The Business of Meetings –Episode 142 – Find Your Voice with Caroline Goyder
We are delighted to be speaking with Caroline Goyder today! Caroline is a well-known speaker coach who helps her clients find their voice.
Caroline is based in the UK and is known internationally and is the author of three books. She also did a TEDx Talk that has reached more than nine and a half million people! In today’s episode, she shares some practical tools to implement immediately to help you find your voice and have more impact within organizations.
We hope you enjoy listening to today’s captivating conversation with Caroline Goyder!
Caroline’s global reputation as a speaker and voice coach is built on her warm, engaging, relaxed, and highly practical style, and her expertise is honed by her work with actors, teachers, broadcasters, and the corporate sector. She worked for many years at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama as a voice coach. Her skill is to take ideas previously known by performers and broadcasters and make them immediately usable when facing personal and professional challenges. She is regularly sought after by the media as an expert in her field. Caroline’s work has been featured on television and in numerous national and international newspaper articles. Her TEDx Talk on speaking with confidence has had many millions of views. On Caroline’s website, you will find information about booking Caroline to speak and signing up for her ‘Find Your Voice’ events. You can also download and take short audio courses to help you speak with confidence.
Caroline attended Oxford University with plans of becoming an actor. She then went to drama school only to discover that it was hard to be on stage and look relaxed.
Change is possible
Caroline has spent the last twenty years unpacking what it means to get told that you have no presence or your performance was terrible. In those situations, people tend to think they cannot change. But they can!
Some speaking advice
If you feel nervous and speak too fast, or you mouth-breathe when speaking, it is best to close your mouth and breathe in a feeling of relief whenever you hit a full stop. That will allow your system to reset and get out of fight or flight.
If your tone is flat, spend some time before you speak, imagining that you are in the audience listening, and consider what you need to do to engage yourself. Or imagine that you are talking to a clever fourteen-year-old. Then slow down and simplify what you are saying.
Caroline has spent many years working out quick ways for people to stand on stage and be themselves.
Acting did not come naturally to Caroline, but she realized she could learn to do what others, to whom it did come naturally, were doing. She changed course because her heart was in acting. She also knew that as an actor, she would not be in control, and she wanted to have more agency. So she decided to become an entrepreneur instead.
To be successful as an entrepreneur, you really need to want it because it is hard. You need to know that you have a skill no one else has. You also need the drive and energy to get back up and keep going after getting knocked down.
Caroline’s advice about changing course
Caroline loved voice, so she trusted her instincts and trained as a voice teacher. She advises people in their twenties to keep flipping when things don’t feel right and to keep going until they find something that really lights them up!
If you would like to know how to speak a dialect different from your own, you need to listen carefully to the patterns and absorb them.
Flood your ears
If you are American and get invited to speak in the UK, there are a few things you should do to prepare yourself beforehand. Firstly, do your research and have an informal mini-focus group with a few people who will be at the event so that you can flood your ears with whatever drives them. You can also go to YouTube to listen to the dialect, energy, and speech patterns so that you can take on some of the language and dialect and use words that reflect the values of the people in the area in which you will be speaking.
Caroline prepared extremely well before her TEDx Talk because she understood the jeopardy of being a speaker coach who “messes up” a speech.
If you are thinking of doing a TEDx Talk, Caroline suggests you ditch Powerpoint and find a prop that engages the audience and brings your idea to life.
Caroline’s coaches helped her select the best and freshest ideas from those she had in mind for her TEDx Talk. She urges anyone working on a speech to be open to feedback. Her idea process starts with a mind map. She uses voice notes on her phone to hear what her ideas sound like when spoken. She also tries them out on people.
Showing up as herself
As an actor, Caroline learned that when her body and breath were centered, she showed up as herself. She advised speakers to look after their bodies, keep fit, and learn how to breathe diaphragmatically so that their voices can develop authenticity.
Caroline’s latest book, Find Your Voice, is about the voice and its potential to express whatever you feel in life and allow you to step up, speak up, and stand out. Her previous book, Gravitas, is about how speakers can find authority and credibility.
Connect with Eric
Connect with Caroline Goyder
On her website
On social media: @Carolinegoyder