This month’s blog is a little later than usual as I have just returned from a speaking contract on Cunard cruises. As my voice needed to be in tip-top condition, I was very careful to make sure I looked after it before each lecture.
On my return I spotted this quote from the Times:
“I’m still finding my voice, which sounds terrible, because I’ve been doing stand-up for 10 years” – Comedian Bridget Christie.
It still amazes me that we use our voices for so many purposes but we are not always aware of what constitutes ‘Best Practice’.
So let’s think about how you might use your voice in your business:
A) On the phone
B) Introducing yourself to new clients
C) Giving staff information
D) Inspiring teams
E) Managing problems
F) Presenting to various audiences
What protection techniques should be in place?
a) We tend to slightly over-pitch on the phone, so don’t push the voice and remember to smile to warm up your tone.
b) This can involve can involve some tension so drop the shoulders and breathe deeply to support the voice. Remember that the sound affects people more than the words.
c) Vary the notes of your voice to stop tiredness and to create emphatic stress on key words.
d) Use breath to give your words energy and let the facial expression enhance the effect of the words. Mean what you say.
e) Stress is a key element here. Try to avoid tensing the neck and shoulders as the vocal chords will tighten and become dry quickly. Drink water to reduce this tendency.
f) Warm up your voice to prepare for public speaking using exercises for BREATHING, PITCH RANGE & CLARITY. (see here)
In general, if you are using your voice frequently during the working day, be aware that it has needs, just like the other muscle groups of your body. It will be directly affected by:
- Lack of moisture
- Lack of breath
As your voice has been such an important part of your brand, persona and company, give it a bit more thought and hopefully it will allow you to:
Speak Loud & Clear!
Have a good month and see you in September