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Archive for the ‘Voice’ Category

The 5 Golden Rules of Interviewing:

• Get your predetermined message across.

• Let nothing go by default.

• Keep off other people’s business.

• Only answer the question asked.

• Avoid sounding defensive or that you’ve been ‘got’.

Though the ‘media monster’ may bare its teeth every once in a while, you can actually enjoy going into the fray, have your say and leave them wowed and yourself intact!

Giving simple straight forward answers is not enough. The good TV or radio interviewers are looking to create something that is both entertaining and informative. It is essential therefore to understand what makes for a good interview and will keep the audience’s attention.

Afterwards, encourage those around you to tell you the things you did well. Very few of us make progress by being told what was wrong with our presentation. When we’re up in front of an audience we all have very fragile egos.

Finally, someone once asked Dan Rather what he’d learned in 30+ years of broadcasting. He replied, “Don’t eat spinach before you go on the air.” Good advice. During those 15 minutes of fame no one wants to be remembered as the person with a green glob on their teeth.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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The ability to connect with your listener and to communicate clearly, concisely and confidently is consistently ranked the number one key to success by leaders throughout business, politics and the professions.

 No matter how sound your reasoning, how compelling your arguments, or how logical your conclusions, if you fail to persuade, motivate, and convince your listener your efforts will be in vain. 

And how can you convince your audience – be it an audience of one or one thousand? 

By connecting at an emotional level.

In order to connect successfully with other people your voice must be free, compelling, and authentic.

Add Vocal Variety

Depending on the tone of your voice, you can either instantly engage your listener or turn them off entirely.  Aim for a voice that has a range of tones.  No matter how interesting the information, if your tone is monotonous your listener will tune you out. 

Observe Your Listener

There are numerous traps people can unintentionally fall into when speaking.  Some people speak too loudly in an effort to make others listen.   Others are surprised to learn that they come across as aggressive when making their point.  And there are those who mumble, letting the ends of their sentences trail off, forcing the listener to strain to understand what they’re saying.  When you speak, observe your listener to determine how you’re being received.

 Release Tension

If you’re holding tension anywhere in your body, it will constrict your voice.  A tight voice sends out negative messages, regardless of how you’re actually feeling.  If you’re concerned about what you have to say, yawn before speaking.  Yawning opens your throat, frees your voice and eliminates tense sounds.

 Connect with Your Content

If you fail to make an emotional connection with the words you speak you can’t expect your listener to connect with them either.  Make a list of powerful words – for example, love, hate, beautiful, everything, nothing, always – and practice saying them with energy and meaning. When you feel a connection to the words you speak, your audience will feel compelled to listen to what you have to say.

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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Clear, focused, and powerful language – whether verbal or physical – conveys knowledge, confidence, and authority. Vague, disjointed, and sloppy language – both the spoken word as well as the physical movements – denotes ambiguity and a lack of direction.

Your body language and your spoken language reflect your thoughts and beliefs. Both create an impression of who you are and influence how you are perceived. Your language serves as signals, communicating your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. Decide on the impression you want to create and choose your language accordingly.

To convey a clear message, make sure your spoken language and your body language match. Powerful language delivered from a limp torso sends mixed messages. And when there is a mismatch between the words themselves and the way they’re delivered, people believe what they see more than what they hear.

Follow these simple rules to ensure that you effectively communicate who you are and what you want to say:

  •        Know your audience. For people unfamiliar with a particular subject, the overuse of jargon, technical terms or buzz words can result in misunderstanding and boredom. Make sure the language you use is appropriate for your audience’s level of understanding.
  •        Suit the words to the situation. You wouldn’t go strolling in to a top executive meeting with a wave and a ‘Hi there, how ya doin’?’ anymore than you would march in to a family gathering with a formal handshake and ‘how do you do.’ Read the situation and equip yourself with a vocabulary to suit all occasions.
  •        Start with a clear idea of what you want to say. Use only the words that are essential to your meaning. Clarity and simplicity emanate confidence. Sloppy language indicates sloppy thinking. Be precise in your choice of language or your meaning will be lost, and so will the listener.

