It seems we have an upcoming Presidential race. Hum. What are those Voices saying? For some, a whole lot of nothing. For many, there is some trash talking goin’ on. I envision an election year where candidates take the high road, stay focused on the business at hand, and do not venture off into personal barbs against each other. Where there would be no speaking with fork-ed tongue. No talking out both sides of their mouths at the same time.
Let’s take a look at one of the candidates-Hillary Clinton. She is the Voice of a woman. But is this her authentic Voice? When I see television commercials sponsored by her party, I like them. They focus on issues at hand, and yet, I am not sure what she stands for. Is this her Voice? As a Palo Alto, California professional speaking coach, when I coach clients, the place we begin is identifying the Voice of the individual and the Voice of the business. Without that, we don’t know where to begin to brand, to market, to communicate what the Voice of the business is. Just like each of you with your one-of-a-kind Voice, each business has its own one-of-a-kind Voice as well!
Ms. Clinton, I don’t know if you have worked with a Vocal or Speech coach, but may I as a Palo Alto professional speaking coach give you some good advice?
- As a Palo Alto professional speaking coach, in my professional opinion, your Voice is somewhat harsh. I understand that as a woman in politics in this country, surrounded by men, a person might think they must turn up the masculine part of themselves and the way they express. For me, Hillary’s very power as a woman would be to tap more into her grace and intelligence and develop a richer, more resonant Voice. There is a very real backlash that happens with very strong, aggressive women–men and even women want to turn them down. I am not saying turn down or be less bold, just apply more humor and fullness and savvy to the way we speak and the Voice that we use.
- Ms. Clinton and anyone wishing to speak with impact and power, stay in your body and in the present moment. Do not bring the past into the topic at hand, do not become a talking head – instead breathe and stay centered in the solar plexus and grounded through your feet. A pause when speaking is a very powerful thing. Think of music without pauses or rests, it would become fatiguing to our ears and we could not fully enjoy nor absorb it.
- Stay hydrated in the body which produces a better sounding Voice. Drink room temperature water all day long which raises the level of hydration within the body and in turn, the throat and vocal folds benefit.
- Finally, always have an intention, a purpose for speaking. Set this intention well before you show up to speak. Is it your job to inspire? Teach? Raise Money? Get elected?
As a Palo Alto professional speaking coach, I have found one of the most profound, self-honoring practices that truly helps us know ourselves and grow ourselves, is the art of self-expression, the art of finding the magic within our own Voice!