How you can use your voice to sell your ideas. In the film, “Iron Lady”, Meryl Streep, who just won the academy award for playing the lead role of Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of the UK, dramatically demonstrated how Mrs. Thatcher changed her voice and changed her entire public image. Mrs. Thatcher’s decision was pivotal to being elected. Why?
Mrs. Thatcher’s political associates made it perfectly clear to her that her voice was too high pitched, and had a bit of a warble and that her voice would make it difficult for her to win over all the male candidates in her first major election. She was the only woman running and was surrounded by male candidates who would hear her as lacking credibility and authority and use it against her. Also the voters would be affected by the quality of Mrs. Thatcher’s voice.
On her advisor’s advice she took voice coaching sessions to lower her pitch and speak with a more resonant, rich, well-projected and articulate speaking voice, which would make her more competitive with all the male candidates whose voices were lower-pitched, resonant, powerful and formidable. They were out to win over any woman who dreamed of being the prime minister of the UK.
Most people find it much easier and more relaxing to listen to a lower pitched, resonant voice and are more likely to get engaged. Therefore, the tone of your voice is equally as important to connecting and engaging with your customer, client, or audience as speaking clearly at a good rate, and never trailing off at the end of your thoughts
In the movie you will see Mrs. Thatcher begin her voice coaching by practicing her diaphragmatic breathing exercises. Taking a deep breath, filling the lower lung, keeping her shoulders down, her chin parallel to the ground and her eyes focused straight ahead. When one breathes like this, you can feel your body fill up with air and it is a very satisfying and relaxing feeling.
After your lungs are comfortably filled up, begin to exhale at an even rate. Practice the following exercise: Inhale on a slow count of one and exhale on an even count of eight, eight times in a row. Then inhale on a slow count of one and exhale on an even count of six, eight times in a row. This deep breathing or breathing from the belly, or diaphragm is what supports your speaking voice tone and is what gives your voice resonance, energy and power.
Stand easily erect with you weight over the middle of your feet, chin parallel to the ground, shoulders down, eyes straight ahead. Inhale easily and deeply through your mouth and nose; comfortably fill the lower lungs and as you exhale make the open mouth tone “oh”.
Next you start speaking words on the exhale. Exercise: Speak on the exhale, taking a small inhale for each word: “How, Who, Hello, Happy Head, Hoe and follow that by inhaling for each phrase and speaking on the exhale: “Hello Helen, Help Harry Hoe, How heavy is the hay fork. Breathing between the thoughts allows you to support your voice with your breath giving your speaking voice resonance, energy and power.
If you would like to learn more and discover how you can improve your speaking voice. I offer you a 20-minute free Voice Power Studios Accent Reduction & Speaking Skills Consultation, http://www.voicepowerstudios.com/analysis.html or call 877-783-2455?