February, 2012

Express Yourself

Bringing Energy and Vitality to Your Speech

I recently had the privilege of seeing Lang Lang play the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The extraordinary level of expressiveness he brought to the performance was remarkable. Every single note was shaped and molded to say something unique and important. There was no limit to the nuance he drew from his instrument. Even though I had no familiarity with that particular composition, the experience was compelling because Lang Lang took Beethoven’s notes on the page and turned them into music—his own music, for that particular moment. What a lesson for speakers!

So many speakers get up and give us nothing but words, words, words. They might as well print the speech and let us read it. Furthermore, even speakers who mean well, who are making an effort to engage their listeners, are often unaware of how they’re actually coming across. They think they’re being expressive, they feel like they’re fully invested, but they’re just not putting out as much as they imagine. Consequently, important messages fail to make an impact and listeners don’t take action.

Trying to be more expressive is not the remedy for this problem.  Expressiveness can’t be created by consciously manipulating rate, pitch, loudness and tone quality. We’ve all heard speakers who are trying to be expressive, and the impression is false and somehow amateur. It comes across as self-conscious and inauthentic. No one talks like that in real life.

Cultivating the right conditions and allowing the right thing to happen is the correct approach. As human beings we are, by nature, interesting and expressive, if we can get out of our own way and let it out.

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Sound of Success: Vocal Gym

Introducing an exciting new option for voice training, unlike anything currently available. This weekly evening class covers the basics, but there’s no start and end date. New members are welcome to join at any point, show up whenever they wish and stay in the program for as long as they want. Now beginners have a budget-friendly option and former clients can reinforce what they learned in private training. Membership is limited to twelve, and many have expressed interest, so get in while you can. Click here for more information.

Free Monthly SpeechMaster Class

Here’s an opportunity for current and former clients to work on their speaking skills in a live group setting. And it’s FREE. Classes include valuable instruction and, most importantly, an exciting opportunity for current and former clients to speak and receive coaching from an expert. Guests are warmly welcomed as observers.

Second Wednesday of every month, 7 – 9 PM
434 Queen St East,
Toronto, ON


Record your presentation and notice whether you're emphasizing the most important word(s) in each phrase or sentence. You'd be surprised how often people carelessly stress minor words such as "is," "some," or "that." Deliberately emphasizing key words heightens awareness and makes it easy to be more expressive.

Voice & Speech

434 Queen St. E., Toronto
416-922-6384 | www.VoiceAndSpeech.com

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