Raise your words, not your voice

Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.

Did you know that most people don’t learn many new words, read many books or stop and think about why their Public Speaking Skills are important? This is interesting tome since those are the three things I think about all the time.

As a speaker I am always interested in words, not only for the meaning, but also for the interpretation. How do others hear certain words and how do they react to the word? And What about those words that have no meaning to them? I had an occasion to sit next to someone who was book smart for many months. They would use words I had never heard so I’d secretly write down the word (as I thought it might be spelled) and then go home and look it up. Then I added it to my list of words for the week.

One of the reasons I did this is because I know the value of words. I know how we say things and the tone we use conveys a multitude of messages. I saw the chance to learn and grow as an education for which I didn’t have to pay. Especially in my line of work, it would pay dividends for a lifetime if I would pay attention and listen and learn.

I came across a quote by the poet Rumi and he says this: “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder…”

What a nice way to think about our words and tone and tenor of our speaking voice.

In my work as interview and presentations coach, I come across all sorts of dialects, drawls, and diction. In a funny way this parallels my favorite TV show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.

When you think about your voice and the words you use, how do others hear you (and please tell me you have thought about this) you need to also consider raising your words or growing your vocabulary to increase your value.

And not only increasing your vocabulary for business sake, but also for your life and those you love and care for…

The Bible says a soft answer turns away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger. That is perfect with our thought for today – it’s the rain not the thunder that makes the flower grow.

This was a hard lesson for me to learn when I was younger as I was all about the thunder. As the youngest of 5 and the only girl, I worked hard to be heard. Although I am all about thunder, the reality is that is not professional and rarely does it accomplish what you think it will. In many cases it is just the opposite because thunder usually falls on deaf ears-it becomes only noise and not words we hear or value.

Thanks for reading. If you have a friend who needs to hear today’s message please forward this email.  I am reading this week’s podcast in the link below. You can listen now or download for later. Download all my podcasts from iTunes, Stitcher, Podkicker or Soundcloud. I am now publishing on Medium – please follow me here