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...

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Let go off Anxiety for now
Let go off Anxiety for now

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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.



What is stopping you from developing a British accent?

Posted on Friday, January 27, 2017 by Positivevoice


People often come to me saying that they are keen to develop a British accent and from time to time, these same people seem to run out of enthusiasm and stop practicing. 

Is this because they are not motivated?

Actually, the answer is different for everyone, but often they really do want to develop a British accent, but there is something holding them back. For instance, a client i worked with this week isn't managing to fully resonate her voice in her throat and all the cavities in her head and chest. The result is that her voice resonates in her mouth, which stops her from having a polished, British accent. What is causing this, you may wonder? Well, this week she mentioned that she is scared of sounding too loud. So, here we see two conflicting desires.

There is an interesting link between our emotions and our voice. We often show others how we feel through our vocal tone. In fact, if you fully connect with your emotions, others will see exactly how you feel just by looking at your physiology and listening to your voice. Fear isn't a huge problem if the individual is aware of it, as we can quite easily overcome irrational fears, can't we? I often find the best way to overcome low level fears is to question them and turn them on their head:

I asked her if i spoke too loudly? She said 'no'. I then said, well what makes you think you will speak too loudly if you follow the same steps that i follow to achieve a clear voice?

"Many of our fears are tissue paper thin and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them." Brendan Francis (Behan)Need a little guidance and motivation, try my digital course in British Accent Coaching. Be sure to listen to the hypnotherapy audio.


How to Present Yourself with Confidence Via Video

Posted on Friday, November 27, 2015 by Positivevoice

People often come to me to learn how to communicate more confidently. Everyone has a different agenda; for some this could mean learning to say what they mean with their partner, family or colleagues, for others it is all about reducing their accent and learning to speak with clarity and confidence. Occasionally, I am asked how to present via video and this is something I take great pleasure in sharing.

 

I love working on this last one because I know how difficult it was for me to start with! To be honest, some of my early videos could do with being deleted J

 

After years of practice, I can now just be myself on video and speak freely without needing to over prepare or practice. So, how did I manage to achieve this?

 

Effective preparation is key here. I ALWAYS ask myself a few questions before starting:

 

  1. What is my topic?
  2. Who is my audience?
  3. What are my objectives?

 

If you consider this blog, for instance, the answers to the above questions would be as follows:

 

  1. The title says it ALL
  2. People who want to learn to make videos without over preparing and to appear natural
  3. To enable my listeners to present themselves authentically via video

 

Here is how to do it:

 

  1. Brainstorm your idea; make a few notes if this works for you
  2. Once you know exactly what you want to say, create a mind map. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, or need to upgrade your skills here, check out:http://www.tonybuzan.com/about/mind-mapping/. Make sure you use as few words as possible and lots of pictures and different colours to make it memorable (images are easier to remember).
  3. Spend some time looking at your mind map. Look at it, taking in the entire presentation as a whole and then look away. Do this several times until you can ‘see’ the whole presentation in your minds eye.
  4. The very most important tip is to forget that you are speaking to a camera and to imagine that you are speaking to your target audience; have one specific person or group of people in mind, if it helps.

 

To start with, you may find that it takes a few attempts, but when practiced regularly, this process will enable you to make authentic videos of you being yourself whilst presenting your message clearly and concisely. 

 

Here is an example of me doing just that!



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!


What is The Best Version of YOU?

Posted on Thursday, April 09, 2015 by Positivevoice


People often say to me that they are shy, unhappy, an introvert, de-motivated, anxious… you fill in the gap; the options are endless.

If you do this, you are labelling yourself. When you label yourself in this way, you perpetuate the exact behaviour or strategy that you would like to eliminate. This is a theory that rings very true for me.

Despite being aware of this, at week 20 of my pregnancy, I am feeling what can only be described as lack of patience. I have even caught myself exclaiming that 'I have no patience today'. I am staying with my brother, while my lovely partner renovates our new house to make room for baby #2. I couldn’t be happier… when I am safely tucked away in the little log cabin in my brother’s garden, where I am staying with my little girl, but as soon as I go into his house, I find myself surrounded by chaos; my little girl spends her time emptying the kitchen cupboards and I feverishly try to tidy and re-tidy whilst making breakfast or lunch and I am nothing short of impatient with my little niece. I do my very best to contain this annoyance as it bubbles up inside and every so often it spills out in the form of a short telling off. This is me at my worst; grumpy and impatient.

So, what happened to the super patient me and how do I get her back?

The same way I have recovered from both big and small break ups and the same way I have re-motivated myself after a few months off from work.

The hardest part is admitting to yourself that you are less than you could be. Essentially, any negative behaviour is, quite simply, a cry for help from the depths of your being, a call to action; a sign post signalling that a change of direction is required. Once you have spotted this, the solutions are endless. For me, there are currently three things that bring me back into balance and when they are practiced regularly, the old me comes back, relatively fast, feeling patient and solution focused.

