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  • 17 Nov, 2022
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Are You Winning at Communication?

How has this year been for you? Achieved your goals? Dreams? Ambitions? Did you have an outrageous goal that still seems juuuuust out of reach? What will it take for you to WIN? As a speech coach, the first step in training is all about objective setting, followed with the techniques and exercises you need to achieve those objectives.

More on tone…just how important is it?

It all depends on what you value. If one of your values is to do well in all areas of your life then training your voice could be one of those things you do to be great. Just like going to the gym to work on your mind and body, speech training is like going to the gym for your voice. 

It adds gravitas. You look like you know what you’re doing and when you speak you also sound like you know what you’re talking about. Sometimes the minute someone opens their mouth, all trust and believability flies out the window.

Understanding and meaning In speech, changing aspects of our voice can change the meaning of a comment or statement. For example, if we ask: “are you coming by taxi?” in a neutral tone it is simply a question as to how we might be travelling. If we raise our voice and ask the same question in a loud voice, it might suggest we are angry about this choice of transport, for whatever reason.

By contrast, when we write (text and email included) we cannot hear tone. Our punctuation might suggest our tone but we can’t be sure if someone is trying to be funny, mean or sarcastic by words alone. This is why conversation (face to face is best) is by far the better way to communicate, to hear the words and understand the meaning beneath the words.

Record yourself repeating the same phrase but using a different tone of voice so you can hear exactly how we carry meaning in our tone. Learning how to change your tone is covered in the modulation section of the Say It Clearly manual and inside the Masterclass course.

The ‘Perfect Voice’

Andrew Linn, a linguist at Sheffield University along with sound engineer Shannon Harris created a formula based on tone, intonation (emphasis and inflection), pace, and pause (words per minute). They concluded “the ideal voice should utter no more than 164 words per minute and pause for 0.48 seconds between sentences. Sentences should fall rather than rise in intonation (inflection). 

Your voice adds to your authority and credibility but also can do the opposite. It’s not hard to learn how to create your best voice, it just takes consistent practise of very simple exercises.

To have your voice and speech analysed FREE, complete this VoiceForm. It will take around 10 minutes by recording your answers to a few questions and you will receive a report on how you sound and what techniques you need to work on to achieve a great sounding voice. 

VoiceForm

Try this:

Stand with your arms loose at your sides. Move them up to shoulder height horizontally as breathe in through your nose and count to 5 slowly in your head. Hold for the count of 3, then bring your arms back down to your sides to the slow count of 10.

Have a great week, Miriam.

PS – NEXT TRAINING FOR THE MASTERCLASS – THURSDAY 24TH NOVEMBER 7PM.