My job has recently been transferred from the UK to an Asian country. With the move from my established position to a new challenging role in a new environment, I suddenly found myself lacking my usual level of confidence...

Read more

british accent coaching
Super Speaking Video Courses
Vocal Impact: Download Francesca's DVD and eBook
Let go off Anxiety for now
Let go off Anxiety for now

Positive Voice Blog

Overcome anxiety in one simple step

Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2017 by Positivevoice

Anxiety is a state that comes from within. Yes, of course external factors play a part, but the final decision as to whether you feel anxious is yours. Anxiety can be very useful, as it acts as a warning signal; If you feel anxious about an upcoming commitment, it usually means that something needs to be changed. If you need to pack for your holiday, the anxiety serves as a reminder to finish your packing. If you have a public speaking engagement coming up, perhaps the anxiety is a reminder that you need to prepare your speech. If you have been invited to your ex's wedding, then the anxiety may just be a warning sign that you shouldn't go! Only you can decipher your anxiety. Ask yourself BOLD questions and you will receive BOLD answers.

If your anxiety relates to things outside your control or you struggle to find a rational explanation for it, then my latest hypnotherapy audio may be just what you are looking for. Let go of anxiety now is available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon music.



One Simple Way to Transform Your Voice

Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by Positivevoice

Over the years, I have been constantly looking for the difference that makes the difference in voice transformation. I have had clients who have done it in 3 months and others who have taken years… So, what is it that sets the speedy ‘voice transformers’ apart from the rest?

 

We shall take regular practice as a given (without this, nothing will happen very quickly). So, firstly imagine someone who is practicing the exercises done together in class on a daily basis. Secondly, and here is the ‘trick’; the difference that makes the difference; imagine someone who is becoming very aware of how they sound by making recordings of their voice. In and of itself, this sounds very simple, but it is incredibly effective when done in a certain way. This is the first time I have shared this on a blog, I usually reserve it for my one to one clients, but after coming back from maternity leave, I am feeling excited about sharing these things again, so here it is, in chronological bullet form; one of the best kept secrets; an effective way to reduce your accent:

 

  1. Start by recording your voice in everyday conversation. You may wish to ask someone to do it without telling you (think short recordings of 60 seconds max).
  2. Play back the recordings and make a note of what you like and what you don’t like. Notice what you would like to change.
  3. Make recordings in a variety of situations; at work, on the phone; with your partner or husband or wife and with family and friends. Do you have a ‘different voice’ in different situations? Notice when you use your ‘best voice’. How do you feel in these instances? (Your voice and your emotions are inextricably linked).
  4. Once you have ‘got to know’ your voice, you are ready to start transforming it. Point number 3 will prove very useful and is an exercise to be repeated on a weekly basis. The next point, however, may be the difference that makes the difference:
  5. Find a written transcript with an accompanying audio (Past clients have used: audio books and magazines; such as The Economist and even Harry Potter):
  1. Find a short paragraph and read and listen at the same time.
  2. Repeat point a. several times.
  3. When you are ready (or just before) record yourself reading the passage you have chosen.
  4. Play back the original recording and compare it to your own.
  5. Repeat the process until you are happy with the result.The above exercise is one that I do with my clients on a regular basis. We then go through their audios; correcting rhythm and vocal variety.Please do give this a try and let me know how it goes!


5 Beliefs that Will Make You Feel Happier and More Confident

Posted on Monday, February 09, 2015 by Positivevoice

 

Your beliefs shape your reality. They can affect your levels of happiness and confidence. If you believe that life is hard and that everyone is out to get you, then your behaviour is likely to invite in negative experiences. However, if you believe that we live in a friendly world full of abundance, your behaviour will reflect that and it is likely that your experiences will be different too. That is not to say that you will never encounter challenges or obstacles, but you will find that they are less prevalent in your life when your beliefs are more positive.

 

I choose my beliefs very carefully because I know that they have a big impact on how I live my life and how others respond to me.

 

My Top Beliefs!

