Everything Sounder does is oriented towards a very simple outcome – to improve vocal confidence. Simple as this may sound, there are many elements to vocal performance that need to be understood and practiced all at once. Using a range of techniques from our own performance practice, from theatre, singing, and improvisation, Sounder works on them all.
First, there is the physical voice. How often do you prepare your voice before speaking to your clients, your students, a conference audience, a staff meeting, your colleagues, your boss? Probably not very often. Would you even know how to start? Most people don’t. The anatomy of the voice is complex, relying on subtle interconnections between muscle, bone, and breath. This involves the whole body, but particularly the upper abdomen, neck, and head. We need to to prepare the voice for the same reason an athlete trains to run a marathon. Do it wrong, or don’t do it enough, and you can hardly expect to see the finish line, let alone win the race. Sounder helps you develop a resonant and authentic voice.
Second, there is the vast subject of non-verbal communication. What are your hands doing? What is you posture saying about you as you enter the room? Are your words saying one thing but the tone of your voice revealing another? Studies have shown time and again that the words we speak only account for a relatively small proportion of what we are transmitting. Sounder opens up this aspect of voice and performance and gives you choices.
Third, there are emotion and intention. The wrong inflection on a word or a phrase can fundamentally alter its meaning. Do you check your emotional state before you speak? Is public speaking something you dread? Have you ever ‘dried’ half-way through a presentation? Being aware of the importance of emotion to vocal performance is the first step in managing it. Being able to put purposeful intention into your voice is the second. Sounder helps you move beyond knowing what you are going to say and on to knowing how and why you are saying it.
Fourth, there is the environment. Are you happier talking to a few people in your own space? Does the prospect of a large audience bring you out in a cold sweat? What if they don’t seem to be listening? How can the voice fill a lecture theatre without needing a microphone? What if I only ever speak to clients on the phone? Sounder helps you understand and manage your speaking environment, gives you tactics for effective communication with different audiences, and equips you with tools to manage (and overcome) your fears.
Finally, Sounder works with your whole organisation. In most organisations these days everyone is ‘client-facing’, even if the clients are our colleagues. This is why we work to a very simple principle:
All. Together. Sounder.