Sunday, February 11, 2007

Are You Really Communicating?

When we speak indistinctly, it doesn't communicate. Only common sense, right? Funny how a desire to communicate something can get scattered like a flashlight beam.

It's like there's a disconnect between your mind and your voice. It can happen for a lot of reasons, such as-
  • You're not quite sure that the object of your message really wants to hear it. Hey, and sometimes, they don't! It's your job to change their minds...
  • You don't really want to communicate- you're going through the motions while thinking about something else (don't you hate it when someone talks to you and you know they aren't really "present" with you?
  • You are wondering how your voice sounds, how you look, what they think about you, what the judges will conclude(which has absolutely NOTHING to do with communicating)
  • You may be afraid your voice or your message isn't good enough. (This is where you may need some help with vocal techniques and songwriting/selecting)
  • You are, for whatever reason, INSECURE. Could be a temporary condition, or a chronic state.
  • Or... You're actually only rehearsing for the real thing! Try this... count to 5 in a zombie-like voice (rehearsal). Now look at a point of your choosing and count with some kind of attitude... try mad, happy, amazed, confused, etc.

Communication problems can also be caused by a disconnect between your body and your voice.

Vocal training can provide life changing help to people who think that the voice only comes from the throat. Consider this...The best communicators have rich, musical voices with dynamics and flow. Guess what? If your voice is not like this, it's only that you don't know how to access all of your instrument. Much more than your throat, your voice involves your whole body. In fact, when operating optimally your voice should never feel like it's coming from your throat at all (unless you put your hand on your larynx and feel the vibration)!

To help connect the body and the voice, I have a saying: "act as if and ye shall be". In other words, what would your body language be (how would your posture be, how engaged would your eyes be, how well would you form your words) if you WERE secure about your voice and determined to communicate? OK, fake it till ya make it. Have faith in your voice... use a confident stance and delivery, and your voice will then clearly understand it's chore. Before you know it, you really ARE secure about your message, and someone is truly listening.

Remember that true communication has a purpose and an object. If it's worth saying/singing, then commit and communicate!!

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