Make Your Voice Work For You
Posted February 7, 2011on:
Whilst many of us take our voices for granted, many respected and influential people undergo voice training to improve their image at some point in their careers. Margaret Thatcher is known to have had voice coaching to lower her voice to sound more authoritative; George Osborne wanted to be closer to the public by sounding less upper class and David Beckham took lessons to deepen his voice in preparation for a career after football. The following explains why being able to control your voice is crucial and how you can learn to use it to your advantage.
Your voice is you. It reveals your history and your present state. Your voice is your most powerful means for communicating. It can strengthen your message or, it can make you sound unconvincing and indecisive, greatly affecting others’ perception of you.
There are different types of voices applied in different contexts. The head voice is used for excitement (children use it all the time), the chest voice expresses authority, the voice of the heart is saved for feelings and is very difficult to access if you’re not connected to the feeling and finally, the gut voice conveys your deepest, truest beliefs.
Women frequently go into their head voice and can be perceived as less credible and persuasive than men. While using the head voice is fine for showing enthusiasm and excitement, avoid staying in ‘head register’ for too long. Equally, don’t use the chest voice too long, as it will sound monotonous. The key to successful application of your voice is variety which keeps your listeners engaged and helps emphasise the points you are making .
Correct breathing is the foundation for a strong voice and is one of the stumbling blocks for both men and women. Standing with your feet firmly planted under your body, hip width apart, imagine yourself as a tree, with roots connecting you to the ground beneath you. Visualise your body filling the space all around you. As you inhale envisage the air filling your body from the bottom up. Another image you can use is to think of the air as warm, golden oil, pouring into your body.
Finally, when it comes to speaking, think about the ‘CAR’ formula – Connect, Articulate, Resonate. Connect with your material and your listener, addressing their needs and concerns. Be articulate – if you can’t be understood your audience will tune out. Resonate – think of yourself as a lighthouse, with your voice like the beam of light, projecting itself into the darkness. You want to resonate both physically and intellectually with your audience so that your message is heard completely.
For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com
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