Bringing it all together
Cool. It’s great that you can breathe properly, can stand in the best way, and can articulate with clarity. What would be better, of course, is if you could do all those things together…
…and do so when you’re saying your own words, not ours! 🙂
I’m afraid there’s no short-cut here; the solution is to practice, practice, practice. However, we can give you some tools for helping with that practice; of course we can!
We’ve listed here some of the most common things we find ourselves saying to people when we do live, face to face training.
We’re not in the room with you so we can’t be sure they apply to you – but our experience is that a lot more of these comments apply to a lot more people than there are people who think they do – so don’t just skip over something without considering it.
Then consider it again! 🙂
Start simple, start easy
Do we really need to say this one? Don’t try to run before you can walk: if you do, you’ll just get things wrong, and no one wants that. Find things to read (that are easy for you) so that you can concentrate on how you’re saying things, rather than what you’re saying.
Stuff that’s familiar is always good. Children’s bedtime stories are usually excellent. Material you’ve written yourself is worth thinking about too – but see the next tip.
Don’t try to read your own material
At least not at first. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the chances are that you wrote it to be read, and that you didn’t read it to be read out loud. That means you’ll probably have written it with patterns and word-choices which might make sense on the printed page but which are pretty tricky when you say them aloud.
Secondly, if it’s your own material you’ll end up judging and editing in your head (if you’re anything like us that is!). This isn’t the time to be your own internal critic – you need all your brain-space available for concentrating on thinking about how you say things.
Don’t risk interruptions
Make sure that you’re not only unlikely to be interrupted but that you are confident you won’t be. There’s nothing more certain to spoil your concentration and progress than a nagging fear at the back of your mind that you’re going to be looked at or overheard.
So make sure you’re alone and likely to stay that way. Lock the door if you have to… put a barbed wire barricade up – but make sure you’re comfortable and confident that you’ll not be overheard or overlooked.
(Side note: Some clients tell us the best place to practice is in the bathroom – it’s warm, private and can be locked).
Try to avoid reading anything
Actually, it’s not that you shouldn’t read things, necessarily, it’s just that most people have bad postural habits when they do.
Most people hold anything they’re reading down too low. This means that they then hunch their shoulders and bend their heads over to read things. That’s shocking posture!
If you can, say things from memory. If you can’t, make sure that you get your posture sorted out first – and then position the paper or book that you’re reading from relative to your head.
That’s it for this bit. You’ve learned how to turn the sound of your voice into clear, accurate words (or at least you’ve learned the exercises you need to do to make that happen!). In the next, brief, section we’re going to bring all the three parts of your voice (Power, Generation, Control) back together.