Last week I went to the theatre. That’s not unusual as I originally trained as an actress and the stage is my second home but the play I saw had a powerful link to some of my business voice coaching.
It was ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ by Jim Cartwright. You may have seen the film starring Jane Horrocks, Ewan McGregor, Brenda Blethyn and Michael Caine. The story concerns the painfully shy daughter of a loud-mouthed mother who hardly ever speaks. Although she is a young adult, she is unable to say how she feels because she doesn’t have the confidence to do so. She hides in her room with the records of great female singers, (a collection given her by her dead father), and when she needs to release emotion she sings to the records. When she does this she becomes the singers completely. She finds the power and resonance of Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, Edith Piaf and several others. A tour de force role for the young actress but also thought provoking when linked to the business world.
- Do you HAVE A VOICE in your business?
- Are you heard?
- Are you listened to by those who matter?
A key reason that people get passed over in open discussions and group meetings etc. is that their voice isn’t noticed. They literally have a LITTLE VOICE. This is not confined to women as I am currently working with 2 men (an executive in a global conglomerate from Hong Kong and a politician) to increase vocal power.
Why might your voice come across as too quiet?
- You have a small body frame
- You have an introvert personality and prefer to keep to yourself
- It’s a habit
How can you improve?
- Breathe more positively (this actually produces a bigger note)
- Become aware of the vibration (resonance) in your head. Try humming and feel your cheeks and nose.
- Allow the voice to reach the listeners by wanting to be heard. Amazingly your brain has to give permission before all the physical actions can work.
- You will have more impact and clout
- You will be listened to
- You will feel more confident
I wish I could say that volume is an easy thing to change. It isn’t, I’m afraid, because it is a habit and habits are hard to break. However, having some focus on it is the first step.
As I have a constant stream of enquiries about this issue, I know how important having a loud enough voice can be.
I wonder how many of you have been following my basic voice course on LinkedIn? You can read the daily snippet at 7:00am and 7:00pm. When it is completed I am hoping to produce a book of tips.
Well, that’s about it for this month, except for those reluctant PUBLIC SPEAKERS amongst you.
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Thanks for your continued interest and remember to
Speak Loud & Clear!