When you are a trainer, no matter what the subject, you must deliver your information in a way which stays in the brains of your audience.
This presupposes that you have a voice which is suitable for the job. The ideal voice will be:
- LOUD enough to be easily heard
- CONTROLLED enough for the words to be understood
- PLEASANT enough for the tone to be engaging
If you are lucky, you will have exactly the right vocal attributes to succeed as a trainer but if you struggle to keep everyone’s attention of if your voice hurts or dries up at the end of the working day, what can you do?
START WITH VOCAL POWER
- Consider the space you are in and the size of your group
- Mentally focus on ‘throwing’ the voice to the back of the space
- PROJECT by expanding the lungs and chest (relax the abdominal muscles; allow the domed diaphragm to flatten downwards and draw in more air)
- The air is expelled in a strong column through an open throat and controlled by the abdominal press
- Feel the note resonate in the upper chest and head with this exercise:
On 5 separate breaths,use a range of sounds like AH, OH or OO and try to expel the breath evenly to keep the note also even. Lower notes will help the throat relax and will resonate more. Time yourself and try to lengthen your control of each succeeding breath.
OPEN YOUR MOUTH MORE
- Your lip and tongue muscles need to be strong and flexible
- Improve clarity by taking your time and making consonants firmly
- By concentrating on keeping your voice constant you become more aware of what your body needs to deliver information with clarity – especially when moving
HOLD THE ATTENTION
- This involves moving your voice about on the full range of notes
- Think MUSICALITY
- Practice scales – singing and speaking
- Aim to emphasise key words
- Don’t be monotonous or repeat vocal patterns
- Vary the pace but never speak too fast or your words won’t be understood
- Vocal tone is probably the most common and important concern of trainers and their audiences
- If you really connect with your words, your tone colour should be natural and welcoming
- It is important to recognise when something isn’t right
- Your voice is unique to you and you only get one!
- If you use it poorly and consistently put it under pressure, you can damage it
- I have worked with trainers who have developing nodules on their vocal cords
- Tiredness, dryness, soreness and loss of some notes or pitch bands require expert medical advice
If you want to be a successful trainer throughout your working life, you must learn to:
& SHUT UP! (rest your vocal cords)
Look after your voice and it will make your career. Ignore it and it could well break it.
Speak Loud & Clear!