Anrah News - April 2015
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Voice matters


16th April was World Voice Day  - and a good reminder of how much my work is helping my clients find their voice, the one that gets people’s attention to stop and listen. The voice of Gravitas!
Our modern environment is very challenging for voices. Modern buildings are full of hard surfaces, rarely chosen for their acoustic properties – even lecture theatres. These surfaces dampen lower registers and amplify and distort higher ones, making it difficult to concentrate on what’s being said. Add to this, increasing levels of background noise from computers, air conditioning and background chatter that open plan offices generate and the individual voice has a lot to compete with. Moreover, air conditioning is not only noisy, like the modern craze for coffee it is drying and dehydrating which is also hard on the voice. Hormonal changes such as menstruation, pregnancy and menopause can have a big impact on women’s voices (see one of my recent blog posts: “The perfect voice for women in business”).
Not only do we have to face the challenge of external factors. After we take a breath, two membranes (known as the vocal folds) are pulled together inside the larynx and vibrate with the puffs of air. It’s a thin, reedy sound that is then amplified by the empty cavities, the empty spaces in our chest, our throat, our nose and mouth. If the surface of those empty spaces is tense, it makes the voice sound as though the pitch is higher and distorts the quality, making the voice sound shrill or harsh.

Why does this matter? Because your voice is one of the factors people rely on to form their perception of you. However, that decision is unconscious: people are drawn or repelled by a voice without for the most part consciously realising it and cannot therefore confront their perception. Your voice is as unique as your fingerprint. It helps define and even determine your personality, your outlook, your mood, your health and your levels of confidence. It is the touch point between your inner and outer self - where the inner self reveals itself.
Your voice is part of who you are and you need to take care of it. The British Voice Association offers excellent advice on what to do and what to avoid. Most importantly becoming aware of your voice means you can manage it and your audience’s perceptions. As a qualified voice coach, I can help you find the gravitas in your voice to influence others. Call 07939 261743 to discuss your needs or email


My favourite story this month came from a broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on “The Life Scientific” on Dame Stephanie Shirley. Having escaped Nazi Germany on the Kinder Transport, she commuted to a boys grammar school to get adequate Maths tutoring. She decided against going to university. Instead working at Dollis Hill Research Station on the rudimentary computers she then set up an all women computer software company in the 1960s. She changed her name to Steve Shirley just to get an appointment with potential clients and her company eventually went on to be worth £half a billion. At no point in the interview with Jim Al-Khalili does she dwell on gender differences.  It seems to me that like Henry Ford’s saying, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t - you’re right”, Steve Shirley saw no reason why she couldn’t be in programming, so she was!  
Anrah News

I am currently working with a client on strategic leadership skills and supporting a board on increasing their listening skills at Board Meetings. I am also taking on my first employee, which is proving very exciting!


And many congratulations to Aoife Roebuck and her colleagues from the IBME (pictured above) who won £5000 for their company thanks to their pitch at the #WINPitchEvent - all of whom underwent their presentation training with Anrah!

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Thank you to the lovely reader who wrote these words in response to last month’s newsletter. We are always delighted to hear what we are doing right. And we'd be even more so with your suggestions for improvements or topics you’d like me to cover.
Do you want coaching and training on developing:
  • credibility
  • gravitas
  • influence
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  • stakeholder buy-in
  • leadership authority
Please email me or call 07939 261743 to discuss your objectives for yourself or your leadership team and how I could help you achieve them.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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