Michael Trimble is the foremost teacher of singing in the nation today. His students have starred at the Metropolitan Opera and at other great opera houses around the world. Michael is known internationally for his ability to develop singers who have both stellar and long-lasting careers.
What does this have to do with the work we do at VoicePro®? To put it simply, almost everything. In the 1980's, while I was still in the midst of my singing career, I had the privilege of studying with Michael both at the Cleveland Institute of Music and later in New York City.
As I described in my book, SPEAKING MAGIC, my voice had a wonderful lyric quality, but it wasn't very big. Teacher after teacher told me I had to work on creating more volume. So I kept trying to sing louder. I pushed and pushed from my throat. But, instead of getting stronger, my voice wore out altogether. In desperation, I consulted a doctor who sent me to Michael. That was, in essence, the first day of the rest of my life, because under his tutelage I developed the strong, powerful voice that had been inside me all along. Then, when it was time to leave the world of opera behind, I went on to establish VoicePro®, using the same training techniques of singing, movement, and the martial arts Michael had taught me.
So, while you may not want to become a professional singer, Michael's teachings have a direct application to you when you need to deliver important messages in an easy, yet powerful way. Here are some of his ideas we have incorporated into our program, Speak! Present! Influence!® . They will be featured in Michael's forthcoming book, The Encyclopedia of Great Singing: A Complete In-Depth Guide to Great Technical Singing, Vol. I plus DVD; scheduled for publication in September 2011. Michael's words are in italics, with mine added below.
1. The foundation on which all great singing is built is the correct breathing method, the inhalation, posture and exhalation of the breath. All vocal success and all vocal problems result from management or mismanagement of the breath.
This is as true in speaking as it is in singing. Time after time, we have seen VoicePro® clients with weak, hoarse, or breathy voices leave the studio sounding strong, powerful and extremely confident, and their careers have invariably taken a turn for the better. The breathing techniques responsible for such significant change are the same ones I learned from Michael Trimble those many years ago.
2. Breathe into the lower back, thus sending the inspiration into the lower portion of the lungs. Make no action in the throat or jaw or tongue (imagine an invisible throat, an invisible jaw, and invisible tongue, as if you could pass your hand through them, as if nothing were there).
One of the most admired attributes of the business speaker is the ability to relax under the pressure of performance. Whether it's a speech, a negotiation, or a critical sales presentation; when anxiety strikes, it's all too easy for your shoulders to stiffen, your jaw to tighten, and your throat muscles and voice to constrict. That's why the exercises we teach in Speak! Present! Influence!® always begin with breathing and upper body relaxation.
3. Every voice is unique and every singer is unique. Each singer is made up of a unique combination of anatomy; conditioning; chemistry; strength; natural breath capacity; psychological health, and physical health.
There's a hugely important lesson to be learned from the above statement. We see it all the time. Young business people come into the VoicePro® studio wanting to look, sound, or act more professional. They have forgotten that they bring their own personalities, talents, and abilities to the table and that their own authenticity is more valuable than any perceived image or standard they must emulate.
Your audience wants to see the real you calm, composed, yet unique in every way. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques are just the beginning. Like the singer studying for the operatic stage, your professional development can be an extraordinary journey.
Unleash the Power of Your Public Speaking Voice
Posted on Tue, Dec 07, 2010 @ 08:43 AM
Posted by Carolyn Dickson, President & CEO