I attended a free workshop called Present Your Message by my friend and old choir leader Richard Lawton last night, he is known as the Voice Doctor having been an actor, theatre director, singing coach and presentation coach for over twenty years. He has written a book called Raise Your Voice: Transforming How You Speak, Sing and Present – the book’s website.
When I was in Soulsong, that’s the choir’s name we used to do 17th-century french line dancing as the warmup as well as German drinking songs to the tune of Beethoven’s Ninth.
Richards ability to get you out of your head when speaking in public is remarkable because as we all know, this is a human beings greatest fear.
He asked who likes hearing the sound of our voice being played back, one out of twenty people put their hand up. Then we had an enquiry into why we thought that was the case because if he had asked children the numbers would have been reversed.
Where did we lose the love of our voice, when did we make that decision and what does society have to say about the power of the voice:
1. How many people do you have in your life that this happens with? These are the ones you trust.
2. Don’t let your inner voice be one of your main hecklers, there are plenty of others whose opinions do this for us. Hands on heart and step forward courageously: The Voice.
3. What do you want the Universe to hear, for me, it’s Love and Respect for all: Everybody Included.
4. Possibly the sexiest voice in the world, Tom is a fine example of someone who fully expresses his voice: Kiss.
5. Someone who did not listen to the inner critic, judge and censor that lives within us all, Malala has created a worldwide movement, do you think you can?
6. Laurie Halse Anderson writes children and teenage books that make them think as well as battling censorship and the need for diversity in publishing: Express Yourself.
7. You do the world an injustice when you withhold your truth because you feel they might get upset.
8. Perhaps he would have made a better opera singer than an emperor, in the end, he wasn’t too great at that: Best Day of My Life.
9. When I read his name, I must confess the words to The Year of the Cat entered my head.
10. Echo has five different meanings in the online dictionary, I think what this quote is talking about relates to this one: one who closely imitates or repeats another’s words, ideas, or acts – The Voice Within.
11. I’m sure many of you have seen Wild, Wild, West, the doco on Netflix that belittles Osho and his followers. My take on it, Everybody has Shadow and Light: I relate to the wisdom and freedom that his words and insights provide for humanity.
12. Remember their opinion isn’t about you, It’s always a reflection of the person saying it: Ironic.
13. So when you are about to present to 2,000 people you are imaging all of them to be naked this is the voice to listen to.
14. Or another way of saying it is, you can’t get the moment back. Hand on Heart, stride forward powerfully and say what has to be said: Opportunity.
15. And of course, the last one must be the most serious and profound.
I mentioned the Judge, the Critic and the Censor under one of the quotes. Richard says these are the three characters that take our vocal power away. The Judge will give you a mark out of ten (usually three or less). The Critic will tell you that not only is this rubbish, but it’s the same rubbish you did last time and the time before. The Censor will tell you to keep your head down, keep quiet and wait till it all goes away.
So how do we get past this, my recommendation is BUY THE BOOK.
Music for this blog is one of Australia’s icons, John Farnham, The sexy Tom Jones, the ever eternal Madonna, newbies American Authors, the versatile Christine Aguilera, The woman who played God – Alanis Morrisette and ends with the sultry Sia.
Namaste until next time, my dear friends