Help! I talk too fast! Tip 2: Breathe

Hey Friends,

Talking too fast often comes from nervous, excited or passionate energy, which surges upwards through the body and can result in speeding up your tempo. But if you try to think of combating that energy by artificially slowing yourself down, it will feel and sound weird for everyone, because it won’t be authentic. 

This is video 2 of 3 where I offer tips for organically slowing down your speech. In video 1, we talked about grounding yourself, which you can watch on this website here, on my IGTV @christinemottramvoice or on my YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/clmottram)

The second tip we cover in this video? Take a deep breath. You know you’re talking too fast if you’re struggling to breathe with what you’re trying to say, but there are things you can do in the moment to re-center your breathing. Watch this video to see how. 

Try this out and let me know how it goes. I’ll be back with a third tip next week. 

ps. For more, longer and more in-depth breathing warm ups check out the warm ups on this website. If you would like to have access to warm ups in downloadable form, the same warm ups can be found as podcasts by searching for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’ on iTunes, Buzzsprout, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher.

Take good care,

Christine

Help! I’m talking too fast! Tip 1: Ground

Hi Friends,

Do you feel like, or have you gotten feedback that you talk too fast? You know you’re talking too fast if you are struggling to keep up with the act of speaking or if you can tell your listener is struggling to understand you, or both. 

Talking too fast often comes from nervous, excited or passionate energy, which surges upwards through the body and can result in speeding up your tempo. But if you try to think of combating that energy by artificially slowing yourself down, it will feel and sound weird for everyone, because it won’t be authentic. 

I’ll be doing a three-video series that talks you through three tips for organically slowing down your speech and this is video 1. The first tip? Ground that energy. Watch to see how. 

Try this out and let me know how it goes. 

ps. If you’d like more or longer grounding warm ups, search through the archives of this website. If you want them in downloadable format, search for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’ on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Buzzsprout or Stitcher.

Take good care,

Christine

Zoom into 2021: A Voice Warm Up for Virtual Communication

A sneaky shot of my hubby on a Zoom call. Aren’t we all secretly working in PJs these days?

Happy New Year! More than ever before, you might be feeling like you need a refresher as we say ‘bye’ to 2020 and try to embrace 2021. We have reason to be hopeful that we will be back communicating in person regularly soon, but because we are starting off 2021 largely virtual, we’ve got your back. This warm up is designed to help you release and prepare the body, breath and voice for virtual communication.

Long periods of virtual communication can lead to a lot of tension in the body and voice, because sitting all day and talking into a computer is not how our bodies were meant to communicate— it can lead to hunched shoulders, tight neck, tight bellies, squeezed throats. It’s important to remember that even when we are communicating virtually, communication is still a full body action. The more at ease you are, the stronger and more at ease your voice is and the easier it is to communicate. We’ve talked through tips that can help in a previous episode— ‘Cause we are living in a virtual world’. Feel free to reference that. This warm up is a practical sequence that will complement those tips. 

You can also find this episode on iTunes, Spotify, AmazonMusic, Google Podcasts or Stitcher by searching for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’.

Let us know how you find it! 

Can I make you sound “Butch”?

Hi Friends,

For our last post of the year, we thought we’d tackle a fun, juicy topic that came out of a question from you: Can I, as a voice coach, make you sound “butch?”

This is a pretty complex topic that I could talk much more about– but in this video I touch briefly on what it means to be “butch” as the dictionary defines it and some cultural associations for how the voice sounds when your voice is “butch”. One such association is a deeper voice, and I talk about how you can find that deeper sound authentically and without force. 

If you want to dive deeper on this issue, we have an episode called “Man Up: How does trying to sound Masculine Affect Your Voice?” You can also find that episode in downloadable podcast form by searching for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’ on iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Buzzsprout or Stitcher.

You can also watch this video directly on YouTube, and as an end-of-year present to us, please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel and sharing with anyone you think might find this interesting or valuable. Supporting these free avenues helps us continue to create free and accessible content for everyone.

