Let’s get Physical(ly released)

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Picture from http://www.onhealth.com

Hi Friends,

How does excess physical tension in the body impact the voice?

Or, in other words:

What’s the relationship between the tension you have going on in your body and the sound of your voice?

Your voice gets made in your body, thanks to your breath. How you’re using your body impacts how easily you’re breathing, which impacts how easily you’re speaking.

Having some tension in the body is necessary for you to be upright and moving around in the world, but we’re talking about excess tension— tension you don’t need and that’s just making your life and your job (whatever it is in the moment at hand) harder than it needs to be. If you’ve got excess tension anywhere in the body, it’s going to impact how you’re breathing, as well as how you sound. A tense body= a tense sounding voice. This is why we can tell someone is tense just by listening to them!

In this episode, We explore:

  • a tensing vs. releasing body scan to explore the relationship between tension and breathing
  • exercises to explore extreme tension in the body and how it affects the way you sound
  • exercises to explore low-level tension in the body and how it affects the way you sound

The good news is: there are a lot of exercises you can do to relieve excess tension in your body— even starting with mindfulness exercises that make you feel more relaxed (remember that connection between mindfulness and voicing we talked about a few episode back?). AND— these exercises feel good! So you’ll want to do them often.  There are many warm ups on this website (and in podcast form by searching for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’) that help you relieve excess tensions, so start by culling through old episodes. We will also be creating more!

You can also find this episode in downloadable podcast form by searching for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’ on iTunes, Spotify, GooglePodcasts, Buzzsprout or Stitcher.

Happy voicing!

Christine & Lindsay

ps. If you’re curious about a more thorough anatomical explanation of how the voice works, listen to our ‘Breath Support Part 1’ and ‘Breath Support Part 2′ episodes.

 

Mind your Voice: The link between Mindfulness and Voice Coaching

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Hey Friends,

This episode addresses the question: What is the link between voice coaching and mindfulness? Have you ever heard of that word– mindfulness? We bet you have— mindfulness is pretty hot right now, and has been for awhile. Mindfulness, boiled down to its essence, is being in the here and now. There are many strategies and practices for becoming more mindful, and they are all grouped into this movement called “Mindfulness”. So why would that be relevant at all in voice and communication coaching?

Themes that come up in the episode are:

  • the link between typical issues we work on with clients and mindfulness.
  • the effect mindfulness has on the body, breath and voice
  • a chance to practice a mindfulness exercise and notice how it affects you
  • how much easier working on body language, breathing and vocal communication are when you start from a place of mindfulness

We’re so used to thinking about the mind as something separate from the rest of the body, but as research is showing more and more, there is no mind-body split. We are one organism. This is why we at BeSpoke Communication believe in a holistic approach to communication training that includes mind/body/breath/voice. Because if you are feeling more present and at ease, what a great place to communicate from! You can find tons of warm ups and practices on this website that include mindfulness and you can also contact us if you’d like more personal training.

You can also find this episode in podcast form by searching for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’ on iTunes, Spotify, Buzzsprout, GooglePodcasts and Stitcher.

We’d love to answer more questions about this if you have them. And we’d love to hear how you find mindfulness to be helpful generally and also in your communication, or if it’s something you struggle with, tell us why and maybe we can create some content that helps address those struggles.

Take good care,

Christine & Lindsay

 

What’s Breathing got to do with it?

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photo from http://www.designbyhumans.com

Hey friends,

This episode is dedicated to answering the question: Why do we talk about breathing in voice coaching?

This question came up with a private client who came to Christine to work on strengthening his voice, because he often feels sore after a day of talking at work.

The short answer? The breath is the power source for the voice. Without breath, there is no voice.

This episode looks at:

  • the relationship between breathing and speaking
  • the difference between breathing normally just to survive vs. breathing to speak
  • how the way you’re breathing for survival can have an impact on the way you breathe to speak— either empowering or disempowering your voice
  • an exercise to help you feel the relationship between breathing normally and breathing to speak

There’s no reason that your throat needs to get sore from speaking. It’s possible, as long as you’re not speaking for prolonged periods of time in loud environments, to speak all day long without hurting yourself. If you are feeling sore a lot from talking, it likely has something to do with the way you’re breathing. This is where voice training can be helpful! Check out the resources available through this website and podcast and also don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like some more personal voice coaching.

You can also find this episode in podcast form by searching for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’ on iTunes, Spotify, Buzzsprout, GooglePodcasts or Stitcher.

Take good care,

Christine & Lindsay

 

‘Cause we are living in a virtual world: Virtual Communication Presence

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Hey Friends,

Are you finding yourself on Zoom a lot lately? 

We are living through some interesting times. For the last few weeks, a third of the world’s population has been on lockdown as the world battles the Covid-19 Pandemic. For many of us, this has meant completely changing the way we regularly communicate both professionally and personally, because we can’t socialize with people outside of our homes. So we’re having to bridge the gap by communicating virtually— through platforms like Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, or Skype or FaceTime—- platforms where we can still see each other and in some cases even meet in groups. 

All of this virtual communication brings up some interesting new communication challenges:

  • Physical Tension: because we are moving a lot less potentially in life but definitely when we are spending our days sitting and communicating on screens, you might be noticing more physical tension in your body as you communicate. 
  • Restricted Breathing: This physical tension or destabilization might be restricting your breathing, making it harder to feel at ease and to speak from a supported, empowered place. 
  • Pushing Vocally: Because we’re not getting the same kind of verbal/physical cues from our audiences that are letting us know we are being clear or that they are on the same page, we might feel the need to overcompensate by pushing physically and vocally 

This episode looks at some of these challenges and gives you some tips for how to handle them. The big takeaway is— don’t let communicating to a screen lull you into a false sense of security or divorce you further from your body as you communicate. Your body language, breathing and voice are even more important to pay attention to now than ever. It’s all about adjusting your awareness of how you’re communicating physically and vocally to this new medium. Warming up your body and your voice regularly is crucial, especially if you’re spending the majority of the rest of your day sitting down. We have a lot of warm ups on our website and podcast that you can look into to help you. 

Tips covered in this episode will help you think about:

— your body language and being physically grounded, at ease and ready to communicate

— breathing deeply and easily 

— supporting your voice 

— structuring your content to help you build a stronger relationship with your audience

We are not sure at this point how much longer social distancing is going to go on, but the cues we’re getting so far suggest that we could be communicating virtually for awhile yet. So as you navigate this new medium, we’d love to hear from you about the challenges you’re facing and how this episode is helping you or raising new questions. 

Take good care, stay safe and healthy! 

Christine & Lindsay