Voice Projection and Presentations

What does your voice say about you?

Learning how to master your voice can help you to make a lasting impression in every aspect of your life. And yet, most of us have never thought about how we can improve our impact through speech.

Whether it is getting your opinion across in meetings, giving compelling presentations, or just being more influential in a social setting, your voice plays an essential role in commanding the attention of your listeners.

Many people say that public speaking is their number one fear, outranking death and divorce. Our anxiety about speaking in public may prevent us from reaching our fullest potential since we may try to avoid situations that could advance our career or personal goals. Even experienced performers can experience stage fright; the key is knowing how to manage those emotions in any context, so that the ‘real you’ can shine through.

Speaking well is a learned skill

We tend not to think about the way we speak in our every day lives. Speech becomes involuntary; we forget about delivery as we focus on the content of what we are saying. The first and most fundamental step is simply to become conscious of our good and bad speech habits.

Are you mumbling, as though you lack confidence in what you’re saying?

Are you rushing through your words too quickly, perhaps due to a subconscious fear that your partner is disinterested and wants to go do something else?

Is your voice too quiet, signaling submissiveness, or too loud, suggesting aggression?

Only you can assess whether your voice is portraying the person you want to be. Try using a tape recorder to record yourself speaking so that you can get a better idea of the way you sound to others. Don’t worry if your voice sounds strange to you at first! This is normal, because we are not accustomed to hearing ourselves. The tape will still be helpful in analyzing what you like and don’t like about your speaking voice.

What makes a compelling speaking voice?

The fundamentals of powerful speech are quite straightforward. It just requires practice! A compelling voice:

· Sounds relaxed

It helps if you can actually feel relaxed (more on this later), but in the meantime, try to determine whether you are showing any of the telltale signs of stress when you speak, such as feeling short of breath, flushing, stumbling over words, or losing your train of thought.

· Pronunciation is clear

Clarity of speech is important. If you mumble your words people are likely to think you are not sure of what you’re saying, or that you lack confidence. Professional actresses all practice elocution exercises to improve the clarity of their speech. Try some from the list on the next page!

· Speed is controlled

Rushing through your words makes it clear to your audience that either you can’t wait for this conversation/ speech to be finished, or you suspect that they can’t wait. In most cases, err on the side of too slow rather than too fast, because we typically think that we speak more slowly than we really do. Natural speech will vary slightly in speed. For example, try to insert a longer pause just before or just after you introduce a new idea. This gives people time to absorb what you are saying, and tends to leave a stronger impression.

· Tone is varied

Our tone of voice will impact whether or not our audience believes we are sincere. A monotone voice may leave them doubting our motives, or they may perceive us as boring even if the content of what we are saying is very stimulating.

When we speak naturally, we change our tone of voice in accordance with what we are saying. This makes us sound more dynamic and is key to holding peoples’ attention. Try raising or lowering the tone of your voice in order to emphasize an important point, or to convey your passion about the subject matter.

· Smile and be cheerful

Your voice will instinctively sound more natural and relax if you smile now and then while you are speaking.

Practice integrating these techniques

In order to make these powerful speaking techniques feel like second nature to us, it’s important that we first try to adopt them in our everyday lives – in the supermarket, at work or school, when speaking with friends. Aim for gradual change, focusing on one new aspect of speech every day, until you start to feel a difference. Then, when it matters most, you will remember what it felt like to give a compelling speech.

Overcoming anxiety

Once you begin to feel the results of your improved speaking technique, it’s time to focus on higher stake situations. Anxiety can sometimes leave us tongue-tied, but there are many effective methods of relaxation that can reduce fear of public speaking.

· Consider the worst case scenario

Chances are, the stakes are lower than you think. What’s the worst that could happen? How likely is this in reality? There are very few public speaking mishaps that are truly disastrous.

· Exercise releases nervous energy

As mentioned before, there are a million and one reasons to exercise, and here is another one – it really is the best way to release nervous energy.

“Sometimes, when I have an important presentation in the afternoon, I will pencil in an hour at lunchtime to work out at the gym or go for a run. When I’m really worried, it’s the only thing that will help me to get the anxiety out of my system.”

