Voice, speech, acting, presentations, self-confidence, voice health – pictures and thoughts on these topics and everything that surrounds them fill my life. I am constantly discussing something with myself. I am a self-blogger. But, today I am going public.
What does the term vocal branding mean?
Our voice and your vocal presence is our Brand. Here is my Brand. I spent a considerable amount of money and angst having someone design a brand for me, and it turned out to be just my name! I thought at first it was a little too easy and too self-promoting. (That was poor self-blogging). Then I thought, well that’s the way it is! My brand is my name and experience and expertise. My voice in the world is my brand. While that buzz word might disappear in a year or two, what won’t change is the fact that I see every day that poor communication skills or poor self knowledge can limit our world.
Consider this fact: the moment we speak, our listeners make a quick judgment, (from their personal catalogue of judgements, likes and dislikes), of who we are, and where we stand in the pecking order of their life. They do that little check before they listen to what we are saying. Observe yourself for a short time and catch yourself doing just that.
Our brand (our professional reputation really) is under our control and people in the corporate world seek out professional voice coaches. What limiting elements of your life might a voice coach be able to explain and make disappear? Vocal Knowledge guides us to the next level of personal competence and confidence. What if we stepped up to the self we could be? What would be your brand if you did this?
When I first found my voice, I cried and laughed, and laughed and cried and, even today, many years later, that moment remains an emotional trigger. I can recall it in an instant and feel the wet eyes again. Somewhere at school I learned that to speak out was to invite hurtful retaliation from a very unpleasant teacher. Instead, I learned to be funny and pleasant. That limitation didn’t work for my life of course and so the journey to find my voice began. Finally, I learned that it was ok to speak my own mind : that it was safe for me to speak. That, I now see, was the first step in finding my brand. Searching for my authentic voice was, and still is, challenging, fun and most of all, joyous.
Here are some questions that might interest you? Do you like the sound of your voice? How many voices do you have? (e.g. One for your friends, one for intimate relationships, one for your boss, one that you use when you meet powerful people?) Even reading those terms might cause feelings and reactions. If they do it’s because the answers tend to ask you to consider your value system, and your personal politics. You face these issues when you begin to unearth the narrative about yourself. And, your narrative is likely to be limiting. Do you glimpse a more freeing way of speaking about yourself? How can any of us resist a new narrative? AND it’s all about our breath.
When you walk into a group, how do you sense who is the most powerful person in the room? I suspect you will choose the person who is most deeply and calmly connected with breath. (That brings up the idea of presence, which is for another blog. ) Enough.
Homework: Would you please think of a word that describes your relationship to your voice? Mine is vital but I’ve used that same word for years and I think I should find another. I would be thrilled to know your word. I am a self-conscious first time blogger and need some encouragement. Thank you. D