When I first started my voice business, my husband remarked that he did not understand what my clients were saying in their ‘before’ recording. He was, however, able to understand everyone in their ‘after’ clips. Why were my clients speaking more clearly in their ‘after’ recording? While I will certainly help someone with his/or her enunciation if there is an obvious problem, accent reduction is not my specialty. |
As a voice coach, I teach others how to improve the sound of the speaking voice by using their chest cavity as their primary sounding board. Most likely you are not aware of nor using this, the largest of your 5 resonating chambers. And, you are not alone. 99% of the population is unaware of this as well.
When you are able to utilize your chest in this manner, you will gain control over your diction as well as your voice. What this means is that you will not only speak more distinctly but you will also hear a sound that is new to you: a richer, warmer, deeper speaking voice that is vibrating in your chest.
How important is your diction? If others cannot understand you because of an accent or a heavy dialect, then your message has no value. Communication is important in all business. In the medical field, for example, it could mean the difference between life and death. While your business may not have such dire consequences for being misunderstood, if it jeopardizes your career or your job in any way, then it obviously will limit your success.
This is not to say that you need to get rid of your accent or dialect. I would suggest that you clean it up. Accents and dialects are part of what make you, you. As long as you are understood when you speak, then I say keep it.
Other benefits of voice training include control over your speed and your volume. Regarding your speed, I certainly do not want you to speak too slowly. However, having control over your speed means that you can control how fast or how slowly you speak. Whether you speak too softly or too loudly, your volume will also normalize when you power your voice from your chest cavity. There are some cultures where a loud volume is normal; other cultures where a soft volume is encouraged. In North America, I stress a volume which is normal. Not too loud; not too soft.
If you are not being understood because of your diction, your volume, your speed, or a combination of these characteristics, voice training will solve the problem.
The Voice Lady, Nancy Daniels, offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as the Voicing It! the only video training on voice improvement. If you would like to see a wonderful improvement in volume control and diction, watch Mohammad's ‘before & after’ video clip at Nancy's Voice Training website.
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