Aug. 18, 2021

How to Use the Power of Voice to Improve Your Speaking - BM285

How to Use the Power of Voice to Improve Your Speaking - BM285

Do you want to know how to use the power of your voice to improve your speaking?
Listen as Monique McDonald (aka The Magnetic Voice) shares her proven techniques to add charisma and emotion to make you a better speaker and presenter.

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Do you want to know how to use the power of your voice to improve your speaking?

Listen as Monique McDonald (aka The Magnetic Voice) shares her proven techniques to add charisma and emotion to make you a better speaker and presenter.

In this week's powerful episode "How to Use the Power of Voice to Improve Your Speaking" you will discover:

  • How to captivate your audience using your charismatic voice
  • How to attract like-minded clients and repel those who are not the right fit for your services
  • Essentials every speaker/presenter needs to know to keep your voice healthy
  • Killer voice damaging mistakes to avoid
  • And a whole lot more

Here's how to get a copy of Monique's voice of power assessment ($497 value)

***Book Marketing Mentors Premium Membership site - JOIN NOW!***



Susan Friedmann:         Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today, my special guest is known as the magnetic voice. Monique McDonald is a Grammy-nominated award-winning vocal specialist and charisma coach. She has celebrated performances in opera and masterclasses throughout Europe, Russia, Japan, and the US, including Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Monique now combines secrets learned during her 20 years experience in high stakes performance with unique coaching strategies to help you uncover your magnetic voice and natural charisma. A dear friend and colleague, Monique, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show, and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.

Monique McDonald:     Oh, Susan, what a pleasure to be here. I'm so excited we're going to be chatting together tonight.

Susan Friedmann:         One of the things that comes up as I read your intro, you talk about being a charisma coach. I didn't know that you could actually teach charisma. Talk to us about that. I think that's fascinating.

Monique McDonald:     I'm so glad you asked, because most people don't believe that charisma can be taught. We often talk about the it factor or that thing that makes someone compelling to watch, or we just can't wait to hear what they're going to say next. Most people believe that you're either born with it or you're not. Well, I have learned that everyone has it. It just needs uncovering.

Susan Friedmann:         Oh, I'm excited. I want to hear how we can uncover our charisma.

Monique McDonald:     What happens is when we get into presentation mode or we're feeling the eyes of people watching us, we tend to go to where we're safe. And we might unconsciously put up walls, thereby diluting our natural charisma. But what I help people do is align themselves to their passion and their power so that they get excited about what they're saying, because they love what they do or they're warming to their subject, because it's what they're an expert in. All of a sudden their eyes start shining in a different way and their face moves in a different way and their entire energy and demeanor gets lit up because they're talking about something that they love. And-

Susan Friedmann:         It's so interesting that you talk about that that way. Because one of the things that, when I talk to my authors, they hate the idea of selling. But I've said, "Well, they're not selling. They're expressing their passion for what they do and that passion is magnetic." We can bring people in when we're passionate about something. They want what we have. Would you agree with that?

Monique McDonald:     Absolutely. And the thing that most people don't talk about, Susan, is when we are building our magnetic voice or our magnetism or charisma, we are attracting clients that are like-minded and repelling clients that are not right for us. And you see, we get into the mindset that we want everybody to love our book. We want everybody to buy our book. But what your unique message is, what makes you magnetic, Susan, is different than what makes me magnetic, because of our life experiences and the way we have responded to them. So, we're going to be expressing our messages through our own unique voice.

Susan Friedmann:         I'm so pleased you brought voice into it because I really want to go down that avenue and talk about what it takes to pay attention to the sound of our voice. So many of our listeners, Monique, as you know, are either they're speakers and trainers, or they want to be speakers and trainers. And of course our voice is such an important tool in our toolbox. Talk to us about the importance of using our voice correctly and we'll go down the avenue of how to look after it, but let's talk about the importance of our voice.

Monique McDonald:     Okay. That's terrific. I love what you said about the toolbox because most of us are working so hard on creating content, on authorizing our books, right? It's putting out the product and putting out the services. We forget that our voice is our most powerful and most underestimated tool in our toolbox. What would happen if you didn't have a voice? We often don't think about our voice unless it's sick or unless we've gotten laryngitis and we can't work, we can't speak. But we have to take care of this important and vital tool. A. So that we sound like the expert that we are. I don't know. Would you want to listen to me if I sounded like this? Would you think had anything important to say?

Susan Friedmann:         Well, interestingly, I remember there's a technique that they call the Margaret Thatcher Technique. And that is if she said something important, she said it in whisper so you had to really perk up to listen to what it was that she was saying. But what makes me cringe, Monique, is when somebody has got a very high pitch, and this is more for females than males, and I hate to be sexist, but it's that they're very high pitched and it's almost like crackly sounding. Do you know what I'm referring to?

Monique McDonald:     I do. I do.

Susan Friedmann:         You can't listen to that for any length of time, or at least I can't.

