I just returned from the Freedom and Focus Conference in London. The conference is a gathering of teachers and practitioners of Fitzmaurice Voicework which has a powerful influence on the way I way I teach functional voice.
During one of the sessions, we were speaking about the concept of Charge and since you are with me today, Dear Reader, I want to discuss it with you.
Charge is simply (ha!) the energy we feel as we prepare to engage with others. In the context of verbal presentations, it is the energy we feel as we prepare to speak or sing. We always notice it and we sometimes name it.
Anxiety, Nervousness, Fear, Excitement, and Joy, to name just a few, are all examples of Charge. Interestingly, while we like to sort these into negative or positive sensations, Charge can be powerful no matter the source.
Let’s observe a minute what Anxiety does. It can trigger nervousness, restlessness, increased heartbeat, trembling, and sweating among other things. Now, let’s observe excitement which can trigger nervousness, restlessness, increased heartbeat, trembling, and sweating among other things. In fact, anxiety and excitement are two sides of the same coin. And all of that energy build up is Charge building up within you.
What matters it seems is not what is creating your Charge but how willing you are to authentically acknowledge it and allow it to be present. Beyond that, dynamic voice use is amplified by how willing we are to put our Charge to work and share it with our audience.
Have you ever had the experience of telling a group of people that you are nervous? If you have, then you have likely watched a group of people relax and accept you because of your authenticity. You shared some your charge and the acceptance allows you to continue to share it. Sharing your Charge does not, however, need to be a verbal acknowledgment. You can simply choose to share it and let it connect to your content through your breath.
Clearly, many of us are fearful when engaging with the voice in public. In particular, we fear engaging with our voices in front of larger groups but we don’t really engage with larger groups. We engage with individual persons within larger groups. We are only ever successfully connected with one person at a time. We just sometimes have a lot of persons to get to during a performance or presentation.
So, what if, instead of trying to suppress your feelings at that moment you allowed yourself to acknowledge them? What if, you shared your Charge with each individual in the audience? What if, you acknowledged that the energy you are feeling is both vulnerability and power?
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com