Are you looking to improve your own and others’ communication skills in the workplace? Do you want to sound more confident and authoritative and help those around you do the same? If so, then business voice coaching might be just what you need. In this quick guide, I explain what business voice coaching is, why it matters, what a top business voice coach does, what sets them apart from other voice coaches, the benefits of working with one, and how to choose the right one for you.
What is business voice coaching?
“Business voice coaching develops people’s personal, professional and vocal potential, equipping them to communicate more effectively on- and off-line, in any setting. It involves work on mindset, body language, speech and voice, and can be life-changing”.
– Susan Room
Why does it matter?
Whether conversing with colleagues, clients or investors; pitching or presenting your ideas and recommendations; leading town halls or team meetings; interviewing for a new role or promotion; or inspiring others to trust and follow your lead; what you say and how you say it can make all the difference.
What does a top business voice coach do?
A top business voice coach will work with you on the four key pillars of communication: mindset, body language, speech and voice. I do this using my Make Your Mark Coaching Model, and I do it in that order because, for me, how you think (mindset) affects how you look (body language) what you say (speech) and how you say it (voice).
Think about it.
1. Mindset: the voice leaks information. Whatever you’re feeling - tired, hungry, stressed, anxious, irritated or something else - people will hear those feelings in your voice. That’s why building self-belief and a confident, clear mindset, is, in my view, the fundamental starting point for anyone wanting to work on their voice.
2. Body language: the same goes for the way you show up physically in a space. Your posture, breathing, eye contact and hand gestures say a lot about you and how you’re feeling. If you believe in yourself, you’re far more likely to convey executive presence, make a positive first impression, and improve your personal and professional outcomes than if you doubt yourself.
3. Speech: if you’re mentally and physically confident, the words you utter will be too. You’ll speak more concisely, openly and authoritatively and ask more and better questions, maximising your contribution and impact in the process. You’ll also know when and how to voice your opinions and say no, minimising the risk and consequences of overwhelm.
4. Voice: if the three pillars above are in place and you are healthy, there is a good chance your voice will sound confident, audible and clear. With that as a baseline, you can then go on to explore how your voice works and how you can use it strategically and intentionally to make your mark, voice your values and so much more.
What sets a top business voice coach apart from other voice coaches?
Few and far between, with a rare combination of experience and credentials, top business voice coaches:
Have more than 10 years’ senior leadership experience
Are certified by one of the world’s leading coaching organisations (ICF, EMCC, Association for Coaching, ECA and EASC)
Hold a post-graduate degree in voice studies from a globally renowned conservatoire (like the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama where I studied)
Abide by a recognised code of conduct and uphold the highest ethical standards
Coach the four interrelated pillars of effective communication: mindset, body language, speech and voice
Are highly skilled at making world-class actor voice training techniques accessible and appealing to time-poor business people
Most other voice coaches fall into one or more of the following categories:
Those who offer communication and presentation skills coaching (also known as voice trainers, speaking voice coaches or speech coaches)
Those who help non-native speakers soften their English accent and actors speak in different accents (known as accent and/or dialect coaches)
Those who help actors, voiceover artists, podcasters, presenters and singers perfect their delivery (often known as vocal coaches)
The benefits of working with a top business voice coach
By working with a top business voice coach, you and your people will develop not only your vocal and communication abilities, but also other uniquely human skills which, according to world-leading influencer Bernard Marr, are increasingly in demand as technology puts more and more jobs at risk. These include:
Managing time effectively
Listening openly with empathy
Bringing out the best in people
Thinking critically and creatively
Communicating ideas and opinions
Building relationships and networks
Controlling and expressing emotions
Collaborating effectively in a hybrid world
Being open-minded, curious and willing to learn
In addition, individuals will gain
Better verbal skills
Improved executive presence
More vocal variety and impact
Teams will experience
Improved team spirit
Greater trust and rapport
Enhanced collaboration and creativity
And organisations will benefit from
More diversity and inclusivity
Increased employee engagement
A more open, authentic workplace
Better individual and collective wellbeing
Choosing a business voice coach
Here are some things to consider:
Experience: Look for someone who has credible, hands-on business experience (it doesn’t have to be in your industry)
Credentials: Check their credentials and certifications
Coaching style: Make sure their coaching style aligns with your learning style
Reviews: Read reviews from past clients to get an idea of their experience working with the coach
Is business voice coaching worth the investment?
Absolutely. Working with a business voice coach can help you develop the strong interpersonal communication skills that are increasingly important as technology continues to challenge traditional work roles, improving your personal and professional outcomes.
Got a question about business voice coaching and how it can help you or your organisation?