Let your voice out

| Michaela Nesvarova

Voice is an integral part of good presentation skills. To get our message across, we need to sound appealing and connect with the audience. Yet, that is not easy to achieve and most of us could use some tips regarding voice control. That is why the FFNT (Female Faculty Network Twente) organized a voice training workshop today.

Photo by: marlon arroyo

'Voice is crucial in what people remember and how your message comes across,' says Diana Reckien, a FFNT board member. 'I´m personally very interested in this issue. I have been told that my voice can be too high-pitched, so I want to know more about voice training and also get some scientific background on this topic. I think it is important for women to know how their voices are perceived. FFNT has organized this workshop several times before, which shows that there is a lot of interest.'

'Women hold back their voices'

As the FFNT workshop was intended for women only, I wonder if there is a big difference between voice training for women and for men. 'There isn´t a big difference in the techniques, but I think this is a women topic, because many women hold back their voices, they are uncertain of themselves - and there is a tight connection between our feelings and our voices,' explains Erna Lankhorst, an expert voice coach who was leading today´s workshop.

'Today is about relaxation in general. We will do a lot of different exercises to help you find your voice and let it out. Don´t force it out, just let it flow,' Erna Lankhorst began the training, which included many body, voice and breathing exercises focused not only on voice itself, but also on work with audience.

Tense body, unconvincing speech

'All your muscles work together. If you are tensing your buttocks, the audience will hear it. There are a lot of tiny muscles in the area of larynx and they are influenced by tension in the rest of your body. If you are tense, your voice gets higher and unconvincing. To be convincing, you need to speak in a lower register,' advises Lankhorst. 'Your emotions and voice are interconnected. If you are stressed, your voice gets high. If you relax your body, your voice will follow. The exercises will help you be conscious of your body and know how to relax it.'

Similar events to come

As mentioned above, this training wasn´t a one-time event. FFNT organizes many similar workshops and lectures, all held in English to allow all female staff members to participate. In November a FFNT conference titled "Openness to diversity" will also take place.

Stay tuned

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