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Understand your voice – tone

Each voice’s unique tone originates in the throat. This is the initial area where the quality of the voice is influenced by the vigour and responsiveness of the vocal mechanism. If the mechanism is free of tension or pressure, if it is free of restrictions in its physiology, the resulting sound, which is voice, will move smoothly and easily. The soundwaves created by the action of and within the mechanism will be unhindered.

Larynx1In the first instance, tone is related to the outcome of voice activation.  Thus, your starting point for voice is one which is free of constrictions.

This includes physical constraints as well as mental and emotional strictures.

The initial sound waves which constitute voice, are enriched in the spaces through and against which the voice resonates.

These include the throat, neck, face, mouth, sinuses and whole head.

As speakers and communicators it is vital that we remember that tone and emotion are closely linked. What, why and how we think about ‘things’ as well as what, how and why we feel in relation to ‘those same things’ have the potential to influence how our voices sound when we speak of them.

An enduring awareness of this deep connection between thinking, feeling and tonality in voice, gives us the ability to elevate what, why and how we say things to others.

Habits that are attached to voice tone are similar to habits that are attached to everything else we do.  Some are useful, practical and supportive. Others are not. By working with a voice coach you gain insight into your tonal habits, develop skills in voice and tone, and build your capacity to select which ones serve your unique voice to best advantage.

question-mark-nothingAs a starting point consider: ‘What do I want to elicit in my listeners?’  Sustain your focus outward, towards your listeners rather than inward, on yourself and the limitations that you may believe you have.

Ask yourself: ‘How do I want them to respond?’  Give a name to the emotions and their progress: excitement, determination, commitment. Model the emotive behaviours in your voice as you speak.

This will ensure your intention is understood; then you are likely to capture your listeners’ attention and direct them towards your purpose for the group.

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