Welcome to the first installment of my blog. Once a month, I will offer my thoughts on issues having to do with communication, presentation skills, negotiation or leadership. Some of these writings will be about how to get better at your skills in these areas. Some will be reflections on current affairs, literature or the arts when what’s going on around us can be observed or evaluated through the prism the above topics.
Many people talk about how important it is to “have a voice.” This is meant metaphorically: be sure to have your ideas presented, acknowledged and promoted. But you literally have to “have a voice” in order to be heard.
Actors who work on the stage understand the importance of vocal training so that they can be heard and understood easily no matter the size of the performance space. They may spend years training their voices to be resonant, clear, and expressive.
But an expressive resonant voice means nothing if it is not coming from a place of authenticity. Without a deep personal connection to your reason for speaking, your words may sound “hollow.” Your need to express yourself and your desire to reach the people you are talking to are both paramount to opening up your voice.
It’s also been my experience that as you train your voice, you may become freer and more confident in finding that personal connection. It is possible to override the influences that keep one silent, whether family, social group, culture, or environment. When you have experienced what it’s like to have a physical voice, then you are ready to “have a voice.”
This blog is a new avenue for my metaphoric voice. As an actor, director and teacher in the theater, and a facilitator of workshops and coaching in all sorts of venues and organizations, my primary mode of communication has been through my actual voice. I am accustomed to speaking to groups of people, whatever the numbers. Not only is it a pleasure, it’s a thrill.
Now, as I begin to express myself through the written word and technology in order to reach a larger audience, I’ve been experiencing the same hesitancies that someone not used to speaking out fully might feel. This new voice may be small at first, but just as a speaker gains confidence in his or her new found expression, so will I. I’m ready to have a new voice.