- Sarah K., Fund Manager

· Visualization

One of the most important tools you can use to enact any change in your life is to visualize success. Replace negative thoughts by imagining in as much detail as possible what it will feel like when you achieve your goal! Picture the setting, the faces you will see, the words you will hear yourself saying and the way you will sound – clear, confident, poised and polished. Most importantly, picture your audience smiling and nodding as they listen to you speak. We can never fully control the reception we will receive, but if you expect the worse, the audience will subconsciously pick up on your negativity and respond in a more negative way. Do yourself a favour and expect the best.

· Breathing Exercises

It’s important to keep practicing the perfect posture techniques from the previous section, because these will allow you to breathe deeply and help to prevent anxiety. Once your body is aligned and relaxed, think of something that makes you smile, like a loved one, or something amusing that happened earlier in the week. It’s important that you actually smile, because the simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you are feeling happy, relaxed and confident, and can help regulate your emotions. Then, place your hands on your abdomen and relax your belly muscles. Take a deep breath and feel the belly fill up with air. Keep inhaling until the middle of your chest is full of air and you feel your rib cage expand. Hold the breath in for a moment, then begin to exhale as slowly as possible. As the air is slowly let out, relax your chest and rib cage. Begin to pull your belly in to force out the remaining breath. Relax your facial muscles as you exhale and feel yourself start to let go of any anxiety. Think to yourself, “I’m glad I’m here and I’m glad you’re here!” Smile, and begin to speak.

The Modern Finishing School eCourse aims to reveal the secrets handed down by generations of ‘high society’ women. We believe that the skills and knowledge that were once enjoyed only by the elite should be available to everyone, regardless of background.

Research has shown that poise and confidence are competitive advantages that are key to accomplishing your goals, whether its gaining a well-deserved promotion, outshining your fellow students in class, or being elected to the Board of the PTA.

Some Suggestions on Keeping Your Home Presentable When it is For Sale

Staging a home for sale involves such cosmetic changes as necessary to make the home appear to be in an up to date and well cared for condition. Simple additions such as an inexpensive but stylish light for the entry or a coordinating shower curtain and towels for the bath can make a difference in the way a home is presented. In fact, concentrating on the entryway and the kitchen and bath often give the most return for your dollar and are the easiest updates to accomplish. While granite counter tops are very much in style and appreciated by the home buyer, an impeccably clean kitchen with laminated countertops completely clear of clutter can also give an inviting look to a prospective homebuyer. In the same way, a bathroom that is spotless and outfitted with a beautiful set of towels and a lovely set of shower curtains can go a long way in making the bathroom more appealing.

Homes are languishing on the market for months anymore and it is more important than ever that these homes are kept in a perfectly pristine condition for viewing at anytime. Any opportunity to show a house may result in a sale and should be taken very seriously by the seller. Here are a few suggestions to keep a home in a desired condition:

o Consider hiring a person to come in every week or so to take care of the routine jobs such as vacuuming, scrubbing bathroom and kitchen fixtures and changing bedding. This frees up the homeowner to attend to everyday things like loading the dishwasher, putting away laundry and making beds. The idea here is to always return items to their proper place so that the house appears easy to maintain and large enough to have a place for everything that is needed in everyday life.

o Give thought to meal preparation so that the kitchen can be kept in a condition that is easy to clean up and make presentable at any given time. Sometimes it may be advantageous to cook several meals at one time so that there can be a freezer full of dinners that only require being thawed and heated up. This can be especially beneficial after a full and tiring day at work when the last thing you want to do is spend time tidying up the kitchen after cooking a meal. This reduces the amount of time that is needed in the kitchen and also dramatically cuts down on the cleanup end of things. Ideally, if these so called “batch cooking” sessions can take place in the home of a relative or friend it is even better because the mess can be cleaned up at the leisure of everyone involved and a person does not risk getting a call for a home showing during this busy time.

o Involve the whole family in everyday tasks such as making sure dirty laundry makes it to the hamper and then to the laundry room. Controlling the accumulation of magazines, newspapers and school papers brought home by the children can go a long way in making a home neat and clutter free.

Online Degree Programs – The Need of the Present Era With Its High Degree of Flexibility

The basic aim of online degree programs is to facilitate working professionals or students to take additional courses or complete unfinished degrees for advancing in their career paths. In a hassle-free and convenient manner, people from diverse backgrounds can improve their existing knowledge and skill sets. Institutions which provide these online courses need to fulfill certain criteria to be duly recognized and accredited by the competent authorities. You need to know the colleges and universities providing the genuine online degree programs which are acknowledged by the employers in the industry. Only those people possessing accredited certifications of their degree qualifications are offered jobs by the employers. Hence one needs to do sufficient research and background check before opting for any one of the online degree programs.

