Crossroads: The Voice and Speaking that Connects

The Voice - for blogWhen the pop television program, The Voice, began four years ago, I became immediately addicted! Since I rarely watch television, friends wondered why I had become so consumed by this show. It is certainly not because I’m a singer. Unfortunately, that is not my gift. Nor is it only, that I admire strong talent and the entertainment industry in general (there are other talent shows that I have no interest in). I connect with The Voice because it resonates with my personal and professional values and expertise.
As a humanist, lover of diversity, and one who places a high value on fairness, the blind audition speaks to me big time. We know that humans can’t help but be influenced by what we see and the blind auditions allow a vocalist to be appreciated for their talent, independent of their physical appearance. No visual prejudice!
Like Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton, I am a coach! I learn about a person’s goals, beliefs and struggles and then give feedback and direction to improve their skills and confidence. I enjoy helping people get to their next level of excellence, nurturing them to trust their “gut”, to learn and practice new techniques and to become confident and comfortable in their own skin. What these Voice judges say is so true. When you coach a client and collaborate on their growth, the coach learns and grows as much as the coaching recipient. It’s a nurturing win-win relationship.
Contestants on The Voice are listened to by top-of-their-game-celebrity vocalists, who have to be moved to turn their chairs, moved to hear something unique that connects, moved to hit their button. As a speech coach, I want my speakers to move their audiences too. I listen critically to hear the client’s message, sales pitch or story, to determine whether an audience will be influenced by the speaker, and then share suggestions that will have greater audience impact. Moved relates to feelings, emotions and energy – often what we don’t see, but sense: a person’s essence, power, soul, spirit, presence. I’m all about supporting this being aspect of a speaker’s communication.
There is so much more to say about The Voice from entertainment and production perspectives to the psychological and linguistic influences. But for now, know, that (1) blind auditions support fairness, (2) coaching grows excellence, and (3) tapping into performer’s unique spirit, a key ingredient that differentiates the great from the super-great.

This is part one of a series. To be continued.