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Positive Voice Blog

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!


How to Become More Convincing and Influential

Posted on Friday, March 06, 2015 by Positivevoice

For starters, I would like to highlight that most politicians have got it all wrong; they are, quite literally, all talk!

In last week’s blog, I told the story of a young student of mine who desperately wanted other people to listen to him. You may remember my main tip:

The people around you act as your mirror; they show you how you are behaving. If you want people to listen to you; listen to them. If you missed last week’s blog, please do have a read now: Last week's Post

When I teach public speaking skills, I always emphasise the need to show interest in your audience and to make your speech as much like a conversation as possible. When you do this, your audience will automatically feel much more valued because they will have the impression that you really care about their opinions. A great knock on effect here, is that they will then become much more interested in your story.

This technique does not need to be reserved for public speaking engagements. It should be incorporated into your everyday life. After all, when someone asks us how we are, whether we had a good weekend, how our holiday was (you fill in the blank), we feel more interesting. You see, if someone is interested in us, we must be interesting and we immediately like these people and value them more.

The main difference between a conversation and a speech is that during a conversation there is an open exchange of ideas, whereas during a speech or presentation, there is a speaker and an audience. So, how do we stop a speech from becoming like a conversation when we add this concept of exchange?

It is quite simple; we ask rhetorical questions or use ‘raise your hand if’ style enquiries.

I like to begin my rhetorical questions in the following manner:

  • I wonder whether….
  • Perhaps…
  • If you’re anything like me…

The above tips should help you to avoid making speeches that are more like conversations or worse still having that are like speeches!




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