Most of us would feel uncomfortable. Most of us would think that we don't want to hear our own voice on a recorder. Therefore, most of use would not do it.
To follow this, I ask a hypothetical question, "If we are uncomfortable about our own voice, we we think our own voice sounds weird, strange or bad, how do you think that impacts how others hear our voice whether that's in a face-to-face presentation or daily status phone calls with clients?"
Most people know exactly where I am going with this line of thinking and immediately want to learn some tips in improving their voice quality. Many of us assume we speak well just because we know how to talk. However, if we are asked to speak on the phone to foreign clients or asked to give a presentation in front of our colleagues, suddenly our voice is silent!
For anyone who speaks too fast, or too slow, mumbles or isn't able to project a clear sounding voice, we start off with these three steps to developing your voice before starting the actual exercises.
- Be more aware of how your voice changes in different situations.
Awareness is the first step in changing any behavior. Gaining awareness is not always easy, but once we build a habit of doing this, it comes as easy. When gaining this awareness, pay attention to the speed, volume, pacing, wording and your feelings.
- Coordinate various vocal functions
When we improve our speech, we are able to coordinate our vocal cords, breath, and resonance cavities to produce a clearer, more engaging and confident voice in a variety of situations.
- Take slow and even breaths before speaking
Our breathing takes different forms based on our mood or feelings. Have you ever noticed how your breathing changes when nervous, relaxed, happy or sad? How does your voice change when you give a positive and happy message to your manager or client to when you have to delay a deadline or discuss some changes that may impact the client? Learning to control our breath while speaking helps in addition to taking a few deep breaths before speaking.
These tips are also a part of the video below entitled, "Voice Projection: How to Manage Your Voice Under Pressure, Stress & Nervousness"
To continue on to the breathing and voice clarity exercises, click here.
For more tips on speaking clearly, view almost 30 tutorials by clicking here.
Jennifer Kumar helps Indians to communicate more clearly with their US counterparts over the phone or face-to-face through voice work and other cross-cultural awareness exercises. Contact her for more information here.
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