Friday, September 23, 2011

Sofia Majewski - Find your unique voice

     Find your unique voice


My clients often ask me what I mean when I say "find your unique voice".

Often when people make a speech or presentation, they think they have to "put on a voice" that is not their own conversational voice. They do.  It is their own voice – but it’s their “Performing Voice”.    As a Speaker you need to project your voice and speak clearly, but you don't need to be an Orator, or a Preacher. That is, someone other than yourself.

I do recommend, however, that when you rehearse your speech, you rehearse out loud. It’s not the same if you just read it to yourself.  Find a corner in your house – and stand close to it.  This acts as a microphone.  You can hear and grow comfortable with the sound of your own voice.  This is a very useful practice because one of the things that can make you nervous is when you start to speak and all you can hear is your own voice!

If you speak frequently to audiences - there are many things you can do to improve your voice, so that it is "listenable."  For example, you need vocal variety so your audience doesn't drift off to sleep on a monotone. And many women find they can improve their voices by lowering their range a little.  It is well accepted that a lower voice commands more authority.

Don’t rush your speech.  People who are nervous tend to do this – so it can all be over and done with.  As always, timing is everything.  Don’t forget the pauses – for effect. We repeat for emphasis and we pause for effect.

Finding in your voice the range that is comfortable for you; the pace, the tone and the volume, is what I do for my clients, as a Speaking Coach.  By using video to record your speaking, playing it back and listening to it critically, we find and refine your unique voice. One that is comfortable and sustainable for you and enjoyable for your audiences.

That way, your speech will have a better chance of achieving your purpose!  You will grow in confidence as a speaker and find your unique voice!

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