“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, It can achieve”
– Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich”
Your ability to communicate confidently, clearly, energetically and persuasively, in every speaking situation, is directly linked to your success no matter your field or profession.
I always ask my clients during their executive voice training program, “Why do you want to succeed?’ Many say they want enough money to have the freedom to do whatever they want in life. And more specifically they want to:
• Give back
• Help their children succeed
• Work for themselves
• Work less and “play” more
• Spend more time with family
• Help other people live better and
• Travel more
There are several steps in ensuring one accomplishes goals.
First Step: Identify your personal reason for succeeding in life.
Second step: Write an incredibly detailed picture of what your success looks like. Get into the specifics. For example, if you want to travel more, how many days a year? Where do you want to go? What will it take to give you the time and the money?
Third Step: Define how much of a role outstanding communication will play in achieving your goals. In most professions your ability to communicate is the major differentiator.
John was a young marketing manager at a leading national retail store whose vision of success was to open his own unique retail chain. He defined his vision clearly, however, he was a soft-spoken man who sounded timid, and monotone. He told me “I need to sound confident, authoritative, powerful and enthusiastic.”
With the Executive Speaking Skills program from Voice Power Studios, John gained control of his voice; he learned to speak with a low pitched, well-projected, articulate, expressive, easily heard voice. He gained the confidence to become an outstanding communicator in every business interaction – meetings, presentations, negotiations and stake-holder interactions on his path to reaching his goal.
Try these tips to improve your voice.
• Slow your speaking rate to 150 words-per-minute by taking a breath between thoughts and saying the ends of your words. It takes time to do this and will therefore slow you down.
• Speak clearly. Say the whole word without clipping off the end. Mumbling and running your words together is a direct result of speaking too fast. If you are not understood it is hard to persuade your listener to buy.
• Never throw away the final word of your thought. The last word is the most important word and if your listener doesn’t hear it clearly, your thought loses its impact and you risk losing their attention.
Wake up your voice daily:
• Lip roll: Take a deep breath and exhale strongly with your lips closed causing your lips to roll or flap.
• Resonator Hum: mAHmAHmAHmAHmAHm. Alternate between the (m) hum and the vowel. Then add in the other vowels until you can do the following on one breath with the resonance always staying on the lips: mEEmEHmAHmOHmOO.
Sandra McKnight is an internationally renowned keynote speaker and executive voice and speech coach with more than 30 years of private, cross-cultural coaching and training in executive voice coaching, accent reduction, speech, voice, public speaking and presentation skills. Her clients have included CEO’s, lawyers, executives, entrepreneurs, business owners, sales professionals and companies including Northrop Grumman, Nestlé, Intel, Microsoft, DDI World, Inc., IBM and Ernst and Young (Hong Kong).