Strategies for Getting your New Speech and Voice Skills in the Workplace

Strategies for Getting your New Speech and Voice Skills in the Workplace

 

 

Three Strategies for Using Your New Speech and Voice Skills in the Real World

 When it comes to changing behaviors for improving speech and voice you must have good awareness of what it is you want to change and understand the behaviors causing you to not be within your goal. Listed below are 3 activities that will help you to practice these skills out in the world on a daily biases. It will increase your awareness and build your confidence as you experience success. With using these strategies you will be more aware of how you are applying your speech and voice skills.

The Speech Notebook Activity

One of the most effective ways to practice and master your new speech skills is to use a speech notebook. Faster progress has been measured weekly with my clients who complete the notebook exercise compared to the progress of the ones who do not.

How It Works

  1. Use any notebook, such as one from the drugstore, or a nice journal.

 

  1. Write down three different and original thoughts you think you will say each day. Professional lines for the workplace are best. The purpose is to give you a chance to practice your new speech with actual statements you

 

  1. After you have written down your three thoughts, say them practicing with your new skills.

Why It Works

  1. You are speaking lines from your natural dialogue, a more practical learning experience than drill work.

 

  1. What typically happens is when you say a line from your speech notebook, the following lines in that same conversation are usually said in the new intonation style and your speech has instant clarity.

 

  1. Clients who do this exercise daily are successful because their awareness has been significantly increased. My clients report that this exercise sets the tone for their speech during the day or reminds them to speak using their new skills. It is an exercise designed to increase awareness.

Notebook Setup

Keep it simple. Use one page for each day. It could look like this:

 

Three Things I Will Say Today  Date:________

Line One

Line Two

Line Three

That’s it! This brief activity can realistically be completed every day. Set yourself up for success!

Things to Consider

  1. Practice more with statements, not questions. Practicing with questions may confuse you due to the intonation style. Besides, most people communicate with statements, not questions.

 

  1. If you notice that you made an error during your practice, don’t worry about it. The fact that you noticed an error is proof that you have increased your awareness and that it was a good learning experience. Increasing your awareness of the skills you want to have, versus the ones you do not, will create new habits.

 

  1. If you are the type who gets into the “zone,” moving from task to task, as soon as you get to work, you will most likely not do this important exercise. To be successful with your new skills, you must have open space in your day to recognize moments and have trial runs to observe your behaviors.

 

Speech Triggers

One of the most efficient ways for you to practice your spontaneous speech and transform your new skills into habit is to identify several “speech triggers” in your everyday life and use them every chance you have.

 What Is a Speech Trigger?

  • A speech trigger is something in your routine that, as soon as you see it or do it, it triggers you to use your new speech skills. For example, if you enjoy getting coffee, then as soon as you set foot in the coffeehouse, communicate everything you say using your new speech skills. The coffeehouse is your speech trigger. It is something that reminds you to practice your new speech out in the world. Speech triggers are a way for you to practice with spontaneous speech, which is necessary to reinforce your awareness and turn new skills into natural habits.
  • A speech trigger can also be a person. Every time you see this person, speak using the skills you are practicing.
  • A speech trigger can be a place. When you are there you are triggered to use you new skills.
  • Regardless of what or who is selected as a trigger, the communication should be brief so that, when you have finished speaking, you can reflect on the interaction and ask yourself “How did I do using my new skills?”

 

Red Light Drills

A red light drill is when a particular exercise is done during the duration of a red traffic light. It is a great way to have several short rehearsals throughout your drive every day. This is another approach for a busy person to get in some drill practice. As you move through your program, return here for some helpful red light drill exercises:

 

  1. Intonation: When you begin to feel skilled with your intonation, comment on what you see around you, for example, “I can’t believe he is not wearing a coat.” This is a great opportunity to use spontaneous speech while you get used to speaking with intonation.

 

  1. Diaphragm breath: Practice taking a diaphragm breath and then speaking a sentence from that breath while waiting at a red light.

 

  1. Optimal pitch: Practice optimal pitch by commenting on what you are observing while at the red light.

 

  1. Introductions and closings for presentations and meetings: This is an area that should be strong for all business professionals. Practice at the red light because professionals frequently make introductions and your old style and behaviors are probably locked since you have been doing it that way for years.

 

  1. Presentation rehearsal: Practice a part of your presentation. Explain charts, data or procedures.

 

  1. Interview questions: Predict something that you will be asked and rehearse your answer using your best skills.

 

  1. Meeting preparation: Rehearse agenda items you will be presenting.

 

Do a targeted exercise during the duration of the red light. When the red light turns green, return your focus to your driving. My clients have commented that this is an easy way to practice and that they believe this exercise made a big difference in helping them improve. It is quick and effective

 



Speech and Voice - Elizabeth Peterson


Elizabeth Peterson, Denver’s leading speech therapist and executive speech coach for over 22 years and is the author of Accent Reduction 101, Third Edition 2017 and Speak Like a Broadcaster & Lead Like a CEO, Third Edition 2017 . Learn More

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Elizabeth Peterson M.A., CCC-SLP Speech Therapist

Speech Therapist & Executive Speech Coach for over 22 years
Licensed speech therapist in the State of Colorado
Certified with the American Speech Language Hearing Association
CSHA, Colorado Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationASHA, American Speech-Language Hearing Association