4 VOICE TIPS TO HELP YOU “SPEAK FROM THE HEART”
“Speech is the voice of the heart.” Anna Quindlen
To speak from the heart is to engage with your emotions and use the right voice tone for your message. When we do this, we are using what is termed “soft skills“.
“The heart will inform the brain what to say and how to say it.” Sarah Blondin
Voice tone is triggered by thought and the result is an emotion, just like a spontaneous scream or crying voice expression. The limbic nervous system activates the larynx and causes variations in the vocal cords. A thought causes an emotion that creates a voice tonality that brings meaning to your message. Check research here.
Have you ever heard the statements
“Don’t use that tone of voice with me” or “I didn’t mean to say that!”?
Voice tone in speech is even more important than the words alone. Sometimes you can have the right message but the wrong tone. What you want to say and how you say it makes a huge difference on how it’s received.
Engaging with your emotions is the key to speaking from your heart. Emotions will flow through your speaking voice tone. Your voice is in your throat so you cannot think about it but must learn to feel your voice before you speak.
Emotions are stored in your torso, throat, chest and stomach. This is where we feel tightness, pain or even the term “lump in the throat”. Emotions or feelings are never stored in your head so you cannot feel your emotions in your head.
“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.”
You may be thinking that speaking from the heart is corny and maybe even slightly weak, however, your heart is speaking to your head all the time.
Try this visualization exercise
- Imagine bringing your thinking mind down to the heart space by touching your heart.
- Intentionally activate a deep and personal memory you have had of empathy, compassion, integrity, passion, and purpose with someone who is close to you.
- Now bring these feelings to your throat, by touching it or imagining them, and then speak your message with these emotions.
The emotions you feel are stronger than your thinking mind, so they will inform your mind of the right words and voice tone so that you can speak from the heart.
Many are unaware of speaking voice tone and this can limit the potential of speaking from the heart. Many conversations are disregarded and deep engagement is missed in personal and professional relationships simply because there is no heart in the spoken message.
Sometimes your heart is wanting to speak but your voice tone is not connecting to, supporting or matching your message, so when this happens you are not congruent and authentic.
Harnessing and expanding your voice tonality with technique helps you communicate from the heart.
“The only reason to master technique is to be sure the body does not interfere with the soul’s free expression.” La Meri
Here are four tips to help you express emotion in your voice.
- Breathe deeply using your diaphragm
When you breathe deeply, your voice is settled and stronger, giving you a speaking tonality that has greater credibility and authority. Research says that lower voice tones are paid more money and associated with Executive leadership. Evidence shows we trust deeper voice tones because they sound confident and we associate higher voice tones with inexperience. When you are clavicular breathing, that is raising your shoulders to inhale, your voice tone is higher pitched, uncertain, and you become breathless and unrelaxed.
- Use a wider range of speaking tone pitch expression
Being able to use speaking tone expression means you can easily inflect higher and lower pitches for communicating with passion and enthusiasm. The opposite would be to have a monotone that makes your speaking sound boring, robotic, and lacking heartfelt communication. Research shows that we choose leaders based on the charisma in their speaking voice because we find it more engaging. Click for the research here.
Lip trill voice warm-ups help you increase your speech pitch range. Repeat the warm-up, feeling the free resonance and vibration beginning in the chest and going to the head voice.
- Slow down your speaking pace
Speaking slowly helps others feel your words and bring emotion into what you are saying. When you speak too fast it doesn’t put your audience first, sounds heartless, and has an anxious presence. Breathlessness can occur because there is no space for pausing. Your speaking pace for general conversations should be 120-160 words per minute.
Tip 3: Record yourself and listen back to your speaking pace and pauses.
- Vocal Cords help your speaking voice sound more heartfelt
Just like guitar strings, vocal cords can stretch and lengthen creating open or narrow sound waves depending on how they are used. When vocal cords tighten, breath is reduced and makes your voice tone sound harsh, intimidating, and lacking in empathy. This can happen when we are stressed or angry. When the vocal cords are more relaxed they have more breath moving through them allowing a sense of warmth, softness, emotion, nurturing, and heart.
Tip 4: Use this straw exercise to help you balance your throat muscles and breathing.
Use your imagination to help you feel your words and practice the 4 voice tips to help you develop a voice that speaks from the heart.
In conclusion, to speak from the heart is to not just think about your words but to engage with your body, activate your emotions, and then use your voice to deliver the right tone for what you would like to say.
Thank you for reading this article.
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