My Solutions

  1. Meditation: For me, this enables me to turn off my internal chatter; it relaxes me and gives me time to recuperate. There are many forms of mediation and I use a combination of the ones I have come across, according to my mood.
  2. Yoga: I find this incredibly relaxing and energising. My favourites are Anusara and Hridaya because they are simultaneously relaxing and energising. I always feel my best after practice. Pre- natal yoga is obviously the only option for me right now, but I also find it helps a great deal.
  3. Personal Development books: When my positive, motivated self is in need of a little re-enforcement, I always go for one of my favourite books. Right now, I am following ‘A Course in Miracles’, which is the ultimate personal development book. Some people find it a little heavy and prefer to read books based on the text, by authors such as Marianne Williamson and Gabrielle Bernstein, which are also incredibly transformational.

Other simple ways to uplift my mood are: writing, teaching and going for walks in the countryside (where I happen to be right now).

I would say that I am ‘at my best’ when I am doing the things I love, like coaching or playing with my little girl. Who are you when you are at your best? What is your ‘perfect solution’ – after all, it is all about being solution focused, isn’t it?

For yoga and mediation, I recommend:

For relaxation:

http://theheartcentreyoga.co.uk/about/

http://www.ambikayoga.co.uk/

For fitness, energising and pure fun:

http://www.cityogi.com/



Is Being Introverted Something You Have to Live with?

Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 by Positivevoice


Recently, I worked with a client who claimed to be an introvert. Our coaching session went something like this:

One of the first questions I asked was, “How does this manifest itself?” He replied “I find that I’m not being myself at work”. “Who are you being then?” I asked. “Good question”, he replied, smiling.

When we are not ‘being ourselves’, it is impossible for others to connect with us, which means that we, quite simply, don’t build strong relationships. At work, this can make it hard for people to:

  1. Get to know us
  2. Realise they like us
  3. Build trust

Which are often 3 of the key steps, which precede a promotion.

How can this be overcome?

If you ‘claim’ to be an introvert, one of the first things you need to do is break down this belief. Before you can do this, you need to fully understand what this term means:

Synonyms for introvert

noun person who retreats mentally

  • brooder
  • egoist
  • egotist
  • loner
  • narcissist
  • solitary
  • wallflower
  • autist
  • self-observer

Being introverted is simply a strategy. People who are introverted quite simply ‘retreat mentally’ and over observe themselves. As with all strategies, this can be un-learned and new patterns of behaviour can be practiced and perfected.

How to do this?

Once you are aware of your specific strategies (everyone is a little different). Take the opposite of this and begin to practice it.

For example:

If you are too focused on yourself, use the following exercises to break that pattern:

    1. When you are walking somewhere, instead of thinking or even worse ‘worrying’ about things, observe your environment. Focus in on the colour of the leaves on the trees, the insects buzzing around, the birds in the trees, people walking by you (notice what they’re wearing and the expressions on their faces). This exercise should be done at least once a day for at least a week before you notice any shifts. If you keep it up, it will soon become a habit.
    1. When you meet people for the first time, show a real interest in them; ask them simple questions: “What’s your name?”, “Where do you live?”, “What do you do for a living?”, “Where are you from?” These are just conversation starters, what you are looking for here is a common interest. ‘Oh, you live just outside Paris’. ‘What’s it like?’ “How does it compare to living in England?” “I’ve always wanted to live in France”. Almost everyone loves talking about themselves. The only people who might not are introverts, but the only thing worse than not being asked questions is the silence that forces a fellow introvert to start or maintain a conversation, and this, of course, causes pressure rather than flow. So, jump in quickly and start the meeting as you wish to go on!
    1. When you speak to people give them your undivided attention; notice the expression on their face, the clothes they are wearing and the tone of their voice.** Essentially, this is part of Active Listening

**Again, practice this exercise at least once a day, if not during every conversation you have. Keep this up for two weeks and you will start to notice changes emerging in how you feel.

 These three exercises work very well because they, quite literally, distract an introvert from over internalising their focus. Being introverted is a behaviour that has been learned. All you need to do to break this strategy is to do the opposite. It may feel unnatural to start with, but as always practice makes perfect.

Make it your mission to seek out sociable people who externalise their focus and notice how they do it. I learned this whole phenomenon by doing just this. I was in my early 20s and I was on work placement at Apple Computers. It wasn’t going majorly well, and I had become a little introverted. One day, I saw a young woman waiting in reception. She wasn’t sitting down thinking (or worrying), though. “Wow”, she exclaimed. “Those are gorgeous flowers”, “What are they?” This is all I witnessed of the exchange she had with the receptionist, but it was enough to make me wonder who he was. Shortly afterwards, she sat down at a desk very near mine. She was the new Head of Public Relations. I liked her immediately. She was completely herself with everyone; kind, smiley and genuine. I immediately felt lighter and more energized for the remaining weeks of my placement.

You see, by ‘being real’, you will inspire others to do the same and will find yourself ‘connecting better’ with everyone.

 Good luck! 





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