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This Lesson is for FIRST DATES
Human relationships can be complicated, whether it is between a mother and child, a working environment or a first date.
I have found myself in vocal coaching sessions with a range of different people and ages where it has turned into a life coaching session where they will confide in me and trust me to talk about their latest first dates and the lack of confidence that they sometimes feel about themselves. Firstly, I feel honoured that people trust me in this way and as a result, it is something that I want to include in my masterclasses “Hack Your Voice”.
When you are in certain situations, do you ever feel uncertain about yourself as you are not sure what the other person is really thinking about you?
Do you ever feel that you will never be able to meet someone who understands you or it is difficult to find someone who will simply like you for being you?
I recall a well-known TV show called “Love is Blind”, where contestants chose partners based solely on the conversation. The show was not only entertaining but demonstrated the huge power a voice has in attraction. As I have said before, it is important to be aware of your voice as a tool for attraction.
We live in an age where we are swamped by constant texts, abbreviated and shortened sentences, along with the constant social media blitz where we may have people see us as a brand, not a person. Whilst this can be good in many ways, it can become quite complicated for first dates and the ability to have sincere conversations. There are many dating apps where people can easily meet new people; so the issue is not really about the meeting but it is about the connection. My point to you is that we must not forget that our voice can be the most important tool for attraction.
Here is my own personal example of when I met my husband. A mutual person whom we both knew introduced us to each other. When I met him, I did not know what to expect, but I was at a stage of my life when I felt that I wanted to be open in listening to what he said to me. And in return, as we were talking on that first night, one of the biggest things that attracted me to my husband and still does – is how he speaks.
My husband is an international arbitration lawyer and speaks clearly and compellingly as that is what he does for a living. His voice captivated me and I was drawn to every word he said to me. How did he do that? Was it because he was a lawyer? No. Not every lawyer has this skill. Not everyone has the same practice or skills. But anyone can improve the way in which they can communicate their personality and articulate their ideas and passions. And of course, all of these are attractive qualities.
As a vocal coach who trains voices day and night, I realised that the combination of ‘reflective listening’ and training people in how to develop a clear, compelling voice could be so helpful on first dates. In training your voice, you can break down those imaginative walls that you create in your life. Sometimes, we build up those negative expectations due to past experiences and a lack of self-esteem; but replacing it with positive steps will help you to have more acceptance of yourself along with learning to love the sound of your voice.
When you are making the first impression and you never get a second chance again, the way you speak is a major factor. That’s a scientific fact. How many of us when talking to someone we are attracted to, have become tongue-tied and unable to speak or communicate in the way we can when are with friends?
Here are some key points in what I hope will encourage you on your next first date.
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Case Study Featuring Suwi Getting His Masters in Social Innovation at the University of Cambridge
Suwi told me that he questioned himself about how he sounded as he felt very nervous. He was worried about a blind date and thought that date may think he was not interested or vice versa. As I did a vocal assessment of his voice, I explained to him that he had an attractive, low sounding voice that could work really well on a date. However, he needed to ensure that he needed to learn how to manage his inward nervousness so that his voice would remain sounding interested in what the other person says and to enjoy the sound of his low, calm sound.
I then showed him an exercise where he had to jog until he felt his heart beating fast. I did this deliberately and then had him sit down immediately to speak. The reason for this was to show him that he still had control of the sound of his voice. I also taught him acting exercises that will give him the confidence and acceptance of who he is. Have a look at the “top tips” below.
- Reflective Listening: This does not mean that you must agree with everything but your date must feel that they are able to express themselves to you. Don’t waste time worrying about what your date thinks about you and enjoy the experience of communicating with someone new.
- Take a few minutes to discover and discuss things that you have in common and things that you see differently. Because you have a difference of opinion in certain areas, it does not mean that it is always bad.
- Ask interesting questions in a fun and relaxed way. Here are examples of questions you can ask to get to know each other:
- What was the most important moment in your life when you were growing up?
- What was the most embarrassing thing you faced as a child?
- What do you most wish for in a friendship?
Questions like these can help you to understand each other better and where you are both currently in your lives. There is no answer that is bad or good as they are all based upon getting to know each other.
- Mirror: If they laugh, you laugh. If they smile, you smile. If someone leans forward and puts their hands on your hand for a moment, feel free to do the same so they know that it was ok. If they lift their voice into a higher place, lift your voice in a higher place. Actors do these exercises as they become characters.
- Don’t keep your voice in one place as you speak. Don’t be afraid to be passionate or excited about what you are communicating. Let your voice run free.
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Actor and director Idris Elba worked with CeCe Sammy Lightfoot, calling her a “music impresario” and acclaimed her as a “singing and movement advisor”.