Does your business have problems being noticed in a crowded market place?
Do you realise that your voice could help you stand out and encourage potential clients to do business with you?
Let me tell you about a recent client who benefited from greater understanding of how to develop his vocal techniques. ‘John’ was a sole trader who had been in business for 10 years. He was successful but wanted to grow his company and move on to bigger contracts. His problem was that he was not a confident speaker and his voice was very quiet. At networking events he felt uncomfortable and often felt that he was not being listened to.
The first thing we needed to address was VOLUME. Everyone has a loud enough voice inside them but they don’t always produce it! A small voice suggests that you are lacking confidence and therefore needs addressing.
Your lungs are the bellows which propel the sound of your voice forward to your audience. The problem is that your lungs are rather restricted within the chest by the ribs and diaphragm and you need to increase your breathing capacity.
Here are some exercises to help you achieve that louder sound:
1. Put one hand on your upper stomach, the other on your lower rib cage. Breathe in deeply. Feel the air pushing your ribs up and out. Your domed diaphragm muscle will then move slightly down and become flat.
2. Release the stronger column of air on a hum ‘Mmmmm’ You should feel a tingle on the lips.
3. Do this again and place your hands on your cheeks and nose to feel the resonance created in your head.
4. Repeat these actions many times until the action feels easy. Make sure you are filling up from the ‘stomach’ area first.
5. When the action feels comfortable you can practice throwing words forward on the increased breath column. Use the days of the week, months of the year, numbers etc.
6. Concentrate on how it FEELS when you produce the louder sound.
7. Maintain frequent practice until this method of breathing becomes a habit.
‘John’ found that the sensation of effectively projecting his voice was enjoyable, surprisingly effortless and gave him a sense of control. At business events he felt more confident and was able to give small presentations on his business. Obviously, these exercises were not the only thing is that ‘John’ did to change his vocal delivery but the ability to be HEARD was a crucial part of his vocal development.
Try these exercises yourself and see how it feels. Changing habits isn’t easy so be patient. It might also be helpful to ask someone you trust to tell you what they think of your vocal power. Ask them to be honest.
Good luck. Remember, you want to make a positive impact whatever you are doing in business. Make sure your voice helps rather than hinders you.