 

  1. A positive outlook invites positive experiences

 

  1. Just because I believe one thing and you believe another, doesn’t mean we can’t both be right. There is a great saying in NLP: ‘It’s true if it’s true for you’

 

  1. ‘Being right’ will not necessarily make you happy

 

  1. Those who challenge you can be seen as your greatest teachers- they can be a wonderful catalyst for personal development if you choose to see them in this more positive light.

 

  1. If you feel challenged, it simply means there is room for you to grow. If you embrace the challenge, you will feel stronger

My Beliefs Explained:

 

I believe that the things you are passionate about, combined with your beliefs, will lead you to your life purpose. If you really believe something and are passionate about it, then follow that path.

 

However, expecting everyone to agree with you will set you up for a fall. Just because not everyone agrees, it doesn’t make you any less right or them any more wrong. This is just the nature of beliefs. The challenge here is to feel comfortable enough with your beliefs that you don’t need others to believe them too. Often, people feel the need to convert all those around them in order to really believe that they are right. Perhaps, this is because they are experiencing a tiny element of doubt regarding their beliefs that can only be quashed by converting everyone around them. The irony here is that no belief is necessarily ‘right’- it is only through believing something that you can make it true for you.

 

So, you see, it is important not to confuse beliefs with knowledge. Our beliefs 200 years ago were very different from the beliefs we hold today because we now have more knowledge. For instance, it is just 139 years since the invention of the telephone (Alexander Graham Bell 1876) and 106 years since the invention of television (1909 George Rignoux and A Fournier, Paris). Since these times, we have gone on to develop mobile phones (the first handheld device was created in1973; just 42 years ago) and the internet. I’m sure that many of these incredible inventors were seen as insane in their time because people just couldn’t ‘believe’ what they were hearing. It was too far beyond their limited understanding of the world, and who is to say that our current understanding is really that much greater? You see, we don’t know what we don’t know, do we?

 

Additionally, it has been shown that our beliefs can actually limit us. A great example of this is the ‘four minute mile’. Before 1954, no one believed it was possible to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. Until, that is, Roger Bannister broke the record by running a mile in:  3 minutes 59.4 seconds. Interestingly, as soon as he achieved this, lots of other people followed suit. In this case, it was a change in belief that improved ability. This is a great example of the power of the mind and how an empowering belief can improve our performance.

 

This is why being open minded is so important. Perhaps, anything is possible.

 

 

How to Hold on to Your Beliefs Whilst Respecting Those of Others:

 

  1. Listen with an open mind and remember that just because you are passionate about your beliefs, it does not make them 100% water tight. Do not let fear cause you to become a ‘preacher’. You will help many more people by leading by example (if that is your goal).
  1. Practice Compassion:

People are often fearful when others don’t share their beliefs. Not everyone understands the concept: ‘Being right won’t necessarily make you happy’. In fact, their desire to be right is often so great that they lose friends, sleep and peace of mind in order to prove themselves ‘right’. This is often done through confrontation, which of course breeds more confrontation.

How can you respond to this? 

Forgive them if they get upset or angry. Their emotions relate to fear. They are not their behaviour; their behaviour is just a reflection of their fear.

Practice compassion and forgiveness by seeing their vulnerability.

  1. Flexibility:

Just because I want one thing doesn’t mean that you have to go in that direction too. We are both individuals. It is impossible to change others, you can only change yourself- this doesn’t mean you have to do what they are doing (unless you want to), it purely means that you can choose to change the way you feel about their actions. 

How can you do this?

Again, it comes down to flexibility and forgiveness. You can practice this by changing your thoughts and you can change your thoughts more easily than you would ever believe. One way to do this is to repeat mantras (a mantra, in essence, is just a repeated thought).

Try repeating, “I am feeling more and more confident about my beliefs”.

I choose to believe all these things because they make me feel better.

 

What do you choose to believe?

 

Do your beliefs make you feel better?

 

Do they improve your relationships with others?

As always, please leave your comments in the box, below!



How to Create More Peace in Your Life: My 2 Top Tips

Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 by Positivevoice

“Be the Change You Wish To See In the World”

 

I used to feel that it was impossible for a person like me to incite lasting change in the world. That is until Mahatma Gandhi’s quote really hit home. I have learned that the most lasting change comes when we lead by example, when we inspire others to do as we do. How we behave as individuals is reflected in the behaviour of wider society.

