A day of talking lies ahead of you! This can be tough particularly for sales people in ‘customer facing’ situations all day long. Sales people can often find themselves getting croaky or tired voice as the day progresses. As your verbal interactions are crucial to persuade the clients and clinch the deal what can you do?
It is possible to improve your chances of sales success and still having a clear voice at the end of the day if you follow my simple steps.
It’s the vital meal for getting body and voice off to a good start. Have plenty of fluid content along with your cereal, toast etc. During the night catarrh becomes dry and sticky around the voice box. It is very important to re-hydrate at the start of the day.
2. A good stretch!
As well as the body stretch that usually goes with a yawn lets wake up your face muscles. Screw your face up tightly and then slowly, slowly release each muscle individually. Try this 2 or 3 times. Your voice reflects your facial expression. A sleepy, bored face produces a dull voice. Liven up your voice quality to engage your customers!
You can also try humming.
Firstly blow your lips out like on a cold day – Brrrrr! Do it again as it will loosen up your upper lip. Take a low breath and hum along to your favourite song. Aim to feel a light vibration / buzz over your cheek bones. You’ll notice how much warmer your voice sounds!
A healthy speaking voice that will not tire relies on a steady flow of breath. Check your posture. If you slouch you won’t breathe freely and your voice won’t carry.
Many people breathe in a shallow, asthmatic way, high in the chest. This is not good for speaking over long periods. You do not need to take a great big breath, but focus your breath lower down the body.
Standing comfortably bring your shoulders gently back so that your rib cage comes forward. Place a hand on your lowest rib. Breathe out. When you breathe in you should feel your ribs expand upwards and outwards. Take a few gentle breathes in and out.
If you find your breath getting shallow during the working day just find a moment to remind yourself of that low breath focus.
4. Finally try a tongue twister or two for clarity of speech (and a bit of fun!)
- Red Lolly, Yellow Lorry x 4
- Try tying twine to tree twigs x 2
- The man in the moon x 2 (enjoy the ‘n’ and ‘m’ sounds – they are like humming)
My top tips: Keep hydrated throughout the day with water. Warm up your voice. Speak clearly. Keep noticing your posture – no slouching especially if you are on the phone or at the computer as your voice and breath need good body alignment.
A warm engaging voice is a great sales tool. I wish you every success!
By Andrew P Bennett, a Distinguished Toastmaster Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organisation’s membership exceeds 313,000 in more than 14,650 clubs in 126 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. There are nearly 300 clubs in the UK and Ireland with over 7000 members. Find your local club. Follow on Twitter.