is what helped that video then go viral on YouTube. His voice is what beckoned job offers, phone calls, appearance requests, and even long awaited outreach from his 90 year old mother.
His body language no doubt influenced by years of drug and alcohol abuse, his once wild bushy hair and teeth worn down by neglect are all there for one to notice, but as soon as he opens his mouth to say…well…ANYTHING…all of that disappears and the listener can only focus on his silky voice. He now keeps the package attractive by trimming his locks, wearing some brightly colored and very classy sweaters, shirts and even a tie. Plus, let’s not forget his incredible manners. Plenty of “yes ma’am” and please and thank yous, to go around. All of the communication pieces (words, voice tone and body language) are present and accounted for, but today, they have new meaning, new emphasis…a bigger voice. (pun intended)
May the redemption story of Ted Williams, not to mention his incredible voice and desire to live up to his potential, be a little incentive to you to give someone, anyone, a second chance. As Ted says, never judge a book by its cover. The book might just surprise you, if you take the time to open it up and read a little.
No tips today, or reminders. Just simply an acknowledgement of a true vocal gift, and a statement of pride in everyone who chose to stop this one time, to hear another man’s story. It’s just one of the reasons why I love my job, and my opportunity to help clients find their inner communication gift. May their powers to communicate elevate them to their next great opportunity, like Ted Williams’ is doing for him.
P.S. If you really haven’t seen his story, you owe it to yourself, and everyone you know who has ever had a life struggle to watch this interview:
Tags: alcohol, Cleveland Cavaliers, columbus, drugs, golden voice, homeless, interview, Jimmie Fallon, Karlyn Lothery, Kraft, Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera, Ohio, redemption, second chance, shelter, Ted Williams, Today, Tonight Show, voiceover
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