“The intensity of your voice will translate into a powerful presence that garners you the deference you need to succeed,” says Hart, a professional actress, producer, director and instructor whose command of her own voice has helped launch several business enterprises dedicated to winning sound branding.
Hart believes the right sound can launch or sink a person’s ability to gain respect, attention and ultimately, success. Today, she offers her five top tips to achieve communication triumph.
Say ‘No!” to “Ums.” Why? This irritating habit, says Hart, takes your credibility and authority and, stomps it to death. The habit breaks the listener’s concentration, and allows the individual or group to drift and detach from what could be an otherwise engaging discussion. To avoid this practice, Hart advises her student whenever they feel the need to use “um” in a sentence, to stop and take a breath pause before saying the next word.
Organize thoughts. Hart recommends using words of emotion, adjectives and adverbs to allow the listener or audience to feel your subject, and not just hear the facts. One way to organize a presentation is to speak in numbers. For example, orchestrating a speech or discussion using numbers will automatically slow a presenter down. This also cues the listener to pay attention to the points upcoming. Saying, “I have two things to share with you today.” allows you to forewarn the listener of upcoming, important information. The speaker then continues on to explain, “First, I want to …” and “Secondly, I think…” This style of speaking can give a speaker confidence and control, and the style implies credibility.
Energize Pronunciation. The letters “T,” “D,” “L,” and “N” shape the English language and the consonants in language gives whomever is speaking form and credibility, and implies subject matter expertise recognition. The same letters are often mumbled or softened in everyday speech, and when a person fully utilizes and clearly pronounces the consonants, the delivery is much more powerful and memorable.
Emphasize vocal clarity to share emotion. Be conscious of pronouncing the vowels in words. These, says Hart, are used to store the emotional connection to the heart. “A,”
Don’t Just Read. Hart instructs us to speak to someone rather than at someone. One method she suggests involves scoring a script. This allows the speaker time to consider each word and its meaning in the sentence, allows the speaker to take a breath, and highlights the most important words in that phrase. Scoring can add the melody, she offers.
For instance, rather than saying, “Mary had a little lamb. It's fleece was white as snow,” Hart recommends that the presenter score it as follows:
Hart cautions speakers not to hesitate unnaturally when using this method which may result in a robotic delivery. Without scoring, a speaker can deliver a line or phrase that is linear and monotonous, and ultimately uninteresting or unheard.
“I’ve taught this method for 35 years and it’s a gold mine for everyone from presenters to actors, voice-over talent, and interviewees,”
Hartfelt Communication strives to enhance personal and business profitability through sound branding. Her newest venture includes training college and professional athletes about the art of managing an interview and bringing an MVP (Marvelous Vocal Presence) to every speaking opportunity.
For personal consultations, please call 312-846-1050, or write ahartfeltlife@
About Katherine Hart and Hartfelt Communication
For over 30 years, Katherine Hart has given people the tools to communicate with interest, clarity, authority, language and listening. As founder and president of Hartfelt Communication, she has developed customized training programs for dozens of Fortune 100 companies, and trained over 50,000 professionals in her company’s proprietary ICALL Communications Process. Hartfelt Communication strives to enhance personal and business profitability through sound branding.
Her newest venture includes training college and professional athletes about the art of managing an interview and bringing an MVP (Marvelous Vocal Presence) to every speaking opportunity. Hart is an accomplished professional actress, director, and producer who brings many years of theatrical experience to her revolutionary communication training process. She is a sought-after expert in vocal imaging, and very active in Chicago’s theatrical community as well as cultural organizations in Chicago and New York. As a performer and teacher she has been associated with the critically acclaimed Tony Award winning companies Steppenwolf Theater, Victory Gardens Theater and the Eugene O'Neil Theater Center. She has been a guest lecturer at universities including Harvard, Drake, Temple, Bradley, Brown, DePaul, Vassar, Trinity College and Brandeis. She is currently teaching a class on the art of voice overs at Loyola University in Chicago. Hart received a B.A. degree from Drake University and a M.F.A. degree from Temple University.
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