When it comes to expressing my passion for writing, I don’t believe my shortcomings are my energy or my choice of words. My challenge, which has remained consistent for as long as I can remember, has been my voice. People just can’t hear me and always ask me to speak up. That is, until I attended a luncheon hosted by speech and communication specialist Helen Moses.
Helen is a Distinguished Toastmaster and president of Command Communication. She helps individuals understand how to best control their voice so that they are “heard, understood, and appreciated.” I love that! Isn’t that what we all want?
This past fall Helen presented The Voice of Confidence: 5 Keys for Making Your Voice Mean Business(TM) in the North Hills area of Raleigh, North Carolina. Since I’ve struggled with not speaking loud enough, and I present workshops or speak at conferences almost every month, I figured attending Helen’s session would be the perfect investment of my time. I was right!
I learned several physical tips on how to control and project my voice. The most important exercise that Helen shared is a breathing method that I had not known and had not been utilizing. Since I’ve attended her luncheon, I have had 4 public speaking events and attended two open mics. For the first times ever, no one asked me to speak up, stand closer, or move the audience closer. While I would still benefit from a mic, I’m certainly better at projecting my voice than I have ever been.
Being heard was always an insecurity for me. I know I have something valuable to say and share, but if no one can hear me, they won’t understand that.
For writers in particular, we need to be able to spread excitement about our works-in-progress or our latest book. We need our audience to hear us at open mics and readings. We need command of our voice if we are on radio shows or podcasts. If we speak at conferences, we need to have a voice that gets others interested when they’re sitting in a sea of other people.
I highly recommend starting or finding a Toastmasters chapter in your area. I know we have many Write Naked readers who are not based in the United States. If you haven’t heard of Toastmasters, they are global!
I also recommend watching a few videos Helen has created that share tips on managing your voice.
And, of course, I recommend signing up for my Country Retreat for Creatives 3/8-3/11 in Saxapahaw, NC as Helen is one of the guest speakers and will present The Voice of the Confident Creative. Registration closes in about 2 weeks.
Funny enough, Traci Philips, who I referenced in my blog post last week, introduced me to Helen! Both Traci and Helen are speakers at the retreat. 🙂
Do you struggle with projecting confidence in your voice too?