I remember when one of my sons was in 2nd or 3rd grade and was practicing reading out loud. He would take a breath after almost every word. Teachers explain to children in that age group that they should wait to take a breath until they come to the end of the sentence. At that age, there are ... Views: 73
I read an article in Psychology Today entitled, Is a Sexy Voice More Attractive Than a Pretty Face? My question with the statistics and the studies is not whether a sexy voice is more attractive than one’s face but how they judged their findings.
There is no doubt that women find men with a ... Views: 349
Were you to give a presentation with no vocal variety, no facial expression and no body language, what do you think the reaction would be of your audience? Unless you are a comedian and that characteristic is part of your ‘shtick,’ do not expect your listeners to be much enamored by your lack ... Views: 856
The answer is maybe. As an example, let's say that you are soft-spoken. If you are asked to repeat yourself a lot, others may think you lack confidence. This is just one description which comes to mind when I hear someone who doesn't speak at a normal volume level in conversation. However, I ... Views: 784
Ending your sentences on the upswing is what I call the Valley Girl sound. Basically, it means that your statements sound like questions. It may be cute for 16-year-olds, but it definitely does not lend credibility to a professional image.
If you are ending your sentences on a pitch higher ... Views: 1609
There is an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, by the same title, about the charismatic influence your voice can have in your professional life. Having analyzed the voices of leaders in countries such as Brazil, France, and Italy, scientists have found that those who exhibited ... Views: 1959
Does this sound familiar? You hear a recording of your voice and you cringe? Perhaps you are embarrassed. Well, you are not alone. Most people do not recognize what they hear on the recording because it does not sound like the voice they hear in their head.
Unfortunately, the voice on the ... Views: 840
Color refers to those various effects in speech which give life to your delivery. Another way to describe color is the emotion and the animation heard in your voice and seen in your body language and facial expression when talking.
The interesting thing about color is that you don’t want too ... Views: 762
As a voice coach, I hate the word loud when it is used in conjunction with the speaking voice. Loud hurts your listeners’ ears; and, over time, loud can hurt your throat. I don’t want you to speak louder – I want you to speak with more power, with an increase in your volume which is not ... Views: 1359
While it is true that most people do not like to hear themselves on recording equipment because they do not like or recognize the sound of their speaking voice, there is another group of people who are also surprised by their lack of clear diction. And it does not just happen to those in which ... Views: 764
One of the most fascinating things I find on television or in the movies is that everyone’s speech is clear and understandable. Whether the actors are playing hoodlums or heroes, whether the characters are from Harlem or Park Avenue, they all speak distinctly. This particular characteristic is ... Views: 773
Have you ever noticed that the best speaking voices in the business are deep, rich, and warm? Think of those actors – both men and women – who are known for having a great sound. Who is your favorite? James Earl Jones or Sean Connery or George Clooney? How about Angelina Jolie, Felicia ... Views: 783
When you increase your volume, does your throat hurt? If you root for your favorite sports team, is your voice hoarse the next day? Perhaps you have no voice by the next day. All three of these situations are known as vocal abuse. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then you are not ... Views: 792
When I first heard the phrase, ‘imagine your audience is sitting in their underwear,' I thought the speech coaches who suggested this were kidding. But they’re not. They are serious. They believe that by focusing on this visualization, you will eliminate your nervousness.
The last thing ... Views: 627
For 5 months of the year, my garden is brown, lifeless, and dull. Were it to remain colorless through the rest of the year, I would have no passion or interest in gardening.
That which makes the voice interesting to listen to – by means of your vocal variety, facial expression, and body ... Views: 783
There is much debate as to the idea of thanking your audience. Some suggest never doing it while others recommend it be done as your parting words. There are even those who prefer that you thank your audience twice, both in your introduction and in your closing.
Thanking your audience in ... Views: 785
Does this sound familiar? You go to a loud club and your friends tell you that they can’t hear you even though you’ve been talking in a louder voice. Your throat feels raw and sore or perhaps you have lost your voice after an hour or two of straining to be heard.
