ARE YOU VOCALLY PREPARED FOR YOUR PUBLIC SPEAKING?
I’m being asked this question more and more by entrepreneur speakers, “Help! How do I take care of my voice?”
The reason that entrepreneurs and business owners are asking me about this is because they are getting more speaking gigs because they are recognising that speaking is the best way to promote your services and leverage your brand. Woohoo!
It’s great news that entrepreneurs are taking to the stage more often. But it can also test your vocals, and, even put a strain on them. Now we’ve established that you should do more speaking, let’s explore how you can take care of your most treasured instrument as a speaker; your voice.
Every entrepreneur loves a hack, right? Here are my quick warm-ups to get you vocally prepared and ready to speak.
Five tips you can use before you speak to ensure you have vibrant vocals:
I suggest that anytime you need to speak, you should warm up your vocal chords, also known as your vocal folds. These are the two delicate folds of tissue located in the larynx (voice box) that vibrate when air passes over them, producing sound waves when you speak. Humming the notes of the scales (from low to high is best), will all help you along here.
You see, we don’t realise how delicate our vocal chords are. They are really fine, and we should respect this amazing tissue.
Your organs of articulation, or your articulators, are truly your secret weapon for clear communication. These are: your lips, teeth, tongue, cheeks, upper and lower gums, hard palate and soft palate and your alveolar ridge (that hard bit behind your teeth at the top of your mouth!)
When your organs are not warmed up, you can easily stumble over words and sounds. One way here to warm up your organs is to read some tricky sentences. I have written a complete set of these in my book, Speaking to Hearts and Minds, which contain every vowel and consonant sound.
If you are not sure, it might be time to start paying attention to this. It can impact how your voice is delivering the message. Learning about breathing is important. Your breath should be coming from deep down in the belly, not from the chest. A quick cough can kick-start your diaphragm into action so that it is ready to speak.
Get to know where your breathing may be restricted, or even where your organs may be tense and could be opened up.
Remember when your mum used to tell you to sit up straight? She was right. Your posture can so easily be impacted, by your daily habits and well, age! (Ladies, we love our high heeled shoes, just watch what they’re doing for our posture, I suggest you carry some flats with you too).
The best thing you can do for your posture is to be aware of it and manage it. Make sure it supports the flow of air.
5. HYDRATION AND SLEEP.
Keeping hydrated is really important before you speak. You want to drink plenty of water beforehand (room temperature though, not chilled!). You don’t want to have a dry mouth; you want to be fresh and energised for your audience. Don’t drink that water too soon beforehand though! You know what can happen there.
The other part of this is a good night’s sleep. This will allow you to be refreshed and your deep sleep allows for brain growth. Your voice also needs the rest, and it is not healthy for it to be strained.
Exercise is also important to keep in tune with those good posture and breathing practices. Being a picture of health is a great thing to do as a speaker. It can make a difference to your credibility. Many new speakers will shy away from using a microphone. Remember that the microphone is your friend, use it!
Learn what works for you, and apply it.
To learn more, join the Unlimited Public Speaking Workshop here:Unlimited Public Speaking Workshop