Monique McDonald:     Well, I think the reason why we responded to those kind of voices like that is because it sounds like the person is tense and it makes us tense. I think that we all need to have more cadence in our voice. For example, if we are going to bring someone in and speak softer, I still have power in my voice, even though I've lowered the volume. As opposed to this, which doesn't feel... It feels a little feeble. Or this, those people who are talking so loud because they're in presentation mode and they have no idea how loud they're talking.

Susan Friedmann:         Yeah. I just had to step away for a minute from the microphone. Oh my goodness. It's like somebody is going to turn the volume down. It's like, did they adjust this correctly? But you're right. It's that booming voice. So much of it sounds false-

Monique McDonald:     Exactly.

Susan Friedmann:         ... or forced.

Monique McDonald:     That's right. And the idea behind activating your authentic voice is to tune your voice to what you're saying and to your audience. There are people who are... For example, Tony Robbins fans. They're expecting a certain kind of rah-rah big loud noises, and that excites them. And that's what they're used to. And they're used to people talking really fast and that inspires them. And then there are others who, they want to hear a calm but powerful voice so that they know that they are putting their career or their life into someone's hands that they trust. Instead of doing the tuning of this from the outside, I teach my clients to do it from the inside. So that, based on what they're talking about, how they feel about what they're talking about and what they want their clients to do or feel, they are constantly in dialogue within themselves about how they want to say whatever they're saying, how they want to teach their content so that it keeps the audience engaged, and who their audience is.

Susan Friedmann:         That's a very important point. It's who is their audience and how are they going to respond to certain sounds of your voice. Yes. I think that's important. How about tips about keeping our voice healthy? Because there's a tendency sometimes to strain our voice, especially if we're in a large room. And I've had this where I thought, "Well, I don't really need a microphone," because the room was large enough. And then I'm like, "Oh my goodness, I should have had one," because I spent a whole day really pushing. And then the next day, I really felt it. Talk to us about some tips about keeping our voice healthy.

Monique McDonald:     Sure. It's one of my favorite subjects.

Susan Friedmann:         Well, that's good.

Monique McDonald:     I would say in general, if someone hands you a mic, take it, for many reasons. Unless you're trained to speak or sing without a microphone, you will strain your voice because you're not focused on it. You're not focused on keeping it supported by your breath and your body because you're thinking about what you're talking about. You're thinking about what you're teaching. You're thinking about making sure that everybody understands you. Focusing on those things, we tend to jump out of our bodies and we tend to pull up and out and breathe more shallowly, if that's a word, to make sure we're talking fast enough and being engaging. When you're trained to speak without a microphone, everything has to be slower and you have to take long, deep breaths in order to support your instrument. That is really a quick tip that we can all do.

                                    The first session with all of my clients is on belly breathing, filling your lungs from bottom to top. Most people, especially if they're nervous, they breathe up and with their shoulders. Their inhale brings them up out of themselves. And when we breathe into our lower, most sacred part of ourselves and fill our lungs from bottom to top, we have a longer, bigger body so what we say and how we say it is much more supported. That's the first thing. The first-

Susan Friedmann:         That makes so much sense. I mean, having done a lot of belly breathing, we do that in yoga, it energizes you as well. Is that correct?

Monique McDonald:     That's absolutely right. And it lowers your center of gravity. So, you're speaking from your most grounded self. That's very important because that puts much less strain on the vocal chords. The other thing that I would invite you all to pay attention to is to keep hydrated. It's something that we need to do. Eight to 10, 12 to 16 ounce glasses a day. Sounds like a lot and you will be making visits to the restroom, but it's very important to keep our cells hydrated. When you think about it, our vocal chords are the consistency of our eyelid. They're very small and very thin. So, they need hydration so that they can vibrate in the way they were meant to. If we're dry or have dry throats, they can't vibrate freely. They get stiff, which is one of things that causes vocal tiredness or hoarseness.

Susan Friedmann:         One of the things that I was given the tip about, and help me with this, is that, especially when you've got water in front of you when you're speaking or on the lectern somewhere close by, that it should be room temperature rather than iced water, and that maybe even a drop of lemon or something in the water. Is that correct?

Monique McDonald:     That's absolutely correct. The room temperature is so that it can get into the membrane of the vocal cords faster. The cold water, it takes a little bit longer to get in. And if you have a squeeze of lemon or even a pinch of pink Himalayan salt, not so much that you're drinking salt water, but just enough so that it's tiny bit flavored, it keeps the water where we need it so it doesn't just run right through you.

Susan Friedmann:         That's interesting. I've not heard that one before. I like it. I'm going to add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt next time.

Monique McDonald:     That's also a really good cure for if you're feeling hoarse or tight, to gargle with salt water.

Susan Friedmann:         Yes. And I do do that. I know that one. Yes. How about some exercises, maybe some vocal exercises that we might do prior to just getting up and speaking? Because doesn't it need some exercise, the voice?

