How Does A Program Start?
How Does It Work?
New clients often ask me how a program starts, so... I'll tell you!
I start by having you fill out a questionnaire that covers various aspects of communication, speech, and voice. In terms of communication, I inquire about which contexts you are the most comfortable in and which the least, and about your particular patterns in those settings. For example, some people are fine with presenting to a group but have difficulty contributing during a meeting. They may have trouble knowing how and when to jump in or maintaining a strong presence amongst a group of competing voices. The various dynamics of the groups can affect an individual's performance. For example, are they international, are they from one dominant culture... are they all men or all women, or is it mixed... Is the team leader or a certain member of the group a difficult personality for you to work with, etc. Some people feel ill at ease with phone talk or have difficulty adapting their style so that their presence is felt and translates well through video and teleconferencing. Speaking effectively with individuals with various positions and levels of power within the organization may be difficult; adapting style, wording, perspective, etc. I also ask you what other people's perceptions of your communication style have been.
There are some people who don't feel comfortable with their voice, either in general or in specific contexts. Some want to learn how to use their voices in more ways, so that they serve them more effectively for various purposes; how/when to sound more authoritative, more compassionate, etc. It may concern problems being heard in a noisy environment, like at a networking event, or learning how to project more powerfully and effectively in various settings and venues, or managing to speak all day without soreness or weakening of the voice at the end of the day.
In addition, I request that you send a video recording or recordings of yourself speaking.
In terms of speech and the process itself: Some people have developed ingrained habits of speaking too fast; or too loud, too soft, too nasal, etc. There are specific patterns of speech that people have adapted that they find are not serving them well (up-speak, glottal fry...), at least in some important contexts. We work together to recognize and break down the patterns, and address them at a various levels, physical, mental, psychological. New ways of connecting to the voice and speaking are explored and taught, and new patterns and possibilities are practiced. The approach is multi-layered and incorporates breath work, our connection to sound and to our body, and mind; old stories we've told ourselves or identities we're holding on to... It involves finding a deeper understanding of what it means to communicate truthfully and intentionally in a moment, and how to access that state of being when the stakes are high.
There are other areas addressed as well, as each client is unique and issues truly run the gamut. We may also work on: streamlining information appropriately for various audiences; writing better, more professional emails; etc. Exercises and carryover suggestions are a part of every session. The goal of every program is to incorporate a person's genuine gifts into playing their professional role as effectively and authentically as they can, so that they are tapping into the best parts of themselves, as they continue to learn and grow, both in their professional and personal identities.
What else? What do you want to know? Let ME know. And I'll tell you;)