Proxemics The language of distances, also known as proxemics, is part of our non-verbal communication…
Your voice is the tool for successful communication – also in self-defence
Your voice is an important aspect of your personality. It helps you to express your thoughts and feelings and to assert yourself in the world around you.
Many people, especially women, often struggle to find their voice and assert themselves successfully. As a rule, they know what they want, but do not dare to formulate it.
Why? They don’t want to be rude or hurt anybody’s feelings or be considered as a spoilsport . Other reasons include their fear of making mistakes or not being up to the tasks.
However, if we suppress our voice, we only harm ourselves – especially in situations that could get threatening.
A message can only be heard when it is spoken clearly and distinctly.
Do you have the feeling that you are not being heard enough?
Reflect on your thoughts and feelings
Before you can find your voice and successfully assert yourself, take the time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings to get clarity about what it is that you really want. Only then, you will be able express your wishes and assert yourself successfully.
Practice expressing yourself
Once you know your thoughts and feelings, practice expressing them. Speak clearly when alone or with friends and family. Once you get used to hearing your voice, it becomes easier to speak up your mind, even when communicating with strangers.
The voice plays a crucial role in this. Because not only the content, but also the way we speak has a huge impact. A clear, confident voice conveys the impression of competence and authority.
Learn to formulate your opinion clearly and precisely
It is important that you convey your opinions clearly and to the point so that others are more willing to listen and take you seriously. Avoid passive communication: Saying things like “It’s okay if you don’t understand” or “I don’t care what you think” aren’t helpful.
Stand up for yourself
If you’ve found your voice and want to assert yourself successfully, you have to stand up for yourself. When you feel that you are not being taken seriously or that your opinion is not being heard, raise the issue head-on. If you are in a group, participate in discussions and state your point of view with determination. Make valid arguments and present them in a confident manner. Your voice is valuable and wants to be heard.
But how can you train your own voice to be more successful in communication?
👉 Pay attention to breathing and posture first
A first step is to consciously pay attention to your voice and to train it in a targeted manner.
- For example, you can do breathing exercises to strengthen your voice and control it better.
- Practicing clear pronunciation and intonation can also help to improve your own voice, so that you learn to emphasize individual words and to use pauses in your speech.
If you learn to use your breath in a relaxed and effective way, you can develop an expressive presence and adapt better to the challenging situations in everyday life: inhaling and exhaling is the source of your voice.
We breathe unconsciously- the breathing simply happens and adapts to the external situations and our feelings. Feelings and emotions change however the intensity of our breathing.
Observe in yourself how, for example, your breathing almost stops when you startle or how it speeds up when you are excited. When you learn to regulate your breathing, you will be able to restore mental and physical balance faster.
When you are excited and move around in hectic and panic, you also affect your flow of speech: if you slow down and move in a more relaxed and controlled way, the voice begins to sound calmer and more stable as well. With targeted exercises it is possible to learn to regulate the body and to gain control in many situations where you normally lose it. Both movement and a straight, relaxed, yet stable posture are key: improving your posture and chest opening, will also improve your breathing.
An upright, self-confident posture supports an healthy voice, impacting your voice development and making you sound competent and self-assured.
Why do martial artists often generate an impressive and intimidating shout when throwing a kick or strike?
This shout also referred to as a kiai is taught and practiced in martial arts and its is a loud and powerful shout, uttered during training at striking point. A major reason for using such a shout is that it helps practitioners focus their energy and power. The breathing process that occurs when the scream is released tenses the abdominal muscles and controls and deepens the breath. The fighter can thus gain better posture and stability and focus his energy on the body and the attack. Another important aspect the kiai is the psychological effect it has on the opponent. A loud shout can surprise, intimidate, or confuse the opponent. An outside viewer may find this shouting silly, however those who engage in it, gain positive insights and discover the power of their own voice.
Voice and self-defence
How clear are you about the signals you send and what you say? Does it sometimes happen to you that speech and action are not aligned and you unconsciously contradict yourself by sending an incongruent message? If something doesn’t suit you, your facial expressions, your posture and your voice should convey the same, unmistakable message.
In threatening situations
Your voice can also play an important role in threatening situations, involving physical self-defence. Because a loud, confident voice can surprise and deter an attacker: raising your voice will attract public attention, the attacker will feel disturbed and probably desist even before attempting to go through is bad intention.
Here are some tips:
✅Set your boundaries and have anyone respect them
✅Speak loud and clear when someone is crossing your lines
✅If threatened, shout and pull out all your self-confidence to draw attention of by-standers: this normally scare an attacker away. However, avoid using aggressive or offensive words as these can make the attacker even angrier.
✅Try not to get stuck in isolated places alone, get someone to accompany your or keep in crowded areas.
✅Stand strong with a clear assertive body language and act with confidence, determined to defend yourself if needed
The voice is an important tool in self-assertion. (You can also read Self-assertion: practice how to stand up for yourself )
A clear and confident voice is an important success factor in your professional life or in goal-oriented situations such as a job interview; However, your voice can also become crucial in a self-defense situation.
Would you like to explore the power of your voice with a Budo coaching?
Here is our offer. Secure a place in one of our self-assertion or self-defense courses now.