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What NOT to do: Don’t present with a ‘cold’ voice!

Don’t present with a ‘cold’ voice.


Often we run into meetings first thing in the morning without thinking too much about how our voice will sound when we have to speak up and influence others. After all, you are busy and in my experience, most business people don’t have a lot of spare time (or respect) for the need to warm up your voice. So why should you bother to warm up? If you stumble over your words, sound hoarse or your pitch is too high you’ll lose people in seconds.


What should you do instead of speaking with a cold voice?


You need to warm it up! Vocal quality is the tone or the resonance of your voice. We associate authority and credibility with people who have a rich, resonant vocal quality. To warm up your vocal tone you can do the yawn and hum to warm up your tone.


Yawn


To warm up your vocal quality you must yawn. Forget the manners you were taught by your mother. When I say yawn I don’t mean a polite little yawn with your lips together and hand across your mouth; I mean YAWN! Big open mouth. You want the air to come out unobstructed so you have an authentic sound and we hear the real YOU! Allow your tongue to touch the back of your bottom front teeth, then move into a sigh.

 

Hum


The second thing you can do is hummmmmm! The thing to focus on when you hum is the vibrations you cause. Take a good deep breath and then direct the hum to the front of your mouth; if your lips and nose start to tickle, you know you’re on the right track. The key to this is to create lots of space inside your mouth. The roof of your mouth should be raised and not touching your tongue. In turn, try sending the vibrations to the top of your head, the back of your neck and to your upper chest, and put your hands on these spots to see if they are actually vibrating.

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