Monique McDonald:     Yeah.

Susan Friedmann:         I know before singing. I mean, I'm in a choir and as you know, I mean, you've got to do all these exercises before we even start singing a piece. And I'm sure you do twice as many as we do.

Monique McDonald:     Yes. I do different ones depending on what I'm going to sing and if I'm speaking or singing. So, the first is always the belly breathing. I think about the belly breathing as though I'm oiling my machine or putting gas in the car before I drive it. It gets everything flowing, which is what is necessary for an impactful presentation. So, the belly breathing. And then I hum. "Hmm." And I put the hum on the breath. And then I hum, "Mm," from bottom to top and then from top to bottom. "Mm." And then I'll do a few lip trills. That just loosens up the lips so that you can pronounce crisply. And then I'll play, oh that sounds so strange, but yes, play with my tongue. La la la la la la la la la. Moving the tongue around and up and down.

Susan Friedmann:         This is so much fun. I've got to make sure that my editor doesn't take those sounds out because she might wonder what they are when you're not speaking. So, Monique, let's talk about mistakes that you find speakers, trainers make. And I think you've intimated a few, but some common mistakes people make with regard to abusing their voice, maybe.

Monique McDonald:     Well, I think as far as abusing the voice goes, I would say they speak at a tone that is not their natural one, either higher or lower than one's natural tone. Down here, because they're forcing and they're trying to make themselves sound more important. Some people do that. Or they speak up here because they think that's going to carry. Anything that you're doing that's going to be causing strain on the voice. Yelling in a loud restaurant to be heard, right before you have a presentation tomorrow, also not good. The other big mistake, I think, that people make is reading their material. I think it's a mistake because our voices do not function the way they normally do when we're reading, unless we're reading thoughtfully, slowly, on the breath, with inflection.

                                    Normally when we're reading our content or poets are reading their poems or authors are reading from their own material, it's a unconscious need to say it as fast as possible, to get it out, because they feel rushed or they feel uncomfortable sharing their own words with their voice. They're used to sharing their voice on paper, right? So, that's another thing that I think is a big mistake that a lot of people make. And I would say that the last one is a very common sense of imposter syndrome. And it shows up in very insidious ways and affects our voice and our charisma and our demeanor in ways that we're not even aware of. Because there is that voice inside that says, "Who am I to be standing up in front of these people? Who do I think I am to do that?"

Susan Friedmann:         Yeah. That's a common one and I know in my retreats we talk about the imposter syndrome. Because you can't feel like an authority and be recognized as one, as an expert in your field, if you feel like an impostor. You can't fake it. There are certain things you can fake it till you make it, but being an expert and authority and coming over with that confidence that you are who you are, I mean, that's got to be authentic.

Monique McDonald:     It has to be authentic. And that's the word, because so often we do try to fake it because we've got to get ourselves out there. We know we've got to get ourselves out there. And inevitably it shows up in our voice or our demeanor. People don't know why, but they feel it. They sense it. So, helping clients really plug in to their passion and power is a really easy way for them to release that imposter syndrome and get excited about what they're talking about and why what they're saying is necessary for the world, why their message to the world needs to be heard.

Susan Friedmann:         That's a wonderful segue, Monique, into telling our listeners how they can find out more about you and the incredible magnetic voice services that you offer.

Monique McDonald:     Oh, thank you for that. Well, everyone within the sound of my voice today will have access to my voice of power assessment, which is a live call in which we discover your voice of power and what is necessary for you to feel more powerful when you speak and present. It's a clarity call and it really is, just for me, so fun. And I love to help people get clear about what their power is and how it moves through their voice.

Susan Friedmann:         That's so generous. And how can they access that, Monique?

Monique McDonald:     Well, there's a link that I think might be in the program notes. And if not, you can access it at, voice of power. Again, that's

Susan Friedmann:         Fantastic. And I'll make sure that that's in the notes so that, obviously people listen to this when they're driving, when they're mowing the lawn, when they're running-

Monique McDonald:     That's right.

Susan Friedmann:         ... when they're in the gym, so they may not have something available to write down. So, we'll put that in the show notes. And Monique, if you were to leave our listeners with a golden nugget, what would that be?

Monique McDonald:     Well, I would say this. When someone hands you a microphone, step up and speak your truth. You never know who's listening. You never know who you might inspire and how that inspiration can send ripples throughout the world. We are here to speak the truth to each other so that we can hold each other in light and love and be the voice for those who don't have one.

Susan Friedmann:         Oh, well you are a true inspiration, Monique. Thank you. Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips, your wisdom. And I feel the passion and I know the listeners do too because you love the subject. You've experienced it in so many different ways. Thank you for sharing that and thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview. And I sincerely hope that it sparks some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book and author marketing success.

Here's how to get a copy of Monique's voice of power assessment ($497 value)

***Book Marketing Mentors Premium Membership site - JOIN NOW!***