Professional Voice Use
If you use your voice for a living this means that you rely on it for success in your business. This is obvious if you are a professional speaker, singer, actor or teacher. However, if you talk with many people in the day, have to guide people, present at meetings, make announcements, chair meetings or field phone calls, you are still a professional voice user. So, your voice IS your business. Without it you can’t do your job, run your business or be successful.
Your ability to communicate your message is the most important thing about your voice. For me this is true regardless of what field I’m working in. To truly communicate you need to convey something of yourself, to be authentic. This takes connection with your emotions, beliefs and values as well as physical know-how with your voice. The people you are trying to reach will then be engaged and interested, setting you up for greater success. You will get your message across.
So how can you get the best out of your professional voice? Read on…
1. Your voice is YOUR business!
Your voice is your own and you are in charge of it. This is an interesting thought; it is your responsibility, nobody else’s, even your voice coach’s, if you have one. So, rather like your car you need to look after it:
- Find out how your voice works, so that you can give it basic maintenance.
- Learn how to control it in different situations (the driving test).
- Keep it tuned up and working efficiently (the MOT).
- Know when you need to ask someone for help e.g. a voice trainer or medical practitioner (call the mechanic!).
2. Check the fundamentals
People sometimes pick up ideas when talking about voice, perhaps without fully understanding what these ideas mean. It is worth finding out. The picture below shows some of the typical words (on the left) which are linked to the vocal skills that professional voice users need to develop. This isn’t the place to explain each one, another blog perhaps. On the right hand side however, I’ve included what these skills can do for you and your voice (read across)! Now that’s worth exploring.
3. Explore what your voice can do
It’s easy to feel that your voice is exactly that, just your voice, and that it can’t change. This is not true. You can learn how to change it and still sound like you. So, once you have the fundamentals covered:
- Challenge yourself with something new e.g. a new monologue, song style, type of performance arena. Whatever suits you as a professional voice user. explore, play, record yourself. Find out what works and what doesn’t.
- Take some training if need be to help you to do this.
- Don’t be afraid of change. It is the one constant in life – things change!
- Be open to learning new skills.
I’ve mentioned this one before in a previous blog, so it’s worth a look if you have time. Not to put too fine a point on it, you can’t keep things up to scratch or learn new skills without practice. It’s the way the brain works. See more about this here from my colleague Jeremy at Vocal Process.
Therefore, make sure your practice is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound). This is a well- worn acronym, but very useful. It’s good for your training goals as well.
Believe in what? Yourself of course. It sounds easy but can take some personal work. Believe that you can do the best with the voice you have at any given time. You can also improve your knowledge and ability as you go, albeit with some help and training if you need it. Self- belief will connect your voice to reflect your personality in a way that will help you to communicate more fully.
If you’d like to explore any of the above ideas for yourself why not get in touch for a free Vocal Strategy Call. Also, you can catch me live on Facebook most Saturdays at 11.00am discussing a range of related topics.