REMEMBER: To create a positive impact speak in positive terms. Negative language breeds negativity.

TIP: Avoid words and expressions like: ‘but’, ‘try’, ‘kind of’, ‘sort of’, ‘actually’, ‘basically’, or ‘to be honest’. They are negative, weak, and ineffectual.

TECHNICAL STUFF: Research shows a link between status, power, position and vocabulary. The greater facility you have with words and phrases, the higher up the corporate / social ladder you can go.

CAUTION: Conflicting signals result in confusion. Ensure that your spoken language is congruent with your body language.

FINALLY: Knowing how you want to be perceived, you can equip yourself with a wardrobe of spoken and physical ways of communicating. When your spoken language is congruent with your body language you have the tools to create a powerful impression.

  1.        Don’t blind them with science – unless they’re scientists
  2.        Suit the action to the word, and the word to the action. Suit both to the occasion
  3.        Sack the superfluous – keep it concise

 For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

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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

And…Follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher

Have you ever sat through a presentation that was mumbled, rushed or garbled? No matter how credible the content, the delivery made the message difficult to grasp. To connect with your listener you have to engage at an emotional level. How can you do this? Begin with your voice. An authentic voice is powerful – it represents your values and your vision. Your voice is you.

! Values. What do you most value about yourself? We all have a core set of personal values – positivity and risk-taking are two of mine. For you it may be enthusiasm, finances, generosity, integrity, trustworthiness, family . . . the list is long. Identify which values are vital to your make up. Then consider how you project them in the way you speak. When you speak from your core values your voice resonates with authenticity.

! Vision. How do you currently visualize yourself? How does that vision match/differ from the image you want to project? Visualise your voice at its best. What does it sound like? How are you feeling as you’re speaking? How is your listener responding to you? By making your vocal vision clear and compelling, you can create the voice you want.

! Voice. How do you treat your voice? What thought do you give to vowels and consonants? How quickly/slowly do you speak? Where do you place your voice? What is your voice saying about you?

Remember: Visualising how you want to project your values informs how you speak.

Tip: Correct breathing is essential for a well modulated voice. Align yourself and breathe from your core.

Technical: Research shows that 38% of your message is conveyed through your voice.

Caution: If your throat hurts while practising vocal exercises STOP.

Finally: In order to create a clear, confident, and compelling voice, you must embrace your values. You must be clear about the vision you want to project. And you must treat your voice with respect. A genuine desire to communicate effectively is the foundation from which your authentic voice will develop.

! Identify your values

! Incorporate them in your vision

! Mobilize them in your voice


 Volume does not equal power!

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And…follow us on Twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher


The Voice…Your Second Face

 Your voice reflect how you perceive yourself

It reveals your thoughts and feelings

 Kirstin Linklater, an expert in the field of vocal production says, “Muddy thinking is the fundamental obstacle to clear articulation.  Blocked emotion is the fundamental obstacle to a free voice.”

  • How clear is your thinking?
  • How free is your voice?

 Communication is a contact sport.  Through your voice, manner and bearing you make emotional contact.  Miss that connection and you miss the power to persuade.  One of your roles as a presenter is to establish a relationship between yourself, your material and your audience.

 Every time you present you are giving part of yourself.  When you shut down you make yourself less available to yourself and to others.

 Self-esteem and confidence make it easier to be assertive.

 What we give to our audience is what we get back.  What are you giving?

 You set the tone.  You decide how we will be perceived.  What is your choice?

 The role of the messenger is to support the message.  If there is a mismatch between what you say and how you say it, what do you think your listener will believe?

 If a large audience intimidates you, speak as if there was only one person listening to you.  Make that person your best friend.

  •  What does your voice mean to you?
  •  What qualities in a voice do you like/not like?
  • What have people said about your voice in the past?
  • How would you like your voice to sound?

For more information visit www.kuhnkecommunication.com

And follow us on twitter! www.twitter.com/diamondpolisher

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