If you have any questions you’d like answered, comment below or contact us on bespoke.comcontact@gmail.com and your question may be featured on a future video or podcast.

If you’re watching this in real time, we’re wishing you a very happy new year, and very much looking forward to the arrival of 2021!

Take good care,

Christine

Tips for Chronic Jaw Tension

Hi Friends,

In this video, I talk about reasons why you might be experiencing chronic jaw tension. This is a tricky area of the body that can get tense for all sorts of physical and psychological reasons. I also talk through some tips for how to alleviate jaw tension. If you want more information, we also have a BeSpoke Speaks podcast episode, ‘Our Jaws, Ourselves’, which you can find here or on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or BuzzSprout by searching for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’.

You can also watch or share this video on YouTube. Please share with anyone you think might be interested and as a Christmas present to us, consider subscribing to the channel to help support us in generating free and accessible content!

We’d love to know what you think.

Take good care,

Christine

Accent Adaptability: The How

Hey Friends,

This video is the Part 2 of two videos aimed to answer the question: How do I keep my own accent when I am surrounded by foreign speakers? In the first video, which you can find on this website or on my YouTube channel, I talked about why your accent changes when you’re around people who sound different than you. In this video, I talk about one of many ways you can stay grounded in your own accent if you don’t want it to change. 

This is a highly complex topic so this is only one of many possible solutions to this question. Feel free to be in touch if are curious about your oral posture or want more information.

Take good care,

Christine

BeSpoke Goes on YouTube!

Hey Friends,

In case you haven’t noticed, Christine now has a YouTube Channel, where she answers questions that come up frequently with clients or that have been directly sent to her through this site or on Instagram. If you’d like to subscribe directly and interact more with us via video, you can do so here.

Please share with all of your friends (and enemies!). We appreciate your support as we continue to grow and endeavor to offer accessible content to our students, clients and peers.

Feel free to also send us questions that are coming up for you. They may be featured on either a future podcast or video!

Take good care,

Christine

Accent Adaptability: The Why

Hi Friends,

This video is the first part of two videos aimed to answer the question: how do I keep my own accent when I am surrounded by foreign speakers? Before we talk about the how, we look at the why– why does your accent change when you’re around people who sound different from you in the first place? It all comes down to human adaptability, but stay tuned for Part 2 if you’d like to stay grounded in your own accent.

Does this sound like your own experience? Let us know what questions this brings up for you.

Take good care!

Avoiding Masked-Up Vocal Fatigue

In this video, I answer a question I got recently from a teacher about how to avoid vocal fatigue when talking in a mask all day. This info is useful for teachers but also for anyone who has to talk for long periods while masked.

At some point, the audio becomes slightly disconnected from the video. Still worth the watch– as the tips are good! Bear with me as we move into more video formats– it’s a steep learning curve!

Let us know what you think and take good care!

30-Minute Mind/Body/Voice Warm-Up

IMG_1741

Hi Friends,

Here is a guided warm up that explores mindfulness, releasing physical tensions and connecting to your breath and voice. 

This warm up came out of our 3 last episodes, where we’ve been talking about what mindfulness, breathing and extraneous physical tensions have to do with  the voice. Those episodes were the what and why, and this warm up explores the how: how can a practice that includes mindfulness, letting go of extraneous physical tension, and connecting to your breath help your voice feel more powerful and connected? 

We don’t do a lot of resonance, range or articulation work in this warm up, as it’s more about initial vocal connection from a mindful place of ease, so if you’re wanting more of that post-warm up, feel free to continue on from where we leave off, because the warm up here will set you up nicely for that work. If you’re lost as to what to do, check out some of our other warm ups.  “Good Vibrations” is great for resonance. “Sustained Articulation Power Up” is great for articulation. But there are many more as well, so have a look and see what sounds good.

For this warm up, wear some comfy clothing and have a space on the floor you can lie down (and a mat if you like). Give yourself some privacy so you can make sound confidently. 

The exercises in this warm up are inspired by Organic Intelligence® and Fitzmaurice Voicework®. 

Let us know how it goes!

Take good care,

Christine & Lindsay