However, many people don’t know how to use their voice to its full effect.
If you want communicate powerfully, then it’s time to give it some attention.
In the latest episode of the Influence & Impact for Female Leaders podcast, I interviewed Sharon Stacey, a Voice Coach and Musical Director.
Sharon teaches people how to use vocal clarity, attentive tone and confidence for delivering in person and online meetings, keynote speeches and business pitches.
She shared six ways you can use your voice to boost your gravitas in meetings:
Warming up is not something reserved for singers. Before your meeting, practice saying a few sentences using the full range of your voice and emphasising different words. Prepare yourself for how you’d like to speak beforehand.
It’s also important to look after your voice, especially if you’re frequently in virtual meetings. Vocal napping is proactively giving your voice a rest from talking. Try to have space between all your meetings and time during the day where you don’t need to speak.
Part of using your voice confidently is about feeling confident in yourself and your place in the meeting. Many female leaders I coach struggle with self-doubt and imposter feelings. Before challenging meetings, I encourage you to remind yourself of your expertise and the contribution you make. Try to step into the authority of your role.
Sharon shares that posture is key to using your voice well. Focus on having an upright, open posture and expressing confidence through your body language.
Many women speak from higher up, above their neck, which means they never use the full power of their voice.
Instead, imagine your voice is coming from the lower part of your belly and sync it with your breath, which should also be in your belly. As you breath out, you speak. This is called Chest Voice Resonance.
To help with this, try practicing a few sentences with your hand of your chest. Feel the vibrations there when you’re focusing on speaking and breathing from your belly, and speaking on each breath.
Instead of trying to finish your whole sentence in one breath, pause mid-sentence, take another breath and finish strong. Often our impact is lost because we trail off at the end of sentences.
Remember you don’t need to rush to finish what you need to say. Own the space and know that your voice is of value.
We all know how quickly a monotone voice can make the most interesting subject sound boring!
Be conscious of varying your pitch as you’re speaking and to emphasise different words in your sentences to have a more impactful effect.
A speaker who varies their pitch is much easier to listen to and it helps those listening grasp important points, which is a really useful trait to have when presenting.
Stress, nerves and anxiety tighten the delicate muscles around your larynx so being able to communicate using the full power of your voice takes a calm body.
Try to ground yourself before you’re about to speak, focus on consciously breathing into your belly and when you are speaking, practice chest voice resonance.
Sharon shared three helpful voice training exercises to help you have chest voice resonance, use your full vocal range and vary your pitch. Listen to the full podcast episode to learn them participate in along with us.
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Find out about the various ways Carla works with women leaders and organisations on her website www.carlamillertraining.com