As part of my series on Ten Tips for Talking, “Be Self-Aware” is my number one tip. What does that mean in regards to speaking, presenting, and communicating? In short, becoming aware of HOW you sound can help you improve the sound.
#1 TIP FOR USING SELF-AWARENESS TO IMPROVE YOUR VOICE: LISTEN!
Record your voice…
- …when randomly making assorted types of personal and business phone calls – with a microphone on your phone, computer, or by webcam
- …when presenting material to a group
- …when working with your voice professionally (listen back to samples of your work)
You will hear different tones depending on who you are talking to and the subject matter. Listen back repeatedly to hear different things. Jot down your thoughts. (If you are anything like me, you may not like the sound of your voice, but that’s subjective. Try moving past your uncomfortableness. Despite my opinion about my own voice, I’m paid for voicing scripts!)
What are you listening for? You don’t need to be an expert to decipher what you are hearing back. You can become more and more specific about what is going on and how to change it with repeated listening; this, and more, in further posts.
OTHER TIPS FOR BECOMING SELF-AWARE: (without becoming self-absorbed)
In order to REALLY become specific about being self-aware and therefore, improve much more than simply the sound of your voice…
Journal – record your thoughts, feelings, and/or actions with pen and paper. Journaling is a powerful tool in hearing your own voice, after getting all the nonsense out. You’ll see what I mean, if you keep writing.
Use guided meditation – You can find many types of meditations online, where someone talks you through. There are guided meditations for all purposes, for example to lose weight and stop smoking, but also for various other applications. Find some here, or type in “guided meditations” into YouTube or Google.
Practice Yoga – Slowing down your breath and doing ANY type of Yoga, helps to clear your mind.
Review your days – simply put, at the end of each day, review positives and negatives.
Practice being non-reactive – Practice not reacting immediately throughout the day. Giving ourselves time to pause can drastically change the outcome of situations and our lives.
Create a personal archive – Collect photos and anything you’ve written to look back at life and gain perspective on how far you’ve come.
Self-awareness is our capacity to stand apart from ourselves and examine our thinking, our motives, our history, our scripts, our actions, and our habits and tendencies.
– Stephen Covey
Listening to our speaking voice and our inner voice implies patience, courage, and growth. Are you ready to listen to the music?