Tag Archives: executive coaching

Changing Your Communication Habits

I have been reading a lot about the neuroscience of changing habits. It is an utterly fascinating topic and at the heart of all my teaching.

habit (1)

 

Something old

Something new

Change a habit

And you change you

 

 

When I am working with clients on their communication skills the main thing we are doing is swapping current communication habits, which are not effective, for more effective ones. As human we need to function by habit otherwise our brain gets overwhelmed.

The key to habit changing is motivation coupled with repetition, repetition, repetition!

To find out more read the Blog I recently did for City Academy here

Vocal creak. Why is it ‘bad’?

So.  There is a vocal phenomenon going on that is garnering a lot of negative press. It is known as ‘vocal creak’, ‘vocal fry’ or ‘creaky phonation’.  It is most often heard at the end of people’s phrases when they are speaking, and predominantly in young women. A major example of this style of speaking is Kim Kardashian and her sisters.

kim

Example of vocal creak:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02rcmb6

It has a few major disadvantages, mainly on how you are perceived by others. When we speak, the listener subconsciously forms a range of judgements about us. This is instantaneous and has a big impact on how they receive our words, therefore our ideas.

If you have a habit of trailing off when you speak into ‘vocal creak’, the danger is that it can be perceived as any of the following;

You don’t really care about what you are saying
You have little or no authority
You have little or no integrity
Your ideas are not important
You don’t value the listener and their time
You are not mature (as it is associated with young women, especially teenagers)

So, you can see how that may have a negative impact on your professional life, especially as a woman.

The good news is that you already know how to speak without vocal creak, as most of your speech will be without creak.  All you have to do is keep the vocal energy going till the end of your phrase.

EXERCISE:  Try recording yourself free-speaking on a subject such as what you did last weekend, and listen back. Notice if you vocal creak at the end.  Now try a few of the same phrases again but this time aiming for the last word. By that I mean, make the last word stand out a little bit.  It is partly a psychological commitment of being present with your speech while speaking. Experiment with it. and you will be able to reduce or even remove vocal creak from your speech.

Women in Business

I was invited to speak at a wonderful event recently called Show Up; Sparkle & Be Heard run by the charismatic Kay White.  Kay and I met at a day of training I was running on Voice for Business.  She invited me to speak at here 3-day event for Women in the corporate world.  The governing ethos at the heart of the event is to be true to yourself.  That you are your most powerful, most memorable and most effective when you are in your true self. This ethos is so in keeping with my own coaching ethos that I accepted the invite with delight.

Working With Voice

Working With Voice speaking at the Show Up; Sparkle & Be Heard Live event. March 2015

I gave a practical talk on the value and power of breathing when using your voice. On how freeing the breath gives your voice more vocal power and grounds you.

The women in the audience are ambitious career women, often working in sustained stressful, and often predominantly male environments.

Through the brief talk I shared with them some simple yet effective breathing techniques and linked it to using their voices and feeling strong.  Many women approached me afterwards to tell me that they found the exercise really powerful, reporting that they really did feel different afterwards.  For some there was genuine release! For some it was as though they were breathing again for the first time in a long time.

_DSC1815

Participant doing a breathing and centring exercise

The work I do is holistic in nature, and its objective is to allow the real you to flourish with courage and ease.

_DSC1766

No more pretending. No more holding your breath. No more feeling small and intimidated.  Through body, breath and voice work lies the path to the Real You! 

Let your voice be heard! 

Follow me on Twitter

Hello,

You can follow me on Twitter for voice tips and inspiration.


I will tweet links here to any new videos, or articles I create.  This will cover many areas of vocal coaching from singing exercises, accent softening tips, or exercises for the spoken voice.

Be inspired by voice

Accent Softening Workshop – Spanish Chamber of Commerce

Teaching an Accent Softening workshop at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.  The workshop targeted the rhythm and intonation of spoken English.  It also showed you how to use your voice to become an engaging, interesting speaker and avoid misunderstanding due to accent.

Here is a link to the feedback in a blog post they did about the session:

Spanish Chamber of Commerce blog

Accent Softening tip – difference between ‘W’ and ‘V’ position

I’ve made this video to target the difference between the ‘W’ and the ‘V’ sound. Indian people will find this particularly useful.It gives you tips to help you find the right position and sound, as well as some words and phrases to practice on. Enjoy!

 

Accent Softening tips for Russians

I’ve made this video targeting the difference between the Russian and English ‘L’ sound. It gives you tips to help you find the right position and sound, as well as some words and phrases to practice on. Enjoy!