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Five misconceptions about your voice

When speaking in public, your voice a) inspires b) communicates c) bores your audience. Make sure you make the right choice! Joep Hegger is our voice expert. He knows exactly how to get the most out of every vocal encounter. In this blog he shares 5 of the most persistent misconceptions about your vocal instrument.

No matter how perfect your story might be, if your voice isn’t equally good, your presentation/sales pitch/job interview will never have the intended impact. That would be a shame! We all have our own voice. Some voices are easier on the ears than others. But did you know any voice can be trained to feel easy and free, and sound exactly right for any occasion?

Vocal coaching

Vocal coaching is not just important for opera singers, teachers and actors. It’s for everyone who wants to be more confident on stage and wants to improve their communication skills.

In his daily work, vocal expert Joep Hegger sees many misunderstandings about training your voice. Today, he shares five of the biggest misconceptions about using your voice.

Misconception 1: I can’t change the way my voice sounds

Truth: Only 10 percent of your vocal sound is fixed. The other 90 percent is up for redesign! That’s great news, because now you can sound like any voice you ever heard and still be authentic.

TIP: Try it yourself! You already have many different voice types: One for talking to financial institutions, one for answering a call from an unknown number, one for talking to your spouse, one for reading bedtime stories. Just start playing around and see what you can already do!

Misconception 2: Inspiring speakers have a special talent

Truth: Excellence takes practice, and effective practice takes professional training. No exceptions. Sure, some people grew up in an environment with good examples, allowing them to get in the right general direction – but everybody has to train in order to excel. You can safely assume that every inspiring voice on YouTube enjoyed professional support.

TIP: Use your common sense. Everybody knows what an inspiring voice sounds like, because we can all be inspired by other voices – right? All you have to do is listen, write down what sound you hear (free? Warm? Dark? Bright? Loud? Soft?) and try it yourself – or hire a vocal coach to help you.

Misconception 3: My voice will always feel sore after using it (a lot)

Truth: Using just a few simple steps and exercises, everybody can learn how to speak without having a sore throat afterwards. Even if you speak all day your throat doesn’t have to feel irritated or painful afterwards.

TIP: Give your vocal folds a nice massage using the Lax Vox method: Take a bunch of straws or a tube equalling about 10 millimeters wide and 35 centimeters long. Get a half full bottle of water. Put the straw about 3 centimeters into the water and blow on a tone for about a minute. Repeat before and after talking a lot and you’ll see that your voice remains in much better shape. Need more guidance? Simply search Lax Vox on YouTube.

Misconception 4: Drinking water while presenting helps my voice

Truth: Ever wondered why your mouth keeps feeling dry while presenting, no matter how much water you drink? The truth is, a sip of water may give your mouth a nice feeling, but it actually takes about 90 minutes for consumed water to hydrate your muscle tissue!

TIP: If you really want your voice to be hydrated, drink some water well in advance. About two hours before your presentation starts, drink two glasses of water and you’re good to go!

Misconception 5: The talking speed that feels best to me, is best for my audience

Truth: You’re probably talking too fast. Why? You know what you’re gonna say. Your audience doesn’t. That means that slow enough for them will automatically feel too slow to you. Also, you may want to keep it short – but that usually only results in speeding, searching for words, humming, and stumbling.

TIP: Imagine being both the speaker AND part of the audience, and that the audience version of yourself doesn’t know what you’re gonna say, while also not understanding your language very well. Adjust to that and you’ll be surprised how slow you need to speak to keep things clear.

Get a voice that always works, no matter what

Do you want to improve your presentation skills? Want that low and powerful voice for sales pitches? Want a voice that doesn’t ever grow tired? Or do you simply want to inspire anybody, anywhere, regardless what you’re saying? With the right vocal training you can achieve all of the above.

See your voice as an instrument that you learn to play!


About Joep

Joep is our voice expert. As vocal coach he knows all about the voice. How sound is produced, how others respond to our voice and how we can influence how we sound. He teaches individuals and groups, speakers and singers, mostly professionals. His favorite speaker is sir David Attenborough, who in Joeps opinion can communicate peace and trust without ever being boring.

Want to learn more about Joep? Check https://thevocal.coach

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