What you are experiencing ... Views: 735
As a people, we are concerned about the image we project. Certainly in business we want to project a professional image. Does your speaking voice complete that image or does it detract? By the way, I’m not talking about the voice you hear in your head. I’m referring to the sound you hear on ... Views: 755
Some years ago, Barbara Walters interviewed Kathleen Turner, commenting on Turner’s “low, wonderful voice.” The actress responded that she could not understand how a woman could spend thousands of dollars on her clothing, hair, and makeup and not spend some of that money on her voice, as she ... Views: 959
The number of adult voices I hear which sound like teenagers, preteens, or younger still is astounding. Add the familiar Valley Girl sound to the picture and you have an image which does not project maturity. I am not talking about sounding old. I am talking about a voice which you would call ... Views: 803
With the world becoming a huge melting pot, we are hearing accents wherever we go and whatever we listen to. This article is not about getting rid of your accent. Accents are part of what makes you, you. I would never advocate trying to eliminate it. The only problem with an accent or even ... Views: 954
One of the difficulties people have with their speaking voice is that they have no control over it. They push hard from their throat and vocal cords to speak instead of allowing their sound to be powered by their chest cavity. And the difference between these two practices can be quite ... Views: 843
When I was in graduate school studying music composition, my singing professor told me that I was not using my ‘real’ voice when I spoke. I had no idea what she was talking about. I thought the voice you had was the voice you would always have. She then explained that the pitch of my ... Views: 910
One of the 1st things you do when you start a new business is to create a business card. While the purpose of the card is to identify you and your business, your goal with that card is to project a positive image of that business. In fact, you should probably hire a creative talent to design ... Views: 801
If a persistent sore throat or chronic hoarseness is something you are experiencing, your 1st step is to find out the cause. If left unattended, it will likely get worse and possibly result in permanent damage to your speaking voice. What I am talking about is known as vocal abuse and it is ... Views: 902
When I first started my voice business, my husband remarked that he did not understand what my clients were saying in their ‘before’ recording. He was, however, able to understand everyone in their ‘after’ clips. Why were my clients speaking more clearly in their ‘after’ recording? While I ... Views: 762
The answer really depends on your topic. There is one situation in which the answer would be, ‘no.’ Let’s say, for example, that you have survived a death-defying event and are being interviewed on TV to talk about your experience. Labeling yourself as an expert is a non-issue. However, if ... Views: 601
I love to hear the excuses my clients give for why they did not do well at their last speaking engagement. Whatever the excuse, in most cases, the real reason for this problem is lack of preparation. I cannot tell you how many people tell me that they went over their material several times and ... Views: 878
In watching TV or the movies, I am always impressed with the diction I hear from the actors. It doesn't matter what characters they are playing. And, it doesn't matter which nationality they are, their articulation is clear and concise. It is part of their training. Can you say the same about ... Views: 701
Today there are numerous ways you can improve the sound of your speaking voice. There are books, CDs, DVDs, webinars, private sessions, group sessions and even Skype. I find that one of the most effective means of discovering your ‘real’ voice is the 2-day workshop.
While voice training ... Views: 815
I recently attended my uncle’s memorial service and it was wonderful to watch 4 of his 6 children talk about him. There is no doubt that all were experiencing butterflies as they stood at the lectern but they did an excellent job controlling their nervousness. The expression of their emotions, ... Views: 856
I recently received an email from a man who runs a museum in Australia inquiring whether he could include my blog posts in his newsletters for his museum guides. Why would a museum guide need information on the voice? Because his employees often speak non-stop throughout their day.
Anyone ... Views: 864
Being expressive when you speak is referred to as color. Color is heard in the various and vivid effects of your vocal sound: it is also seen in your facial expression and body language. Speaking without color is called speaking in a monotone. It is also called boring.