 

The example that you set now and in the future, will set the tone for the next generation. This concept is particularly poignant for me right now, as I am pregnant with my second child. You don’t need to be a parent to lead by example, though. We are all teachers to someone; family, friends, neighbours or colleagues.

 

How can you make a difference?

 

My Top Tips

 

  1. Don’t take things personally:

 

Initially, this is often one of the most difficult things to do, but with practice, it will get easier and easier. All you need to do is remind yourself that when someone gets angry or upset, it is their fear that is talking and not them! (All negative emotions can be interpreted as fear) They are fearful and by responding with anger you only exacerbate the situation until one of you ‘makes peace’ or until you go your separate ways. What if I told you that by changing the way you feel about this person, the whole energy dynamic will improve?

 

When you remind yourself that all negative behaviour is just fear in disguise, you will feel so much better and will realise that there is nothing to take personally. It is all about ‘them’ and nothing to do with you at all. Eventually, all negative emotions will drop away and you will feel only compassion.

 

EXERCISE

 

Think of someone who you have had conflict with; either recently or in the past, (a small argument will do for this exercise) ask yourself:

 

‘Was this about me or them?’

 

If it is about them: Perhaps you remind them of someone or even of themselves: often the behaviour we tolerate least is the behaviour that mirrors our own weaknesses. For instance, if, in the past you had a problem with listening or your attention span was very short, you might find the same behaviour in someone else absolutely intolerable. So, often the behaviour of others is a reflection of your own behaviour (past or present).

 

If it is about you: ask yourself what you were afraid of? What action could you have taken to dissipate this fear? All emotions can be interpreted as a call to action- after all, when you’re tummy rumbles; you easily interpret that as a call to eat. What do you do when you feel sad? Do you continue to feel sad or do you interpret the emotion and find a solution?

 

What could you have done to remedy your fear?

 

  1. Change yourself first!

 

It is impossible to change others through force. In fact, the harder you try, the more they will resist. It is, therefore, much better to focus on developing yourself, as then you can shine with love and humour * and inspire others to follow your lead. Also, the more you work on yourself, the less other people’s behaviour will disrupt your peace and the less inclined you will feel to try to change them, so you see, it is an upward cycle.

 

Humour is a great tool: react with it and respond with it whenever you can. Humour can lighten the saddest and heaviest of moods. As always, practice makes perfect.

 

Final thought: All war; whether it is on the battlefield, in the boardroom or in the classroom, relates to fear. The best way to heal fear is through love, kindness and understanding.



How to stop feeling STUCK & Start feeling MOTIVATED: One simple technique

Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 by Positivevoice


I have a great remedy for anyone who has ever felt de-motivated and lack lustre. If you have ‘been there’, you will know that sinking, low, frustrated feeling I am talking about. For some people it leads to tears and for others it manifests itself in anger. Like a rabbit caught in headlamps, there is too much fear to move in any one direction.

From time to time, I feel like this too. I have a great tool that not only helps me overcome this, but makes my life better in every way as a result of its implementation. As you can imagine, I no longer fear these moments, as I know that it is simply a way of letting go of the old and bringing in the new. I believe that emotions are not meant to be ‘FELT’, but are rather intended to point us in new directions. I often use ‘thirst and hunger’ as examples because these needs are, for most people, easily satisfied. We feel them, interpret them and overcome them- usually in moments. Do other ‘feelings’ need to be any different?

For me, this month is holiday season. I have little trips away and long weekends all month (lucky me). Work wise things are quiet and Paris (where I am based) is calm. What a perfect time to relax, you may think. Initially, I couldn’t seem to take myself out of work mode and I found myself feeling this ‘stuckness’ I mentioned. So, what did I do? I took some time to really listen to myself. I asked myself how I was feeling and what was important to me right now and I very quickly felt much better.

I set myself a schedule for this year and never factored in holidays and weeks off (whoops) and that feeling was simply my motivated self feeling frustrated, so you see, I was never really de-motivated, just motivated and frustrated at the same time!

How about you?

Take an afternoon or an evening off (or as much time as you can spare) to ask yourself the following questions. Listen to yourself and find out what you really want and then ask yourself how you can achieve it? Dream big dreams and set realistic and satisfying goals.

