For most of us our speaking voice is integral to our work, but how much time do you spend developing and looking after yours? Despite being the primary way that we communicate, it is very easy to feel stuck with our voice or take it completely for granted until something goes wrong.
Learning how your voice works and consciously training it will help you to express yourself more clearly and effectively, even under pressure. As you feel better about your voice, you will feel more confident; this is a great starting point for representing and promoting your business.
Vocal training will also give you the tools to speak more sustainably, both preventing vocal health problems before they arise and addressing them quickly when they do. This includes anything from avoiding fatigue and scratchiness caused by regular voice use to knowing what to do when you need to use your voice on a bad day like when you catch a cold.
Here are three key reasons to train your speaking voice:
1. Give yourself more choices
It’s easy to get stuck in one way of speaking, but through muscle training you can ensure that your voice is ready to respond to your imagination. You can learn to vary the volume, tone and pitch of your voice depending on the occasion and the medium.
2. Keep your voice in good working order
Get rid of tension in your body and learn not to work harder than necessary in the larynx. This means that you can project easily with clear tone without feeling scratchy after a long working week.
3. Perform well under pressure
Butterflies in your stomach before you start speaking is a good thing; it shows that you care about what you do! But you don’t want nerves to take over. A solid vocal technique can help to reduce anxiety so that you can express yourself freely when it really matters.
Initially, a big part of vocal training is becoming aware of your own personal habits and then learning how to overcome them if they are not serving you well. Although it takes time and practice to adapt, change is possible!
By challenging yourself to step outside your comfort zone, you will discover what your voice is capable of and both you and your business will reap the benefits.
Stefan Holmström is a professional opera singer and voice teacher working with speakers and singers of all ages and abilities with a wide range of goals. He offers online and in-person vocal coaching and workshops from his studio in central Brighton in the UK. As an Estill Master Trainer (EMT), Stefan uses Estill Voice Training (EVT) as a baseline for safe and sustainable voice use.
Stefan delivered the workshop 'Train your voice and speak with confidence' as part of Brighton Chamber's bite-sized learning series. This blog post was initially published on the Brighton Chamber website - check out the original and consider becoming a member of Brighton Chamber while you're there!