Vocal Coaching: We’ll make it sing for you.

25 July 2022

I love vocal coaching.

However, vocal coaching in certain professions has been a challenge!

Everyone wants their voice to sound great.

    Vocal Coaching

    Everyone wants to make an impact. People are very sure that they want voices that are relaxed, confident, authoritative, trustworthy, engaging etc etc etc…insert more positive adjectives.

    “I want to use pitch and tone to engage my audiences.”

    “I want a deeper voice so that I can command more authority.”

    “I want to sound like…..” insert name of public figure with good voice.

    Fantastic. So much enthusiasm for voice. Discovering the full potential of your voice is an incredible experience, can deliver so much confidence and make a huge impact. It’s absolutely central to how you connect with people, every day. We’re giving you a tool to make you more compelling to clients and colleagues, more able to build trust and influence and get you feeling great in the process.

    Yet, when we get onto the practical voice work, the reticence and scepticism build. It’s rarely what people expect.

    “I just want some quick tips and tricks to make my voice louder or deeper or less monotone.”

    But, it’s rather more complicated and there often isn’t a quick fix.

    We were all born with voices that work perfectly. As babies, we screamed all day without getting hoarse. It’s the stress of life that causes us to tense up. This tension stops us using our voices at their full capacity. That’s why so much of vocal coaching is about tension release.

    We’re re-discovering how to use our voices as we did as children. After years of being serious grown-ups, re-connecting with a childish sense of freedom can be disconcerting. People feel silly.

    Breaking unhelpful “grown-up” vocal habits can take a lot of work. Bucking the trend to “grow back down” isn’t easy. You don’t sound like Beyonce overnight just like you don’t get a six-pack overnight. We don’t call it The Speakers’ Gym™ for nothing! It takes work, discipline, skill and control.

    Yet, some clients fall at the first hurdle because the exercises just make them feel too uncomfortable. Or, to their mind, the exercises just seem too left field, silly or childish.

    Yes, the exercises are playful, and can seem a little unusual, but the reasons that we use them are deadly serious and very “grown up.”

    The exercises are intended at releasing tension and re-connecting with your most relaxed, confident and engaged self. Yet, it so often feels like we’re inflicting something incredibly painful on our clients. The intention is the exact opposite. I promise you!

    What has happened for spending a little time relaxing to have become such an ordeal? Surely this is a worrying state of affairs!

    If you want the rewards, then you may have to go to unchartered waters and places that initially seem uncomfortable or tangential to the goal.

    However, it’s 100% our job to make the work palatable, manageable and realistically applicable to our varied audiences- you.

    The challenge is that whilst people understand and see the link between warm up exercises and sport, the same anatomical understanding is not there for the voice.

    A hamstring stretch is just as tangential to playing football as a spine roll or any other breathing exercise is to delivering a speech or presentation. But people “get” stretching. It’s accepted.

    Here’s a basic anatomical understanding of our instrument- The Voice. With this, I hope to build a simple, logical connection between the vocal exercises that we use and the end result- how we sound:

    • Breath powers the voice: When we speak, air from the lungs flows through the “vocal folds” which close over the larynx (in the throat) in preparation to make sound. The vocal folds vibrate to create sound.
    • Resonance: The initial sound sets the air in the throat and the mouth into sympathetic vibration- resonance. The rest of the body also resonates to amplify the sound. You can see your whole body as your stereo speaker.
    • Support: The support muscles (back, abs, intercostals, obliques) gently engage to extend the exhalation process and ensure a smooth flow of air over the vocal folds- lengthening and strengthening the sound.
    • Articulation: The muscles in the face and mouth engage to shape our sound/articulate, and make sense.

    Why is releasing tension so important?

    The more tension that we can release all over the body, the deeper the breath can drop into the lungs, the more resonant our voices will be, and the easier we’ll find it to articulate.

    I hope that this whistle-stop understanding of your voice goes some way to explaining the nature vocal work. Our “Vocal Conditioning Course” delves into this in greater depth, equips you with simple, practical exercises to hone your instrument and connect with clients at your very best.

    We live in a world that demands quick results. But any great skill requires consistent application and is not acquired overnight. Once it is acquired, it still needs maintenance and work.

