Voice Coaching, Key To Getting Your Message Heard
… In Business, Sales, and Politics
Political hopefuls, business executives, sales people, and others who live and die by the spoken work learn that effective speech training is the first step towards getting their message heard, says speech coach Sandra McKnight. A highly respected voice communication consultant and founder of Voice Power Studios, McKnight points to ‘performance-oriented’ speech training and presentation skill development as a critical first step for anyone seeking to project a dynamic and charismatic public persona.
When most people prepare to give a speech, whether it’s in the political arena, a crowded boardroom, or even a one-on-one sales pitch with a client, they tend to center on perfecting the content of their remarks. “But what they say may never be heard,” observes speech training specialist Sandra McKnight. The reason? “People will tune out the message if they don’t like the sound of the voice that’s delivering it,” says speaking coach McKnight.
Knight is no stranger to the power of the voice. She made her living “off my voice and my wits,” she says, for more than three decades. A sought-after speech training and presentation skills consultant, she is the creator of the “Your Voice Is Power in Business” audio series and the founder of Voice Power Studios. Her clients include a who’s who of iconic companies and brands worldwide, including Chase Manhattan Bank, Frito Lay, and Cedars-Sinai Hospital Ernst and Young, Asia; Hong Kong.
Accelerate the Learning Process
In order for a message to reach its audience – whether a room full of sales executives or a single customer -- “A speaker must first create a listener-friendly ‘delivery system – and by that I mean an appealing and effective voice,” says speech trainer McKnight. “There’s a reason Chrysler chose Ricardo Montelban and not PeeWee Herman as their spokesman to talk about Corinthian leather,” she laughs.
McKnight’s distinctive “performance-oriented” executive speaking training programs expand on the basics of good presentation skills to serve the needs of “success-minded individuals seeking both professional and personal empowerment,” she says. Her speech training helps CEOs, senior management and sales professionals work on tone and timbre, and to “communicate with clarity and confidence in any business-speaking context. My goal is to make my clients feel confident about speaking whether they’re in a formal presentation situation, having a one-on-one with a customer, on the phone conversation with a client, or a meeting with a vendor,” says McKnight.
Techniques for using the voice for maximum effect “take time to master,” reports McKnight, “But there are two ways to accelerate the process.” First she recommends finding a speech training professional who offers “a program for learning that’s “tailored to your specific needs, and abilities. That will save you time and money.”
Vocal coaching “makes it easier for you to learn how to ‘play your ‘instrument’…how to use your voice…effectively,” says McKnight. A good coach will “assess your strengths and weaknesses and will design a training program to make you more powerful,” she says.
Tips to Stay “In Shape” For Speaking
Caring for your instrument is part of the process, and “hydration is key,” says McKnight. For traveling speakers, she recommends a visit to the steam room or sauna in a hotel healthclub. “It’s very therapeutic for your voice after a long day of speaking.”
To create an in-home equivalent, speech trainer McKnight advises clients to “inhale steam from a bowl of water with a few drops of eucalyptus oil.” Other moisture-friendly tips include:
- Maintain body hydration by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. “Avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks as they drain your tissues of essential fluid, “say McKnight.
- Use a humidifier to keep your vocal chords and sinuses from drying out, especially in dry climates.
- Keep your throat moist by drinking lots of tea with honey and lemon when available and having throat lozenges in your pocket when it’s not
About Sandra McKnight and Voice Power Studios
Sandra McKnight is a highly respected voice communication consultant and speech trainer and creator of the “Your Voice Is Power In Business” voice training CD series. She has 25 years of cross-cultural experience in speech training and communications and has worked with business professionals throughout the world. She also has 35 years experience as an actress, on stage and in film and television. McKnight merges the worlds of business and performance to provide speech training services that enable her clients to become top performers in their unique industry, whatever it may be.
Speaking coach McKnight’s expertise has been featured in the “Wall Street Journal”, “The Houston Chronicle”, “Los Angeles Times”, “Santa Fe New Mexican”, and “The Albuquerque Journal” and for many years hosted her Santa Fe, NM radio show, the "Sounds of Success". She is a member of The Voice and Speech Trainers Association, Inc., The American Society of Training and Development, 24-7 Coaching, UK, The Screen Actors Guild of America, Actor’s Equity Association, and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists.
For more information about Sandra McKnight and Voice Power Studios dynamic coaching services or to order “Your Voice Is Power In Business,” please visit http://www.voicepowerstudios.com/
Voice Power Studios