For those working with your voice – as a trainer, speaker, on the phone or even those interested in tweaking the sound of your voice, here are my personal top ten tips:
- Be Self-Aware – if interested in improving the sound of your voice for business, or even in general, an awareness of how you sound is the first step. Start by thinking about the following: Do you have a sense of the different voices you use in differing situations? With different people? At various times of day? With certain thoughts or feelings in any given moment?
- Mentally Prepare – BEING confident is key in SOUNDING confident. One must either believe in themselves or their message. Read something positive before speaking. Even better, read something positive someone wrote about YOU!
- Aim for Good Health – This might go without saying. Maybe not. The healthier you are overall, the better you will sound – consistently. What are you doing to contribute to your good or bad health?
- Achieve Consistent, Quality Sleep – Although in line with “good health”, this one needs its own number. Without a good sleep and a well-rested voice (and body), I have very little to go on. What is your sleep number? That is, how many hours do you KNOW you need?
- Be Hydrated – This doesn’t mean drink a glass of water while speaking. This means don’t allow yourself to become dehydrated on a daily basis. Conventional wisdom says 8 glasses a day. Whatever. Just drink water. Adding lemon is also beneficial.
- Sit up/Stand up straight – If you changed your posture right now, your voice would be affected. Give it a try!
- Use Breath Awareness & Support – Using “breathing muscles”, and yes we have them, helps tremendously with vocal pitch and volume – two things to work on when wanting to improve our voice. Quick tip: engage your abs and listen for anything different in your voice.
- Stay Calm – Along with being confident, being calm goes a long way. Ever hear high talkers or loud talkers? Stress and state of mind contribute. Take a moment to take a few breaths.
- Avoid Illness – Again obvious perhaps, but it’s the big picture you want to look at for vocal benefits. Even after illness, our voice is weak. Repeated illness, our voice can change. What can you do right now? Add fresh ginger into your diet. Works for me!
- Watch what you “taste” just before you speak – eating something sweet, salty, sour, savoury, spicy, bitter, or astringent will have different effects in your mouth, making it “water” or giving you dry mouth. It’s a personal reaction and one worth testing!
Looking forward to expanding on each point and offering tips within the tips! Regardless, all points require tenacity, consistency, self-study, and growth but, you know what they say about anything worth doing…