Many online schools are present and they provide hundreds of online degree programs. All these colleges claim their programs to be the best and most suitable for the industry requirements. However one needs to take into consideration the various aspects like accreditation, industry recognition, cost and the flexibility of options provided by these degree programs before selecting any one. The newly established colleges often fail to meet all these parameters and only the established and renowned ones meet the expectations. People are nowadays more willing to opt for unconventional or alternative degrees that can fit the requirements of the present industry demands. Instead of taking up higher degrees in conventional subjects like Political Science or English, students are keener in opting for degrees that have better career prospects, like Health Administration or Criminal Justice. Hence colleges which offer these kinds of courses are in great demand for online degree programs.

The cost of getting enrolled for these courses also plays a role in the decision making process of the students. The conventional mode of campus education in reputed institutes is quite a costly proposition nowadays and online colleges are also slowly following suit. But affordable courses are still available in the various colleges and they are also accredited by Distance Education and Training Council. The colleges charge competitive rates of approximately $600/hour for graduate degrees and $500 to $600 per hour for undergraduate degrees. Hence many students find these online degree programs attractive and are getting enrolled. The various grants and scholarships that are offered in these colleges also make a difference to the final costs which are incurred by meritorious students. But new colleges are rarely capable of providing such innovative scholarships and it is the established colleges which can provide help in this regard.

Colleges are expanding their ambits of online degree programs even further and one can even pursue various courses at the Master’s level. The business fraternity has a fascination for MBA degrees and an increasing number of working executives are getting degrees in this domain through the online mode of learning. These MBA degrees add value to their current profiles in organizations and help them to negotiate for a price hike. Even PhDs are being provided online in certain domains like health industry and business-related fields

Corporate Wine Gifts – The Best Corporate Gift to Present to a Company

Corporate Wine Gifts are the best gifts to present a company. A set of wines, of exquisite taste and variety, make people rejoice in delight and fulfillment. Wines of different taste and quality are best to complement different human moods. Thus, when gifting someone with this special gift, just remember that a taste of liquor should be such so as to make someone feel so special and wanted. A gift of corporate wine is packed in the most fantastic way. Bottles of all colours and shades standing together in perfect synchronisation. What more can you ask for.

Corporate Wine Gifts are always meant for special occasions. They are perfect in quenching tasteful thirst. So when you set out to gift someone a box of such wines, and it complements the taste of the person in a most exquisite way then be sure that the person will never be able to forget your contribution in any possible way. The combination of the wine can indeed be special. It can be a single wine variety and also a combination of more than one intoxicating taste. The choice is yours as the gift is yours.

There are certain liquors, which are quite rare in a variety. You don’t get them often. Everything about them is so very special. If any way you can get hold of this rare quality of wines make sure to gift them to the best possible consumer. Atypical and exceptional Corporate Wine Gifts will help you gain a unique and universal appreciation. It is a guarantee that the organization or the individual will never be able to forget you.

Make sure of one thing and that is when presenting Corporate Wine Gifts never mention the price of the item you are gifting. Because the item you are panning to gift should have a priceless identity. Such gifts are so special that a price tag can diminish the value and the worth of the gift. So just make sure about the item you are gifting and not the cost.

There are several vintage collections. Make sure to choose one among them to give your Corporate Wine Gifts that distinct identity. Be choosy about the way you are planning to gift the item. The box in which you are going to send the vintage should be an attractive one. Best wines in a best gift box will surely help in augmenting your impression.

Always be sure to add a note to your Corporate Wine Gifts. The note is an essential part of the gift. A few words of appreciation and acknowledgment will make the person feel so special and satisfied. A gift note is also a great way to tell someone that you are sensing a gift not just for the sake of sending, but because you really know the worth of the person whom you are gifting this rare collection of vintage.

For more information on Corporate Wine Gifts visit Promotional-Merchandise.org.uk. Here you will find more articles and tips on marketing items as well as a Quick Quotes form where you can conveniently submit your request in one form and get responses from multiple suppliers so that you can find the best price and promotional items for your marketing needs.