What is your Foundation Story?
When you go in for a job interview, or when you meet with a client to pitch your company or service, do you have a Foundation Story?
A Foundation Story tells people who you are, where you’ve come from, and where you are going. It lets people know why you do what you do.
When you speak:
Are you aware of your brand? Do you have a Persona Statement? Are you focused and strategic about how you want to be known?
Are you sharing your Self, or just words?
Are you speaking without intending to be really heard?
Generally speaking, we are not aware of how much work it takes to be ourselves while others watch or listen. Traditionally, speech is habit.
I was recently interviewed by Jennifer Hill for her LA Radio show, Get Yourself The Job, about the importance of claiming who we are through the power of our own Voice.
As I’ve said for decades, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Listen to the full interview here:
In the interview, I discussed a simple fix to a bad habit that can completely change the sound of their voice.
What is the bad habit?
Do you look away from someone when you talk to them?
When someone is speaking to you, you will generally look them in the eye to be polite while they speak. This is social conditioning and a subtle cue that we are paying attention.
However, when we begin to speak, we unconsciously look away ‘to gather our thought’.
When we do this, looking away will actually change the pitch, resonance, and energy of our voice.
Maintaining eye contact when you start speaking with someone literally changes the sound of your voice.
Pay attention to this the next time you go in for an interview or any kind of work meeting.
Practice telling your Foundation Story while maintaining eye contact the entire time.
Record yourself on video or audio. Listen back/view. This video/audio review is what I refer to as ‘Game Film’ and helps us objectify what others experience when we speak to them.
Reminder: We do not realize how much work it takes ‘to be ourselves while others watch.’
As you begin to integrate this simple practice into everything you do, it will change how we know you. By doing this Work, it is not making you into someone you are not, you are mastering what is possible.
If you don’t have another person to practice with, you can practice in front of a mirror and maintain eye contact with yourself. Listen to the difference in your Voice.
These foundational tips aren’t just about making a good first impression, however. They are also intimately tied to our legacy.
You may have heard about a spectacular speech performed by Vocal Awareness student and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee LaDainian Tomlinson at the induction ceremony.
The media praised it as the speech of the night, and one of the greatest Hall of Fame speeches of all time.
Vocal Awareness prepares you for first time meetings like job interviews as well as legacy moments, like LT’s Hall of Fame speech.
Arthur spent 8 months co-creating the speech with LaDainian and helping him practice his delivery in Vocal Awareness as his speech coach.
Most people would not put in the time and effort, but LaDainian is a champion, and champions do it differently.
And the effort was clearly worth it.
How can you prepare yourself for every meeting?
Vocal Awareness is a practice that can take decades to master and explore, but its results can be felt in as little as 30 seconds.
Use this 30-second Mastery Moment Exercise that I’m going to show you on the video on the next page:
This exercise is part of my Vocal Awareness Leadership Academy, but I’m giving it to you here free.
I call it a Mastery Moment.
It allows you to achieve vocal mastery in any and every encounter.
Watch it here:
Enjoy the exercise and remember to do it before any phone call, meeting, or important conversation.