An essential element for communicating your ideas with power is an authentic voice.
Cultivating an authentic voice is one of three key areas that has a huge impact on how others perceive you and stay open to your ideas.
You may not be standing in front of a large audience delivering a keynote address, but not having a strong connection with your own voice could be limiting you in unknown ways. When you speak, others may be hearing something you didn’t intend.
The quality of your voice could even be outright contradicting what you’re saying.
Learning how to captivate an audience (one person or one hundred) is an exciting journey for a women reclaiming her true self.
Your ideas are unique to you. They require your voice, your gifts, your vision.
And what’s more, if you have an idea that matters to you, there are people out there who are waiting for it!
Communicating Your Meaning
To have an authentic voice, there are elements that come before the words you say or any communication strategy you use. My experience as a voice coach taught me that.
Even if your idea is spectacular, you could be leaving your listeners cold and unmoved.
I’m going to illustrate with a story from an experience I had last year.
I was listening to a webinar on how to use Pinterest for business. As I listened to the first two presenters I was engaged and interested – and reaching for my credit card.
Then this happened.
The third speaker started speaking and I literally jumped back from my computer.
We Always Recognize an Authentic Voice On Some Level
The presenter’s voice was extremely hard to listen to – overly dramatic, inauthentic and artificially enthusiastic – and I knew I couldn’t listen to it regardless of how interested I was in the course.
I put my credit card away.
Perhaps my years of coaching singers and speakers made me more conscious of my reason for rejecting the course, but on some level we all recognize there’s a disconnection between the quality of someone’s voice and the words they’re saying,
Our little spidey sense goes on alert!
Audiences today are much more sophisticated and they’ll either feel the connection with you or they won’t. Yes, there are other factors such as money or time.
But maybe someone out there is reaching for their credit card and then putting it away again.
The voice of the webinar presenter in my story did not invite me into the fold. I was a potential customer but the quality behind the words said ‘stay away’.
And I did!
Isn’t that a good reason to cultivate a resonant, fully embodied authentic voice, a voice that will reach out and invite your listeners into the fold?
Is Your Voice Hijacking Your Meaning?
This is often a challenge for women. Your voice could be hijacking your meaning without your even knowing it, but it doesn’t have to be so.
I know from years of coaching experience that everyone – and I mean everyone! – has the capacity to have a rich, full bodied, resonant authentic voice; the kind of voice that speaks volumes beyond the words, a voice that is so much a part of you that it’s present in your body all the time without your even thinking about it.
But I also know that many women lose that power because of various life experiences or damaging messages from our culture.
One client expressed the loss of her authentic voice this way, “I had what I was willing to say on a very short leash.”
Is your voice on a short leash?
Your journey to unleash all the power and glory of your authentic voice can start now, and it can be fun! All you need is the willingness to jump in, some simple practices, and friends to support you on your journey.
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Not having to do anything alone is part of the new world of women’s power so be sure to ask for help and support.
A Quick Practice to Do Right Now
Do you want to be able to say your own name with an embodied authentic voice?
Take two minutes right now and try this practice. (Use either the text version or the audio version.)
Start from a standing position. Place your gaze on a spot on the wall about a foot above eye level. Unlock your knees and move gently in a swaying motion for a few seconds, feeling your feet connecting to the floor.
Now allow your body to become still. Place your hand about 2 inches above your waist and imagine that there is a flow of energy that connects your mind, your throat, your heart, and your solar plexus and then continues to flow down your body, through your feet, through the floor, down into the earth.
Take a few seconds to connect with that energy. Now say your name. As you say your name, imagine the sound of your voice becoming one with the flow of energy running from your head, through your heart, and down to your feet. Take a few seconds now and repeat your name a number of times. Take a deep breath and say your name one last time.
Try this simple practice several times throughout your day and note what happens.
In the next post you’ll read about the 2nd key area for becoming a powerful communicator, so stay tuned.