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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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!
Listen to the rhythm of the way people speak. Whatever the language or the accent, tune your ear into their overall rhythm. Imagine it like a drum beat. Where are the strong beats and where are the weak beats? Then mimic what you hear using a pattern of made up sounds, tapping the finger on the table to emphasise the strong beats
Strong beat – “Dum” Weak beat – “di”
Standard British Example: John Keats – To Autumn To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
di Dum di Dum di Dum di Dum di Dum
You can join the ICV to enjoy the forum where voice professional discuss the voice and its wonders. They also have a full program of Workshops covering many topics, that are open to both teachers and students of voice, professionals or otherwise.
The larynx is the name of the area which produces voice. I’ve been enjoying this series of videos on head and neck anatomy and how the voice works. It is a five part series which shows you the anatomy and movement of the larynx.
Understanding the movement of the larynx helps you to to make changes in the way you use yours, enabling you to discover new parts of your voice.