Communication, Confidence, Finding your voice, Know Thyself, Natural Voice, Speech, Tone of voice
(audio version of blog below)
For those working with your voice – as a trainer, speaker, on the phone or even those interested in tweaking the sound of your voice, here are my personal top ten tips:
- Be Self-Aware – if interested in improving the sound of your voice for business, or even in general, an awareness of how you sound is the first step. Start by thinking about the following: Do you have a sense of the different voices you use in differing situations? With different people? At various times of day? With certain thoughts or feelings in any given moment?
- Mentally Prepare – BEING confident is key in SOUNDING confident. One must either believe in themselves or their message. Read something positive before speaking. Even better, read something positive someone wrote about YOU!
- Aim for Good Health – This might go without saying. Maybe not. The healthier you are overall, the better you will sound – consistently. What are you doing to contribute to your good or bad health?
- Achieve Consistent, Quality Sleep – Although in line with “good health”, this one needs its own number. Without a good sleep and a well-rested voice (and body), I have very little to go on. What is your sleep number? That is, how many hours do you KNOW you need?
- Be Hydrated – This doesn’t mean drink a glass of water while speaking. This means don’t allow yourself to become dehydrated on a daily basis. Conventional wisdom says 8 glasses a day. Whatever. Just drink water. Adding lemon is also beneficial.
- Sit up/Stand up straight – If you changed your posture right now, your voice would be affected. Give it a try!
- Use Breath Awareness & Support – Using “breathing muscles”, and yes we have them, helps tremendously with vocal pitch and volume – two things to work on when wanting to improve our voice. Quick tip: engage your abs and listen for anything different in your voice.
- Stay Calm – Along with being confident, being calm goes a long way. Ever hear high talkers or loud talkers? Stress and state of mind contribute. Take a moment to take a few breaths.
- Avoid Illness – Again obvious perhaps, but it’s the big picture you want to look at for vocal benefits. Even after illness, our voice is weak. Repeated illness, our voice can change. What can you do right now? Add fresh ginger into your diet. Works for me!
- Watch what you taste just before you speak – eating something sweet, salty, sour, savoury, spicy, bitter, or astringent will have different effects in your mouth, making it “water” or giving you dry mouth. It’s a personal reaction and one worth testing!
Looking forward to expanding on each point and offering tips within the tips! Regardless, all points require tenacity, consistency, self-study, and growth but, you know what they say about anything worth doing…
CLICK TO HEAR>>*”Keep Talking” from Pink Floyd’s 1994 album “The Division Bell”. (I serendipitously came across this incredible YouTube Link of the aforementioned song with clips from the movie, “What Dreams May Come”. Given the timing, you won’t believe the images. Song is 6 minutes long in typical Floyd fashion, but even the first minute is worth a look.)
CLICK TO HEAR AUDIO VERSION OF BLOG>>
N Best said:
Great article! Thanks for sharing and encouraging fundamentals, I’ve been inconsistent lately and want to regain my balance. It’s work focusing on these top ten with the myriad of things in a busy life.
I’m looking forward to your tips within tips. For instance, #1 be self aware – when I remember to listen to the sound of my voice in different situations, sometimes I feel really self absorbed and have difficulty really being present for engagement with others and listening to them. I find my self giving up on the process because it’s disruptive to my conversations.
What has been your experience? How do you prompt yourself to remember to pay attention to your voice? What strategies do you use to listen to yourself while talking?
In any case, I will try to push through the discomfort and just practice. I’ll put the entire list to good use. Thanks again! 🙂
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So glad you received so much from my post! Indeed, balance is what I strive for and it is a constant work in progress, thus my comment about tenacity…
As for listening to my own voice, I’ve really learned so much from recording scripts and listening back day after day. I don’t listen to myself when speaking to others on a constant basis, but I do check in, every so often. When I step up to the mic, I have heard SO many different sounds and voices come through me – and I don’t mean this in a good way – so, I have simply learned from experience what works, and what doesn’t, for my own sound and to satisfy clients to the very best of my ability. I am such a perfectionist about how I present myself, whether with voice jobs or online, that I find I do improve my abilities just by consistently working and putting out the best I can. Another tip I can offer is to record yourself while casually talking on the phone – with friends, family, or clients. That is very revealing and a great learning opportunity!!
Thanks for a wonderful comment!
Great list here, lovely Natasha. Your Pink Floyd reference is brill! (And your blog reading time approximation cracks me up!) 🙂
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So glad you appreciated my post, Debby! I am proud of my simplistic, pithy posts and song title tie ins, and always love feedback!!
Lisette van Raadshooven said:
Such a great blog! So helpful on so many levels. Thank you for your insight and your life tips. When I read your blogs I recevie so many thought provoking and healthy approaches that apply to all practices. You always manage to give me great advice to become more self aware. Thank you!
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So glad you receive something from my posts. ❤
Mary Jane Copps said:
Thank you so much Natasha for this info-filled post. Understanding our own voice is so important yet so many of us (and I include myself in this) don’t pay attention. The information you are sharing here is valuable to a wide range of professionals so I hope you and others are sharing it far and wide. I look forward to your future posts.
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Thanks, Mary Jane! Indeed, this has been a popular post that I’m proud to say has been shared by others! I look forward to elaborating and offering tips for the tips!
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