You are previewing Voice and Speaking Skills For Dummies.
O'Reilly logo
Voice and Speaking Skills For Dummies

Book Description

Find your voice, and communicate with confidence

Ever wondered why nobody hears you in meetings, or wished people would take you more seriously? Or maybe you're unhappy with your accent, or you feel insecure about your high-pitched or monotonous voice? Voice and Speaking Skills For Dummies will help you to discover the power of your voice, understand how it works, and use your voice like a professional whether in meetings, addressing an audience, or standing in front of a classroom. Take a deep breath, relax those vocal cords, and make your speech sparkle!

We're not all planning to become politicians, or likely to address large audiences on a regular basis, but we all need to be able to communicate well to achieve success. Certain professions require a high level of vocal confidence, notably teachers and business leaders. As well as using body language effectively, we also rely on our voice to convey passion, exude enthusiasm, and command attention--and that's before we've considered the content of our words! A clear understanding of how your voice works, how to maximize its effectiveness, and ways to overcome voice 'gremlins' such as speaking too fast, stuttering, or sounding childish, is pivotal to enabling you to succeed, whatever the situation.

  • Highlights the importance of your voice, explains how to use it effectively

  • Gives you confidence in public speaking

  • Helps you use your voice to make a great first impression in all aspects of your life

  • Includes a CD with vocal exercises to help you communicate with confidence.

