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Hearing the benefits of vocal coaching... loud and clear

Published 11th November, 2013 by Neil Nixon

Hearing the benefits of vocal coaching... loud and clear

Business is booming and you've been coerced by your head of marketing to speak about innovation at an industry event. You've got the suit, the expertise and you've spent hours on a snappy, entertaining and informative presentation - but as you look up at the crowd you start to feel a dry mouth, shortness of breath, and anxiety. Your presentation plummets from informative to monotonous. You can't shake that stammer, or wavering tone, and you can't control your pitch. You can't wait to get off the stage. You leave to a polite smatter of applause and a few bored faces. You bombed and you won't be asked back to speak again.This reaction to public speaking is all too common in the cleaning industry - many of us will go out of our way to avoid getting up to a lectern.

Your voice describes more about you than just where you're from - it reveals your confidence level, your mood, how prepared you seem. It can be used to persuade people just as effectively as good research and interesting slides.

Most people concentrate on what they are going to say, which is of course important, but the best constructed speeches can be ruined by a monotone delivery - I'm sure we've all started looking around the rooms, at our watches, at the leaflets in a conference manual during a lecture that we were looking forward to but just didn't deliver.

Let's be honest, we in the the cleaning industry aren't always our own best friend when it comes to public relations and self image. We do relationships and networking like no other - but when it comes to presenting ourselves outside of our comfort zone - such as presenting at a conference or event - we can fall at the first hurdle. We shouldn't shy away from self promotion and working together to ensure that our work is respected and valued by the business community and the public. Being able to communicate effectively is becoming increasingly crucial.

It's not just important to have the right kind of vocal skills for events and conferences, it can give you the edge when it comes to winning business, creating partnerships, and motivating staff. Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) theory suggests that developing certain characteristics in your voice can lead you to persuade more effectively, anchor a person to a specific set of words that you want them to focus on and much more. It's known as finding an 'irresistible voice'.

This means that the more you really use your voice, the more likely you are to win the contract that you're bidding for, get past the secretary to make first contact with a procurement manager, or convince your best performing account manager not to go to the competition. All of it equals a better running and more cost effective business - and who doesn't want that?

Pricilla Morris, consultant at Loud and Clear, will be running a vocal coaching workshop at the British Cleaning Council Conference 2013 titled 'Does your voice have the X Factor?'. This is just one of the great reasons to take advantage of the early bird ticket offer and to find out how you can start really using your voice. See page 14 for further details of how to book.

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