I am a communication strategist, and when people ask, “What is your target market?”, I say, “I sell air. Everyone has to breathe, and everyone has to communicate.” Another “master of the obvious” statement is that speech is habit. In virtually every interaction, we simply talk.

As training managers and leaders, are you confident you can communicate strategically and effectively at all times and in all situations?

The following is a simple training technique to practice to be the most effective communicator possible. At home, using the video- or audio-record feature on your phone, record yourself role-playing a 30-second interview or a 30-second meeting. Practice something that is relevant for yourself and your business unit. Then, listen to the recording. I call this study “game film.”

In my practice, I have the privilege of teaching elite athletes, who all benefit from the study of game film. Studying their performance, they objectively recognize what contributed to their success or their failure.

To build on this technique, before recording a second time, use these two tips:

1. Create your persona statement.

This step is a Vocal Awareness principle that helps you aspirationally identify how you want to be known. The root of the word “persona” means “through the sound.” Your identity is largely conveyed through the sound of your voice and how you speak. Jot down a few adjectives that support your idealized brand – your identity.

2. Write four sentences from the statement you are practicing.

Put a check mark, in Vocal Awareness the symbol for taking a breath, wherever it is strategically most effective to do so. Next, circle the periods at the end of each sentence. At the top of your document, write, “Take My Time” and “Be Myself.”

Sit or stand comfortably. Then, record again. Focus on the annotation, and initiate your narrative with a five-second, silent inhalation. Following this second recording, listen and take notes on the distinctions you observe.

Then, if and when appropriate, do the same thing at work – perhaps initially with a phone call, recording your side of the conversation. Each time you use this game film strategy, you will notice the progress you are making and recognize there may be more authenticity, more confidence and more authority in your voice.

As I say to all my clients at the end of a session: Enjoy the journey.

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