Last week I was not looking forward to my upcoming 2-day workshop in Chicago. I had gotten a cold/flu the previous Sunday, after attending my high school reunion the night before – and hopefully not infecting everyone who was there.
In any event, I so wanted to cancel the workshop because I didn’t know how I was going to get through it. 8 hours of talking for 2 consecutive days is rough on the speaking voice when you’re healthy, let alone when you’re sick. It is also the 1st time I have ever been sick for a 2-day workshop.
Things didn’t start well on Thursday when I found my seat on the plane and felt the cold air surrounding me. The flight attendant assured me it was ground air (what? It was 75 degrees outside!); and, that it would be better once in flight. How wrong she was as I sat there freezing for the next 2-1/2 hours. [Any improvements I had made during the week were lost because of that flight.] No, I didn’t feel well and didn’t want to be in Chicago; however, as they say, the show must go on and indeed it did.
I had a most supportive group who not only thanked me for not canceling but also made some very dynamic changes. All my groups vary in temperament and I was truly blessed by the support I received from this particular group.
I am also most grateful for the power of the mind because without it, I never would have survived. It is amazing what you can do when you set your mind to accomplish the tasks at hand, no matter what your body is saying. And, during those 2 days, between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, my body worked just as if I were not sick. Admittedly, by 5 pm I was beat but I am so glad that I was able to give my best to the group even though I was ‘under the weather.’
The last avenue of thanks goes to my breathing. Without a doubt, my breathing allows me to alleviate much of the stress in my life that shallow or lazy breathing cannot do. In fact, shallow or upper chest breathing actually increases your stress; breathing with the support of your diaphragm, however decreases it.
If you want the best piece of advice that I can offer regarding voice training, presentation skills, or your life in general, it is to learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm. It can change your life in ways you cannot imagine, both professionally and personally!
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. For more information on upcoming workshops, visit Nancy's Voice Training Workshops.