One of the first tasks when working with clients is to identify whether their voice is supporting their career or not.
Of course, I get met with empty stares and questioning eye brows, so let me take a deep dive to explain what I mean.
You see, a human voice is sticky. We are born perfectly. When your voice was fully responsive to your thoughts, needs and desires, your breath helped to create the perfect vibration, leaving no room for misinterpretation.
But unfortunately, as you travelled through life, your voice picked up your life experiences. Heart-break, joy and sorrow, changing the undertone of your speech patterns.
I recently spent time chatting with a veteran speaker who is at the top of her game and came to me with a very specific problem. She spent time explaining that sometimes when she presents, she is 100% on point, receiving standing ovations and rave reviews. However, on the opposite end of the scale, sometimes she bombs terribly, leaving the stage to the roar of crickets.
After listening to her talk for a while, I started to feel an extremely uncomfortable sensation as if someone was choking me. Over the years, I have learnt to identify the undertones in a voice and I knew that this sensation had nothing to do with me. It was coming from the sympathetic vibration of this gorgeous woman sitting opposite me. I also knew that this could open Pandora’s Box for her and took a second before addressing my discomfort. It’s important in this moment to ensure my own voice comes from a place of deep compassion and understanding.
As she paused to take breath, I gently asked if she had an experience of choking? As the blood drained from her face, her fight and flight response confirmed that I had touched on a major pain point.
Resistant to answering, she quietly told me about her experience of being choked as a young girl, to the point of passing out.
Her speech was dependent on her state of being, her health, level of fatigue and mind set on that day. When she felt confident, the voice was clean and clear, allowing the audience to connect to her. When she was tired, the voice let her down, leaking parts of her life story that she did not want told.
The audience would not feel like they were choking, but they would feel a sense of unease and probably walk away saying “there is just something I do not like about her”.
Developing a voice that supports you does not mean hiding your life story or over-compensating with a “happy clapper” narrative that is all rainbows and unicorns.
It means that you must build your self-belief system, start breathing properly, reconnect with your internal voice, and most importantly, be present, strong and healthy.
It can be bumpy at first, a bit scary and you may feel like giving up, but I am here to support you through the process.
You deserve to feel confident and tell your story in the way you want it told without being betrayed by your past. You cannot change the past but you also don’t have to be shackled by it… any more.