About three weeks ago, after a yoga class, I was going up a staircase when, halfway up, I heard a nice, deep sound coming from above. I looked up and found a slender lady tapping the stairs with her foot on the top of the staircase. I recognized her – she was in the same yoga class I’d just taken. She noticed me, and with a wide smile, said, “Don’t these stairs make beautiful sounds?”
Actually, they did. I’d been taking yoga lessons in the studio for 9 years, and I had never noticed this before! I have a special admiration for people with the ability to find beauty in ordinary places, and when I heard her, I knew that she was one of those rare people!
“Well, because I’m a musician,” she said, as if to explain her weird behavior to this stranger. I laughed in response, and went up the stairs to join her. We started to talk. I asked her what instruments she played, her response being “many.” She then continued, “I also do voice coaching…” Oh wait! I told her that I’d joined Toastmasters a few months ago and wanted to improve my voice projection. I took her business card, and we said good night, agreeing to keep in touch.
That was how I met Leslie, my voice coach.
It’s been three weeks since, and I have taken three one-hour voice lessons with Leslie. It’s been such an eye-opening and fun experience at the same time! I learned that there was a strong connection between voice projection and the practice of yoga – breathing is the enabler in both. Your whole body is the instrument when it comes to voice.
In our third lesson, Leslie pointed out that I moved my head when I tried to articulate. Actually, I’d noticed this habit of mine from watching my speech recordings from Toastmasters, but had not been able to address it. Leslie explained to me that I did it in an effort to articulate, while what I really needed to do was open my mouth wide and give more space for my breath to flow in and out of my mouth. She also said that this was more common with women, since most of us were told to speak softly while growing up.
Wow, what she said was so true! Number one, yes, opening my mouth wide does help me articulate (how did I not know until now??). Number two, yes, it is mostly women that use softer voices in meetings, presentations, and speeches. Because we did not grow up speaking loudly, now as adult women, we need to maser the skill to speak loudly without screaming.
It’s been only less than a month, however, the journey to find my voice has been an amazing one.
If you’re interested, here’s Leslie’s contact info. (Just to be clear: I’m not receiving a commission or anything!)
LinkedIn Profile: linkedin.com/in/leslie-helpert-81b79657