Presentation skills courses are often geared towards the presentation media itself. In effect they become “How to use Powerpoint” workshops. They can be useful in helping you decide a structure to your presentation; they may even offer a few tips on self-confidence and personal presentation; some may even suggest you speak slowly and “speak up”. However, such courses rarely – if ever – offer good tips on use of the voice.
There’s more: many of us hear our own voice on a recording and answering machine and think “that’s not me!”. We may cringe or grimace and may even have been told we are rubbish at singing or speaking. This destroys vocal confidence, such that it puts across an impression of a lack of confidence in what you are saying.
That’s where knowing your voice can really help. The confidence that comes from knowing you will be heard, appreciated and understood is difficult to describe. A voice lesson can help you get rid of bad voice habits, develop your voice such that you can choose a pitch you want, help you choose an emphasis you wish to place on your words. The postural adaptations and improvements may even help you simply look more confident – and in turn this can even lead to a real boost in self-confidence!
Building your vocal skills enables you to adapt to different situations you may encounter. Addressing a small room of co-workers is one thing; addressing a group of fifty or a hundred including managers is another; giving a course demands one set of vocal skills: talking to a customer demands another. Some of these situations are well-handled by those with good social skills but did you know that even those with no ‘natural’ social skills can sound well in such situations? It’s all down to adapting the tone of the voice to the situation. Just think for amoment: why do actors seem so good in so many situations?
A Business Voice lesson can show you how to adjust your voice to bring out the qualities you want to hear and put across – I would encourage anyone invovled in their own business or in management posts,a t leasst, to have voice training. It means you can develop qualities that may help impress others, or that may help you sound, seem and be more confident in front of all those staring at you. Whether you are a salesmen, manager, senior technician, priest or preacher, trainer, consultant or even a student, developing your voice can be really useful. Everyone’s voice is different but with a little bit of help, anyone can reclaim their voice to make them more effective. It is, after all, your voice!
Where to receive voice training
Unfortunately, due to a number of issues, I only give such training in special circumstances and am having to focus on writing. However, a good source of such trainers is the British Voice Association’s list of resources and their Voice Clinic Directory. Further, just contacting the BVA and they will be able to put you in touch with a voice professional near you.