Your Voice Is Your Identity
Most of us don't think about how we sound when we speak, we even actively avoid listening to our voice on recordings or videos. Unbeknownst to most, your voice reveals so much about you, and it's something worth learning about. Strengthening your Vocal Awareness can improve your leadership, relationships, career advancement, and much more. Pretty shocking, right?
Recently, our CEO, Stacy Jones, had an intriguing conversation with one of the world's foremost communication strategists and authorities on the human voice. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discovers the importance of your voice with the founder and chairman of the Vocal Awareness Institute, Arthur Joseph.
A Little More About Arthur
A renowned teacher and mentor, Mr. Joseph’s mission is to Change the World through Voice. With a client list that includes A-listers like Angelina Jolie, Sean Connery, Tony Robbins, Steven Coby, Jerry Rice, and Emmett Smith, it's no wonder Arthur known as the expert in communication mastery.
As Mr. Joseph states, “We are on the cusp of losing the art of public discourse.” He has become a lone voice in raising the alarm that we aren’t simply losing the ability to communicate, we are losing our innate ability to connect with each other on even the most basic levels—physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
Note: Arthur walks Stacy through several Vocal Awareness exercises during their interview, and the difference in some of the responses are only distinguished through listening. We encourage you to listen to this episode to hear the difference and what Arthur recommends about delivery.
Interview Transcript Highlights
Question: I'm happy to have you here today! What I'd love to do is start off our conversation about a little bit from your background and what got you to where you are today, someone who you works with massive, massive celebrities.
Answer: This is my 54th year of vocal awareness and I knew when I was four that music was my life. And at 12, I knew singing was its direction. At 15 I had my first voice teacher. I've written five books. My first book, the Sound of the Soul was dedicated to my first teacher, Mrs Julia Kinsel. I was 15 and she was 75. In the middle of my lessons, I would do this bizarre behavior and I'm not exaggerating. Stop. No, I don't want to do it like that. I hear it this way.
Manically clumping my hands on my ears like that, and she'll love this inane behavior from a teenager because she knew something about me I didn't yet know. I hear vocal sound differently than anyone I've ever met anywhere in the world. And when to hear a voice, I instantly hear you. It's what I call perfect pitch. It's an instant imprint.
Mrs Kinsel's lack of dogma, allowed me to create new form. Vocal awareness is actually trademarked in many areas these days. Empowerment to voice, communication mastery, et cetera, because it's a paradigm shift in communication. But it all began with Mrs Kinsel and her letting me behave so bizarre.
I was the vocal director in the movie Annie. In in my work, I get to do anything I want. This is, some people tell people I sell air. Well, we all have to breathe and we all have to communicate in some fashion. So whether we have the Pierce Brosnan's and Arnold Schwarzenegger and the names you've mentioned, or Deloitte and Touche, or one of my clients who became a US senator this last election cycle, a woman who sitting with her during your campaign announcement, annotating every little piece of it, conducting it so that she comes through. Or working with a client years ago who is a Holocaust survivor and helping her find her voice, I've taught deaf people to sing literally. And so this is mastering, not just communication mastery, but mastery through communication. And it's a metaphor for how to be more truly capable of being.
Question: Is there anything specifically our listeners should be aware of, when it comes to their voice?
Answer: We don't realize how much work it takes to be ourselves while others watch. If you've got an important meeting, if you do have a PowerPoint presentation, if you have a keynote, if you have a job interview, whatever it is, prepare. Take and write out the opening 15 seconds and put it on your video camera or your audio recorder on your phone and record. Practice. Oh, that was too fast. Oh, that was good, but then it rocked my energy.
Whatever it is, you're going to discover a whole lot. But as you do it, you do it without judgment. You must create safe harbor. This was an intimate word, root of the word intimate means intrinsic or essential. I'm teaching us how that it is essential to be who we are, intrinsic to be who we are. And this kind of practice corresponds to also whenever possible, record your performances either on video or audio. I get them from recorders in jacket pockets with all the rustling and it's what I call game film. And we study it. It's like an athlete studying their at bat. So creating objective opportunity to move the dial. No judgment. Safe Harbor, paradigm structure does not impinge, it liberates. Freedom without direction is chaos. We create structure to help you be the best you can possibly be. Because this ain't a dress rehearsal, man. I wanted to chew up the scenery and maximize every opportunity.
Stacy: It's interesting to me that you talk about, you know, giving yourself a bit of a break basically when you're watching this and you're listening to yourself because it's hard. It's hard for people to, or at least it's hard for me to even listen to podcasts. It's hard if I've spoken, it's hard to hear my words or to go back. I just did a film documentary interview the other day and I was so conscious of being on camera and whenever I do these types of interviews, I don't, in my natural gut is I do not want to go watch it, nor do I want to hear it ever again because you take it so personally and it is difficult.
Answer: And it is personal. The key word and vocal awareness is surrender, to yield or to give back. We're in service to our calling to what I call the capital W work. So we don't get to be the cork on our own bottle. You clearly aspire to excellence and so we just get over ourselves. It doesn't mean it's not scary. It's not humbling. McGraw Hill is the publisher of my last two books and one of them, they wanted me to do a book on tape. And I thought got my attention. I have to design it.
I don't want to just sound like some old intellectual wonk just enjoying my own words and not just for saying this for 40 billion hours while I'm in that studio for x number of hours a day. So I'm doing all the same work I teach everybody else and the listening back and the clarity, but there is also such a joy in that and perhaps before you do your next podcast, you reflect on our time or go to that visual voice pro course that we will be speaking about in a moment and practice it and then have by the console a couple of reminders such as, take my time, do the hub of the voice exercise. Hmm. Am I listening? Hear myself, enjoy myself. Just ways to stay present in the moment and watch how stuff just dissipates pretty much instantly.
Question: Since you brought it up, what a great segue. Can you share with our listeners?
Answer: My vision, Stacy, is to change the world through voice. I can't do that by myself. I have created a movement I call the human achievement movement. I'm not at all interested in potential. It's achievement I'm really interested in. And so I don't do this podcast as a one off. It's really nice meeting you and talking with you and it's really cool. But I do it because you have an audience.
For this audience I created a 50% discount on a course called Visual Voice Pro and it's me teaching this work. It's me teaching vocal awareness on video with you, one on one with you. And it's integral. It is the work. I do this because I want people to be able to grow through this work. So we make this offering to your audience, a 50% discount and it's a pretty significant program. So that is what I'm putting out there for you.
My website is vocalawareness.com. There's lots of free content on it. Take a look at that TED talk and some other videos, articles, et cetera. One that I wrote for Huffington a couple of years ago on the imposter syndrome or on leadership and if anybody writes, you write support at vocal awareness and my team forwards me every email, and I personally answer every year. So you will hear from me if you choose to.
Then very importantly, if I could just drop this pebble. I turned 73 this past January and I write an annual New Year's letter. And in this one I launched, I spoke about this is my legacy time. I launched a certification course because I've created meaningful work and I want to pass it on and so all now I do have this certification course where people can begin to learn vocal awareness in a very concentrated way and possibly even think about in time putting your own shingle on the door and teaching the work. Whether one on one or in their companies or whatever it might be. So the certification course is something I'm also quite proud of.
Check Out The Podcast!
This is a podcast you'll definitely want to hear! Arthur walks Stacy through some great exercises that will help your vocal awareness improve immediately. Check out the full episode below!
Every week we have impressive guests on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year:
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