You can have the ... Views: 798
Do you know the difference between diaphragmatic breathing and what you are doing right now? The chances are good that you are a shallow or lazy breather because the majority of the population breathes in this manner. What do I mean by shallow or lazy breathing? Using the upper chest for ... Views: 1192
Excessive nasality or too much nose in speaking definitely has a negative impact on your listeners. A whiny voice can be shrill and is much akin to nails on a blackboard. The good news is that you can eliminate the excess nasal sounds in your voice if you practice and retrain your ‘inner ear’ ... Views: 820
I had a wonderful experience recently as the proud parent of an officer in training in the United States Army. 137 young men and women were given their branching orders. They walked onto the stage alone, faced the audience and said “I’m Intermediate Officer Candidate,” followed by their last ... Views: 822
Too often we concern ourselves with The How of public speaking and give much less thought to 5 other questions we should be asking of our host. Yes, your public speaking skills may be top notch, however, there are certain things you need to know before you do anything else.
All 5 questions ... Views: 653
The first time I heard those specific words was from one of my clients many, many years ago. She had found her ‘real’ voice and told me that her she couldn’t believe what a fantastic tool her voice was for her business.
Let me ask you a simple question. Would you rather listen to a ... Views: 640
If you desire to be a public speaker, then you have a goal that needs to be met if you are going to be successful in your career. I am not talking about the wedding toasting, the valedictorian speech, or a travel presentation to a senior citizens group. I am talking specifically about the ... Views: 609
It never ceases to amaze me how many people want to get rid of their nervousness in public speaking. In truth, they should embrace that wonderful rush of adrenaline. If you’re not nervous when presenting, then I am because being overly confident is never a good thing in public speaking or any ... Views: 2037
I hear from many people about their chronic hoarseness, a persistent sore throat, and even loss of voice by the end of the day. This is called vocal abuse and until you change how you produce voiced sound, you will not stop this abuse.
Most people are using only 4 of their 5 resonators to ... Views: 730
There is no doubt about it. Most people not only dislike hearing themselves on recording equipment, but they also don’t want to believe what they hear. The unfortunate truth about what you hear on your voicemail, camcorder, or some other form of recording is that that sound is exactly how ... Views: 797
In an article I wrote about the value of diaphragmatic breathing in public speaking, what I did not discuss was how this type of breathing is what you must do in order to find your ‘real’ speaking voice. And that ‘real’ voice is deeper in pitch, warmer in quality and resonant in sound.
So ... Views: 1113
There are several dynamics that make for good public speaking but the one component that far outweighs all others is the need to breathe while speaking. Without air, there is no voice. And yet, many novice speakers never think about that life-giving force when addressing an audience. In fact, ... Views: 1725
If there are 2 candidates for a job in which one sounds like a Valley Girl and the other does not, I guarantee that the candidate who speaks with normal inflection will win that battle. When your answers, remarks, or statements are on the upswing, it sounds like you are asking a question. ... Views: 858
If your diction is difficult to understand, it could be due to an accent. Please understand that accents are not a problem. They are part of your culture; part of what makes you, you. If you have an accent, I do not recommend trying to eliminate it. Instead, I suggest you work on speaking ... Views: 1021
Imagine that you are listening to a speaker at a conference or even at the head of the boardroom table and you begin to notice that every sentence is connected with the word and. Have you ever heard this before? Nothing could be less interesting than listening to this dull, unimaginative style ... Views: 1833
You know others ask you to repeat yourself (a lot) and you know that you lose control of the conversation when people talk over you. You know you have great ideas but those ideas are not being heard because you are often interrupted. You know you are frustrated when you hear, “What did you ... Views: 1043
If you are looking to make the best impression possible, sounding like a Valley Girl is not helping that objective. When you raise the pitch of your voice at the end of every sentence, you lose all semblance of credibility because your statements sound like questions. You may be very ... Views: 956
Imagine standing out from the crowd when you speak. Is it possible? Everyone has a better voice inside of them; unfortunately, most people are unaware of it.
What is a better voice? One that vibrates in your chest when you speak and grabs your listeners’ attention with its warmth and ... Views: 1484