Serving Your Performance

Communication: Are You Being Heard?

Your body and your voice are two wonderful, powerful communication tools. When we go to great theatre or film we see actors who have harnessed these tools to fantastic effect. When we listen to or see dynamic speakers we are awestruck by their brilliance as orators. Some of these people have entirely natural gifts and never had help to unlock their voices and bodies. The rest of us need a bit of support. With a little hard work, technique and with a better understanding of how you come across to people, every human being can unite their voice and body to communicate powerfully and effectively.

Jon came to me through a friend. A tremendously bright, intelligent man with a huge knowledge of his field, he was becoming increasingly despondent because people would always complain they couldn’t hear him speak. In internal meetings, client functions or lectures--whether the room was full or there was no background noise--he would always receive similar feedback about the difficulty his “audience” had in hearing what he was saying.

We did five sessions together. I helped Jon breathe from the right place, to relax tension away and to work his mouth properly. I also shared techniques with Jon to break down his inhibitions and assumptions of how others people perceived him. Jon was pleased by how easy and fun the physical and vocal sessions become.

Jon has become a friend through our work and so I get to hear regular updates on his progress. It is so satisfying to know that he has overcome the blocks that stopped people from being able to understand and appreciate him. He now enters all conversations, meetings and lectures secure in the knowledge that he has techniques at his disposal to ensure that he is powerful and dynamic…. and heard.

Carole had changed her job to be part of a busy sales team in a very energetic environment. Her work featured long hours on the telephone. She also had to continually making quick important decisions. She approached Spoon because she had developed a permanent cough attributed to worsening asthma. She would often lose her voice completely. Doctors had prescribed strong inhalers and steroids. Carol was keen to avoid becoming reliant on strong medication.

It was wonderful to work with Carole over a number of weeks. Whilst we offered no cure for her medical condition, we worked together to lessen the triggers for her cough and voice loss. As can often be the case for those who work in hectic environments, tension would creep into her body (usually via her shoulders) and afflict her voice. The tenser she got the greater the strain on her vocal chords and the more she had to “push” her voice. The harder she had to work to speak the more tense she would get. It was a vicious circle.

We worked to make Carole aware of when and how tension came into her body and the impact this had on her voice. We also saw that her concern about the effect her coughing had on her fellow workers would lead to attempts to suppress her cough, a tactic which was counter-productive.

Carole's asthma hasn't gone away. However, she has become less dependent on medication and she now knows how to reduce the tension she experiences both at work and at home. She tells us this increases her enjoyment of work and, in turn, her productivity.

When it comes to communication, every person has different needs and issues. Some people need a few finishing touches to become powerful communicators. For others there is a greater journey to discover and express joy in all their physical and verbal communication. If you have a fear of speaking in public, technical difficulties with your voice or just want to add new strings to your bow, Spoon can help.