Voice Skills

by Judy Apps

Common questions

  1. How can I sound more authoritative and confident?
  2. How do I project my voice?
  3. How do I get people to listen to me?
  4. What does it mean to speak from the heart?
  5. How can I prevent my voice getting strained or tired?

 

1. How can I sound more authoritative and confident?

People sound authoritative when they take their time, speak at a fairly low pitch, and give confident cadence and emphasis to what they say.

  • First, standing balanced and poised, breathe fully.
  • Relax, and then speak with a deeper voice from your chest.
  • Emphasise the important words strongly, taking your time.
  • End your sentences on a low cadence, with a sense of finality.
  • Avoid stuttering, hesitating and all extra non-verbal sounds: instead speak with a confident articulate flow.

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2. How do I project my voice?

‘Stop trying so hard!’ would be the short answer. Getting your voice to carry is as much a state of mind as a technical skill. If you fill the room mentally, your voice is likely to follow.

  • Stand open and tall, then relax, relax, relax.
  • Create a strong intention to be listened to – if there were a fire, you would get yourself heard wouldn’t you?
  • Breathe! And use your breath!
  • Think in terms of sound waves spreading out from you in all directions and echoing back to you from the walls.
  • Speak from your whole body, not just from the neck upwards.

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3. How do I get people to listen to me?

People will listen to you if they can hear and understand the words you are saying with the minimum of effort. If you have a lot to say, make sure you introduce a variety of means to express your thoughts and then you will keep people’s interest.

  • Be clear and audible!
  • Speak at a steady pace.
  • Vary your delivery – any voice becomes monotonous if it carries on at the same speed and volume and with the same degree of emphasis.
  • To interrupt someone, use a louder tone just for your entry, then settle into a quieter tone.
  • Learn Rapport – but that’s another subject...

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4. What does it mean to speak from the heart?

Your voice resonates in different parts of your body – up in your head, in your throat, your upper chest, and from lower down, in the area of your heart. When you speak with genuine emotion and passion, your voice naturally resonates from that deeper place and connects with people more intimately.

  • First, learn how to relax your throat and jaw so that the sound you make is not tightly held.
  • When you are speaking about something you care about, allow yourself to feel the feeling that goes with the thought – it’s as simple as that. When you do that, your voice naturally resonates from that lower place.

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5. How can I prevent my voice getting strained or tired?

First learn how to breathe and produce your voice naturally and easily, and then it will serve you well. Learning how to sing is a great way to get in tune with your voice and use it without straining.

  • Rest your voice from time to time, and especially if you have a cold virus.
  • Avoid clearing your throat frequently.
  • Avoid yelling and raucous singing – and especially when combined with smoking and alcohol – very bad for the voice!

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