You’re probably really good at what you do, but maybe everyone doesn’t know the full extent of it. When you find your true voice, you can get your message out there when it matters most.
Scroll down to the Find Your True Voice section if you want to skip the background & go straight to the techniques.
Art of Speaking
By making improvements to the way you communicate with others, you’ll improve your life. When you find your true voice, people will understand your message & follow your directions easily, thereby improving your life.
Sounds like a big claim, right? I can prove it.
If you improve the way you communicate with others, you’ll see immediate results. You will be more persuasive, you will have better professional and personal relationships, and you will significantly reduce negative communicative situations. And you will excel as a public speaker.
There are situations in life that can cause high stress. Giving presentations or needing to deliver bad news. When we have disagreements or encounter conflict, many people shrink away instead of dealing with these things head-on. Or worse, some of us will react explosively or in a way that doesn’t help our cause. Also, all of this stress over “anxiety-ridden communicative situations” can cause a lack of sleep and health problems.
You need to know that your voice can help you take control and turn stressful confrontations into stress-free discussions. Make tough situations work in your favor. Turn your detractors into supporters just by changing what you say and how you say it. The results are life-changing.
Why Should You Find Your True Voice?
One of my beautiful clients, Alicia, mid-way her training with me, said, “Now I’m having such a powerful impact on people that I have to turn it down. People are doing what I tell them to do & I’m not used to it!'”
When Alicia and I started working together, she would be reluctant to speak. When she found the courage to voice an opinion, she would make the mistake of using too many filler words and a small voice. Now, she’s crystal clear, concise, and highly influential.
What we can do with our communication skills is so powerful it can be frightening. I ask my clients to use their new skills “for the good” 🙂 because when you find your true voice, you are so much more powerful and persuasive.
Eliminating Passive Speech
For almost 20 years, I’ve been helping my clients to make their communication more compelling. I worked with Karen, the HR Director in a Fortune 500 company. She reported to the CEO, and the relationship with her boss was a bit strained. He micromanaged her and was a little abrupt.
Karen and I did a little role-playing, and I learned that she was using the passive voice and undermining herself by ending her recommendations with a yes/no question. She would say, “This is only just a first draft, I only just started working on it.” She should have been saying, “This is a first draft, and I welcome your thoughts.” That would’ve been more direct and come across my secure & confident.
We made her message concise, authoritative, yet warm. We gave her an “executive” vocal presence. Her relationship with her boss has improved markedly. They get along better, and he doesn’t micromanage her anymore. Now, he often requests her opinion early in his decision-making process.
Concise = Strong
I was working with an amazing marketing firm, helping them to get more business by training their marketers to be more persuasive during client meetings. One genius designer was role-playing with me how he was going to present his deck to his prospective client. He started by talking about his education & experience as well as that of his team. As impressive as it was, it’s not going to convince the firm to hire them. We reorganized his message to be more client centered, solution-oriented. And more concise. It was magic! He embraced it immediately & was able to apply it to his life straight-away. And they got the client! Easy Peasy.
Find Your True Voice
As a result of speaking better, each of these clients has an easier, more productive life. They don’t dread meetings where they have to give bad news. They aren’t afraid asking for a raise (so they do!), and they’re super comfortable making sales & speaking in front of an audience. What’s does it cost you not to find your true voice?
The first step is to be entirely & utterly relaxed. What does this do? It helps you to keep your throat open so the air can resonate fully. Being relaxed results in an authoritative, yet warm sounding voice. One trick to learn how to be habitually relaxed is to do tensing & releasing exercises.
First, tense up a small group of muscles,
focus on the tension,
then release it, focusing on the absence of tension.
This process helps you to become familiar with the tension in your vocal mechanism that you didn’t even know was there! You must be aware of the tension before you can eliminate it! 🙂
Abdominal Breathing for Speech
The next thing when you want to find your true voice is to use abdominal breathing for your speech. Literally, allow the air to come from your abdomen & let your voice take a ride on that air.
The muscles that are designed to innervate the lungs so you can breathe are your diaphragm & your abdominal muscles. In shallow breathing or vertical breathing, you are only engaging the upper part of your lungs & not getting air to the lower parts of your lungs. Using shallow breathing causes you to have a voice that’s thin and not your true voice.
Here’s the technique:
Stick your stomach out about an in or so
Then breathe in, directing the air down to your stomach
Breathe out, watching your stomach fall back in again.
Don’t worry! For speech, you only need to move your abdomen about 1/8th or 1/4 of an inch. Just do an inch or so during practice. Once you get it coordinated, it’ll become second nature.
Use a Full Resonance
Lastly, you’ll need to let the air really resonate. For a Standard American English accent, you’ll want to focus that vibration over the back of your tongue. Once you’ve found your true voice, you’ll want to start using it during the various speaking situations of your life.
Make sure your vocal mechanism is relaxed & open; you’re using abdominal breathing for speech and out you will find your true voice!
Tell me what you think! Have you found your true voice? What are your tips and tricks for speaking with your healthiest & most resonant voice? Comment below I want to hear from you! 🙂
Watch this video with Ita Olsen: Why am I Not Automatically an Incredible Speaker