  1. How do I feel?
  2. What do I really want?
  3. What goals have a set and not yet achieved?
  4. How can I achieve my goals?
  5. How can I change my reality?
  6. What have I been worrying about that doesn’t really matter?
  7. What is really important to me?

Maybe there are other questions that you feel the need to ask yourself. Go ahead and ask them!

Give it a try and see if it works for you too. Do leave your comments in the box, below. 



How to Find Your Passion

Posted on Sunday, June 22, 2014 by Positivevoice


I am one of the few lucky ones who found passion at a very young age. I was 8 years old when i started speech and drama lessons. At this very young age I discovered so many things about the power of the voice and all that could be achieved through subtle changes in pitch, pace and tone. This passion developed in many different directions and continues to do so today.

This post is a little longer than most, as I would like to take you through a particularly incredible process.

Many of my clients come to me in search of peace of mind, confidence or happiness. As chance would have it, we frequently end the session with the realisation that the secret to their happiness lies in a change of career. Over the years, I have developed a great process, designed to help people to find their ideal career. I have never put this into writing and have no idea whether it is a strategy that will work for everyone- all I can say is that it has worked wonders for those I have coached in the past. Give it a whirl and see what comes up for you.

  1. Take out three pieces of paper
  2. On the first piece, write ‘What am I passionate about?’ (by this I mean, what do you feel really strongly about: it could be anything from animal rights, shopping, sport or health’). Write a list of all the things that come to mind and then think again. Often the last things you think of are the very best, so take your time.
  3. On the second piece of paper, write ‘What am I good at?’ Write a list of all the things you are ‘good’ at. This does not need to be anyone else’s opinion, just yours. If you think you are good at ‘writing’, ‘dancing’ or ‘arguing’, then write it down. Keep asking yourself ‘what else?’
  4. Now, for the third list. Your heading is: ‘What acknowledgements, qualifications, experience or rewards have I received?’ (this could be media interest, a degree, a medal or a job). Look back a few years if you want too. Remember, my experience started at the age of 8 and snowballed until I found myself coaching confidence, communication and positive mindset.
  5. Once you have three lists, put an asterisk against the top 3/ 4 on each piece of paper.
  6. Create links between the three pages. We’re looking for a common thread between something in each of those categories.

The first time I did this, it was for myself. I was a graduate working in a PR agency wondering what I wanted to do with my life. Amongst other things, i wrote down three words:

  1. Communication
  2. speaking
  3. LAMDA gold medal in acting
Notice the common theme here, a link between my passion. what i am good at and what i have received recognition for. This is the ideal scenario. 

Please share your results with me in the comments, below, or via email if you prefer: fran@positivevoice.co.uk.



How to Make a Positive Impact with your Voice

Posted on Friday, August 23, 2013 by Positivevoice

Your voice makes an impact. You may or may not like the impact your voice makes, but, all the same, it has an effect on your listeners. One of the contributing factors here is the tone you use when you speak. Your vocal tone can win you both friends and enemies. It is not so much the words you use, but the way in which you utter them. One of the tools I often use with clients is hypnotherapy. During sessions, my words play a very small part in helping clients to relax. It is my pace, tone, rhythm and breathing that serves to relax people.

Your vocal tone does not just affect others, though. It also has a huge bearing on how you feel. If you can be positive and cause your voice to reflect this, your emotions will travel on an upward spiral. The opposite is also true. A great philosophy to practice is humour. If you decide to see humour where others would take offence, you will maintain your positivity.

When I speak to people, I often intuitively send out waves of calm. Another way of doing this would be to communicate with people with a sense of ‘unconditional, positive regard’. I find that when I focus entirely on them, and see them in the best possible light my vocal tone mirrors this intention. How you treat others has a huge impact on how they respond to you, so the more you do this, the more pleasant your encounters with others will be.

This is just one of the many things that you can do to transform your interactions with others. If you would like to have others hanging off your every word, check out my home study course: Vocal Impact

 




public speaking RSS public speaking twitter public speaking facebook
public speaking blog

Recent Posts


Tags


Archive

© all rights reserved Positive Voice
Web by VMF