    If you’re looking to communicate as effectively as possible, your voice is an absolutely essential tool to expressing yourself. We continue to develop our techniques. We continue to innovate. If it doesn’t sing for you, then we haven’t done our job. We’ll make it sing.

    Client reviews

    Trustpilot

    M

    The Speakers’ Gym is like the iPhone. You don’t realise you need it until you have it, and then you can’t live without it.

    Magda Gonzalez, Group CFO, Monex Europe

    Monex

    M

    It was completely practical and the open-forum feedback was so valuable. You created a safe environment for everyone to learn. Thank you!

    Nicola Koronka, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Missive

    Missive

    S

    I was recommended by a friend who works in the same sector to contact The Speakers’ Gym to help me with my presentation delivery skills and I have not been disappointed with the results. Chris and Jonny work with you to provide bespoke training for your goals and needs. They are highly professional and make you feel at ease from the first minute the first session begins. I would highly recommend them to those who have a role which involves public speaking!

    Julia Peake,Technical Development Manager, Sanlam

    Sanlam

    7

    It has challenged both my thinking and approach and I will be sure to keep The Speakers’ Gym ‘fireworks’ readily available on my desk to refer to when not only presenting but also when needed through everyday management.

    Liz Paradine – Chief Operations Manager - 7iM

    T

    Transact first engaged with The Speaker Gym late in 2018 where Chris & Jonny made a concerted effort to get under the skin of our business and understand how they could best help us hone our presentational and empathetic skills. The resulting sessions were hugely helpful giving my team plenty of opportunity to practice and also benefit from a great deal of feedback, not just from Chris & Jonny but by including the rest of the Transact team in the feedback and group learning too. I would highly recommend The Speakers Gym

    Glen Sweet, Head of Sales, Transact

    Transact London

    B

    Working with The Speakers’ Gym has been fantastic. We knew what we wanted to say and who we wanted to speak to, so all we needed was technique. Or so we thought. Chris and Jonny helped us to understand the key elements of communication, through a structured process. We now think about communication in a completely different way. There’s a line they gave us that now resonates in my head, every time I write or talk to someone about what we do. We feel we’ve met two great guys and they’ve become an important part of us, our story and how we tell it to others.

    Thomas Skinner, Founder, Barnaby Cecil Financial Planning

    Barnaby Cecil Financial Planning

    M

    The impact of The Speakers’ Gym™ at Mako can only be described as transformational. Over a three month period, they helped transition a group of individuals into a highly collaborative and consultative leadership team. Chris and Jonny have a unique ability to connect individuals with their true purpose, driving them towards self-reflection and ultimately growth. Overall the entire experience of working with them has been a pleasure and I am deeply grateful for their impact. They more than surpassed my expectations and I look forward to working with them again in the future!

    Trystan Morgan-Schauer, CEO, Mako

    Mako

    W

    We engaged The Speakers’ Gym to provide us with clarity and direction in the look, feel and messaging of the Worldmaker brand in preparation for our official launch. From start to finish, the process has been truly collaborative. They worked with the expertise and experience in our team to create branding that truly represents who we are and what we represent, whilst moving us into a more modern, expressive space – which was our desire. We know that we’re in great hands with The Speakers’ Gym. We’ll certainly be continuing to work with them

    Mollie Marti, CEO, Worldmaker International

    Worldmaker International

    N

    They first took the time to understand our brief and delivered the programme incorporating our culture and brand throughout. They were thought provoking and their unique techniques very well received.

    Mairi Cameron, Learning Manager, Nucleus Financial

    Nucleus

    V

    The Speakers’ Gym gave me the skills and confidence to be my normal self whilst speaking and facilitating. They took the anxiety out of public speaking and gave me practical tools to prepare for and manage public engagements. They also helped me to engage more meaningfully with my clients, for which I am thankful. Highly recommend them.

    Matthew Marais, Director, Vertus Capital

    Vertus Capital

    S

    I found the sessions to be a revelation, and I wish I had known some of the techniques sooner. It has completely changed my mindset and focused me in on the needs of the audience. With that, the ability to achieve those aspirations has come more naturally. There is always room for improvement, and I will definitely be revisiting The Speakers’ Gym for a refresher from time to time.

    Kelly Devlin, Wealth Management Consultant - St. James’s Place Wealth Management

    St. James's Place Wealth Management
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