microphoneYesterday was International Women’s Day and also A Day Without A Woman. Although I didn’t take the day off from paid work, wear red in solidarity or avoid shopping (I went grocery shopping), I did engage in something that will benefit myself and my female colleagues. One of my co-workers organized a voice workshop for the women in the office. Working on your voice is not only important for work in the theater, but as we discovered can be useful in an office environment as well.

This is not a new topic. The Wall Street Journal talks about this in The Sound of Your Voice Speaks Volumes. NPR’s All Things Considered answers the question “Can Changing How You Sound Help You Find Your Voice?” But it wasn’t one that I thought very much about as I’m generally not afraid to speak my mind. If you are, however, here are some takeaways that stuck with me after the voice workshop:

  • When you speak, do you have a tendency to lower your volume at the end of your statement? Think through to the end of your conversation to ensure that you get your point across. Trailing off may negate what you previously said or may make it seem like what you said wasn’t that important.
  • If you’re nervous when speaking in public, allow yourself to show that vulnerability. Nerves in your voice show that you’re human and may actually invite the audience into what you’re saying. Take your time rather than rushing through to get it over with.
  • If you have trouble interjecting during a meeting or heated conversation, start small and “make a sound about it.” Make a noise that implies that you agree/disagree/need some clarification. This small sound may encourage others to turn to you for your thoughts.

Do you think a voice workshop could be helpful for you or someone you know? Share your thoughts with a comment or send me a tweet at @cecileoreste.

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