Whether you're looking to improve your speaking skills for work or personal gain--or both--Voice and Speaking Skills For Dummies gives you everything you need to find your voice and communicate with confidence.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Title Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Part I: Introducing the Human Voice
    1. Chapter 1: Having a Great Voice
      1. Trumpeting the Voice
      2. Enjoying the Advantages of Speaking Well
      3. Finding Out about Voice Coaching
      4. Thinking About What You Want to Develop in Your Own Voice
      5. Identifying Good Voices
      6. Starting Out
    2. Chapter 2: Exploring the Amazing Human Voice
      1. Discovering the Power of Voices
      2. Hearing All the Sounds that Make Up Your Voice
      3. Dispelling Voice Myths
      4. Digging Deeper into How You React to Voices
    3. Chapter 3: Getting to Know Your Own Voice
      1. Hearing What You Sound Like
      2. Gathering Insights into Your Voice
      3. Revealing Your Different Voices
      4. Taking Stock
      5. Preparing for Your Journey
  6. Part II: Beginning with Voice Basics
    1. Chapter 4: Discovering How to Breathe Well
      1. Making a Sound: How Your Voice Works
      2. Getting Started with Breathing
      3. Breathing to Communicate
      4. Play-Acting with Sound and Breathing
    2. Chapter 5: Rediscovering Relaxation
      1. Finding Freedom For a Fine Sound
      2. Readying Your Body to Speak
      3. Standing Steady and Balanced
      4. Going Deeper into Relaxation With Body and Mind
      5. Blending Relaxation with Readiness: Not Too Tight, Not Too Loose
    3. Chapter 6: Turning Sound into Speech
      1. Making Your Voice Clearly Understood
      2. Bringing Your Words to Life with Long Sounds
      3. Adding Sparkle with Short Sounds
  7. Part III: Playing Your Instrument Well
    1. Chapter 7: Exploring Volume and Speed
      1. Turning Up (and Down) the Volume
      2. Finding the Best Speed
    2. Chapter 8: Filling Your Speech with the Sounds of Music
      1. Making Your Point Strongly
      2. Getting into Rhythm
      3. Reviving the Ancient Art of Rhetoric
      4. Enjoying the Silence
    3. Chapter 9: Expressing Yourself Fully with the Power of Resonance
      1. Beginning to Explore Resonance
      2. Championing Your Chest Voice
      3. Getting Excited about Your Head Resonance
      4. Warming to Your Heart Voice
      5. Going with Your Gut: Speaking with Gravitas and Authenticity
      6. Understanding the Gatehouse of Your Voice: Your Throat
      7. Using Your Whole Vocal Range
    4. Chapter 10: Uncovering Your Unique Voice
      1. Moving Beyond Technique
      2. Playing Roles
      3. Being Authentic
      4. Trusting in the Moment
      5. Having a Voice in the World
  8. Part IV: eating the Voice Gremlins
    1. Chapter 11: Stopping Vocal Sabotage
      1. Examining the Impact of Emotions on Your Voice
      2. Fighting Fear through Movement
      3. Pouring Calm on Squeakiness and Shrillness
      4. Mitigating Mumbling
      5. Controlling Gabbling and Jabbering
      6. Untying Your Tongue
      7. Loosening Heavy-handed Control
      8. Letting Down the Mask of Control
      9. Avoiding Droning On
      10. Making Effort Easy
      11. Sending Other Vocal Gremlins Packing
      12. Matching Sound and Meaning
    2. Chapter 12: Putting the Accent on Accents
      1. Investigating Accents – and Responding to What Really Matters
      2. Changing Your Accent
      3. Getting the Best of All Worlds: In Praise of Accents
    3. Chapter 13: Conquering Hesitation and Stuttering
      1. Hesitating: Realising that Everyone Stumbles
      2. Discovering the Roots of Stuttering
      3. Changing Your Focus
      4. Changing Your Thinking
  9. Part V: Engaging with a Broader Public
    1. Chapter 14: Developing Your Public Voice
      1. Crossing from Private to Public
      2. Giving That Speech
      3. Deciding How to Prepare
      4. Persuading Others with Inspiration from the Political Stage
      5. Speaking to the Media
    2. Chapter 15: Tuning In to Others
      1. Getting on the Same Wavelength
      2. Moving into the Lead
      3. Listening Skilfully
      4. Dancing in Harmony
    3. Chapter 16: Cultivating Your Professional Voice
      1. Finding Your Voice as a Leader
      2. Talking for a Living: Your Voice in Professional Situations
  10. Part VI: The Part of Tens
    1. Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Sound More Authoritative
      1. Stand Confidently
      2. Speak Clearly
      3. Project Your Voice
      4. Give Your Voice Gravitas
      5. Emphasise Strongly
      6. Take Your Time
      7. Finish Strongly
      8. Avoid Verbal Tags and Qualifiers
      9. Employ Silence
      10. Speak Fluently
    2. Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Speak with Charisma
      1. Find Your Calm Centre
      2. Breathe with Intention
      3. Use Your Whole Instrument
      4. Use Rhythm and Rhetoric
      5. Fill the Space Mentally
      6. Connect with Your Purpose
      7. Enter the Zone
      8. Lead with Your Feelings
      9. Create Rapport with Your Voice
      10. Speak Congruently
    3. Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Take Care of Your Voice
      1. Take It Easy
      2. Support Your Voice with the Breath
      3. Start Your Voice Smoothly
      4. Speak at a Comfortable Pitch Level
      5. Raise Your Volume – Without Strain
      6. Take Your Time
      7. Look After Your General Health
      8. Enjoy Silence Sometimes
      9. Stay Well-Lubricated
      10. Get Help When You Need It
    4. Chapter 20: Ten Inspiring Voices
      1. A Voice That Stirred a Nation – Winston Churchill
      2. A Voice to Launch a Thousand Ships – Lauren Bacall
      3. A Rich Voice that Thrills Audiences – Alan Rickman
      4. A Voice to Warm People’s Hearts – Diane Sawyer
      5. A Voice that Gave Courage – Martin Luther King Jr
      6. The Voice of an Excellent Storyteller – Stephen Fry
      7. A Voice of Hope – Wangari Maathai
      8. A Voice that Connects – Bill Clinton
      9. The Voice of a National Treasure – Judi Dench
      10. The Voice of a Creative Speaker – Ken Robinson
    5. Appendix A: Resources for Further Developing Your Voice
      1. Contacting the Author
      2. Voice Coaching
      3. Books and Audio
      4. Useful Mind-Body Activities for Speakers
      5. Voice Care
    6. Appendix B: Audio Tracks
      1. Discovering What’s On the Audio Tracks
  11. Cheat Sheet