Find Your Voice

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Find Your Voice

Encourager-In-Chief: March 28th, 2018

Use what you learn.

I’ve asked another one of my favorite friends and colleagues, Diane Dayton, owner of Dayton Communications, to do this week’s blog. I’m sure you’ll find it interesting

We all have a story. Here is mine, at least as it pertains to my journey with voice, presentation, and performance. I can't remember a time I wasn't talking, presenting something, or performing somehow! As a young child, I would recreate commercials in front of the mirror all the time. In my room, I would read out loud and hold class with my stuffed animals and the dog. In the summer I held various performances in our backyard as a part of our neighborhood carnival.

In high school and college, I continued to perform. I was a cheerleader, sang in the choir and in a small group ensemble, and performed in plays. I studied singing, all the while creating events to keep performing. I had the opportunity to perform and tour with a singing group while recording an album. My first job out of college was in radio. I was at WNOW and WQXA in York, PA. I was writing commercials and, because there were few women in radio at the time, I was recruited to “voice” some of them. This is where I really learned the impact of the spoken word and how persuasive the voice can be. I used those tools I learned when honing my craft on stage and studying singing. I funneled them into my voice on radio, which we call "theater of the mind". I worked in the sound studio, recording and re-recording, listening very intently to the subtleties of my voice – learning how to use the nuances to create images and feelings to evoke certain responses and portray messages.

This led to many “voice over” opportunities coming my way for radio and TV commercials, messages on hold, training pieces, on-camera work, and emcee opportunities for both regional clients and national clients. I began to get requests from other people to help them with their voice and presentation. These people included business owners and managers, salespeople, professors, other presenters, and more.

What I had learned, I started to teach. First of all, to hear your voice as others do. I introduced people to their speaking voices by recording the voice and listening back to it. Then we worked to discover the range and resonance in the voice, looking at how sound is produced, with the end goal to find the unique sound and authentic voice that best represents each person.

You have been blessed with a voice and when you find your voice and embrace it, it can and will represent you well. We all have a story, stories in fact that, when told with your best sound and your authentic voice, will enhance your conversations and presentations. I believe it will more accurately and effectively allow you to communicate to others. Your voice can be one of your biggest assets when you learn how to use it.

The art of communication is the language of leadership.
- James Humes

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