Photography: © Laura Genini
VOICEWORK IS HIGHLY PERSONAL
From The Inner Game of Work: Focus, Learning, Pleasure and Mobility in the Workplace, by W. Timothy Gallwey:
" People are put into roles and told to follow procedures in the name of what's good for the corporation. Scripts are written and obeyed...employees internalize the characters they have been asked to portray...the self that is born with the gifts of freedom and self-expression, can easily be forgotten in the drama of the play. "
Your voice is the signature of your presence
Nobody else has one quite like yours and never will
It's worth cultivating
VOICEWORK IS ABOUT CHARACTER
Qualities that speakers want to demonstrate and evoke from their audiences: enthusiasm, authenticity, freedom, focus. The English language expressions associated with those qualities are essentially physical - having "spirit"; "backbone"; "heart"; "guts". Character and self-awareness are invoked often in contemporary leadership studies and manuals (see Resources). To present effectively, and step into leadership roles it is essential to embody these qualities: ideas and action meet in performance and presentations. These qualities can and must be practiced.
So, how to embody all those qualities with your voice? - Do Less.
A PRACTICE FOR SELF-AWARENESS AND EXPRESSION:
Unfortunately, stress and habit lead us to exercising more effort, rather than efficient effort when presenting and performing. You already have the tools to communicate. Fitzmaurice Voicework® is a technique for employing them more energetically and efficiently.
Catherine Fitzmaurice, widely recognized as one of the foremost voice trainers of her generation, has coined a technique that is divided into two sets of exercise, "destructuring" and restructuring. The first step, gently taps into the body's autonomic response to stress, and can help speakers channel their nerves, and find pleasure in the act of speaking itself: a good foundation for public speaking.
Step two, Restructuring, uses an imaged focus line to help the speaker connect with audiences and remain physically present. Taking pleasure in expression can grab an audience, but moving them with clear communication also requires sharply defined ideas. Restructuring adds intention to expression, to give a clear conceptual and practical frame for being a self-aware presenter and performer.