Have you ever heard about the other 93%?
Now most people when they are talking about speaking, they talk about the 7%
Only 7% of our WORDS make up the entire human language because the other 93% is all about other stuff!
The way we sound, we way we use our intonation, our intention, the emotion, the inflections in our voice, the prosody… and of course our body language and our facial expression.
Now all of that is what I help you with as a holistic voice coach and the voice mastery mentor. I help people get on camera and on stage and really master that other 93%.
So today I want to talk about how sometimes your voice can get in the way of the message.
Because let’s face it, it’s all about the message!
#1 is Breathing: If you are chest breathing, and taking those shallow snatchy breaths, it’s going to do a few things to your physiology. First, it’s only going to allow you to take only a short shallow breath, which is not going to be enough to allow you to have a long sentence.
It won’t allow you to express yourself really well when your public speaking because then youré going to feel a bit short of breath. A lot of my students come to me and tell me on the intake sheet that they experienced short-of-breath. That’s usually because fight or flight kicks in or/and they are chest breathing! They are not getting enough air in the first place.
So, you really have to learn good breathing skills.
The Second way if can affect you (bad breathing technique) is that we don’t get enough oxygen to the brain. You really have to focus on these things when you’re on stage or on camera because you need the oxygen to be able to think and speak clearly, and you need the air to be able to work your vocal folds and project your sound forward.
#2: Now another way your voice can keep getting in the way of the message, is that if you keep rambling and speaking really long sentences…. (I call that Monkey Mind to Verbal Diarrhea) then you won’t be able to get to the point. This is really important when you are public speaking. That rambling… going off : “Like, and.. um.. like… and … um… etc. “ People lose focus and don’t know what you are talking about, as you never get to the end of the sentence. You really need to focus on what you want to say and keep the sentences short and succinct.
So, take a breath and let’s do #1: Ahhh… Take a nice deep breath with the diaphragm, and we are going to start constructing short sentences.
#3: Now the last thing I want to talk about, in the way your voice can get in the way of the message, is pitch. Pitch is completely different to volume. A lot of people get this confused. They think that if I go to raise my pitch, I’m also going to raise my volume. But that’s not necessary. We can speak from the bottom of our range all the way to the top in a quite even fashion, without actually yelling. We can use a lot of different range for public speaking!
Now, if you have a little bit of a mindset of “I’m a bit afraid…I’m afraid of speaking out, or afraid of speaking up”… Then you might have some weird stuff going on vocally that’s putting you in the wrong pitch. If you are speaking down here too low, it’s going to get caught in the throat like this and it’s going to be back-placed. You can hear now, the sound is quite noisy, a bit caught and a bit tight. It’s very hard to be understood or project your sound when you’re in that space.
However, a great example of a beautifully balanced low-pitched voice is Morgan Freeman: The Voice of God! He has this beautifully rich, round, resonant voice that is also very low and relaxed! So, we are talking about lack of tension here, not necessarily the pitch. So, if you want to go low, that’s fine. It sounds like the voice of authority, but make sure you go low with no tension. It sounds better, it sounds freer, there is no noise and it’s much easier for your audience to understand.
Now the opposite of that, of course, is choosing too high a pitch. If you are in la la land up here, and some ladies tend to speak a little bit high pitched, or wobbly or a little bit squeaky. If your pitch is high, again with tension, or high and a little unstable with too much air.. that’s also going to get in the way of the message.
What I really like to focus on as a holistic voice coach, is to make sure that your mental, physical and emotional blockages to self- expression have been taken care of. That you have broken through all of those by doing the proper voice work exercises to help you stand out there with confidence.
Remember that our voice needs to be relaxed at all times, whether it’s high pitched, or low pitched, relaxed is the way to go!
Book a free consultation with Elisa today.