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Public Speaking – Your Voice Matters 

 

In this age of devices and virtual living our voices are more important than ever.  It is so easy for us to shy away behind our computers, tablets and smart phones. I've often sat in rooms full of people where nobody conversed because they were all preoccupied with their phones; texting, reading articles, playing games or talking but not with people actually in the same room. Could it be that sometimes we avoid open face to face communications?  

 

For many people speaking in public is a fear worse than death.  In fact the fear of public speaking is called glossophobia, 1 in 5 people suffer from this condition. In America, statistics show that fear of public speaking is higher than fear of death.  For many people nerves and anxiety often get in the way of clear & effective speech. For many the primal effects of fight or flight kick in when faced with an audience.  It's as if the person were under attack.  Yet despite the rational mind a deeper more instinctive pattern of behaviour overrides logic and undermines confident speaking.

 

The effect of these fears can be rather debilitating and render the speech a flop.  The words don't carry much weight and the meaning or intention of the content is lost. Speaking badly can change people's perception and opinion of that individual. Their credence and image may be seriously hindered by a poor speech.  I suspect that deep down we know that when we put ourselves on show we open ourselves up for criticism, and when it comes to our voice that's personal.

 

We can detect and extract so much information from a person's voice.  The history, background, education, class, nationality, regionality, state of mind, outlook on life and so on.  However sometimes our own voice has developed according to all the points above but it may not serve us to further develop our lives and careers.  Training the voice is not about changing who you are but rather improving parts of ourselves that no longer do us justice.  It's like any self-development; it's like fitness and adapting your skills base.

 

Finding confidence and trusting yourself makes better speech, this may give a significant boost to your life.  Great speakers change lives and make an impact on the world. Maybe that's your vocation!

 

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