Course or 1-1 training

Sharp at Skype and virtual meetings

Learn to use your voice, personal impact and microphone effectively, and reach your audience 

What and why 

In Skype meetings/conference calls, apart from slides, it is usually only the voice that fills the ether. We have no body language or eye contact, and perhaps not even dialogue, as we do when we meet face to face. 

A Skype meeting/conference call is a forum that many meetings make use of, and they can take place both in your own language and in the context of other languages and cultures. Consequently, it is particularly important to have control of your voice and of the sound that reaches your audience. 

In order to get your audience to listen to, understand and absorb your message actively, it is very important that you speak clearly and understandably, have a pleasant tone, communicate in a committed and captivating manner, dare to take the important artificial pauses, and possess a good sense of inner calm. The microphone is your very important partner, which must ensure that the sound is clear and pleasant in both tone and volume. 

On this course, you will learn how, through voice training, correct posture, personal impact and a sensible microphone sound, you can communicate clearly and effectively in Skype meetings/conference calls. 

The challenge 

 If your voice and sound do not present your message optimally, there is a risk that: 
•    You may fail to get your message across 
•    You may lose influence 
•    Important words, word endings, abbreviations and phrases may often be unclear 
•    People may not listen to you 
•    Important points and facts in your message may get lost
•    People may understand your message as the precise opposite of what you intended to say – perhaps in a negative direction 
•    You may become nervous and thereby lose your grip on how to communicate optimally 

A certain amount of nervousness and insecurity is very common when you need to communicate in public. If they cannot see or hear the listeners, many people feel insecure about whether the audience is listening or attentive at all. When you have this uncertainty or perhaps nervousness, it often shows in the sound of your voice and in your pronunciation. 

For many people, communicating through these media also involves holding presentations in a foreign language. There may be several different nationalities present at the meeting, and the various tempi, dialects and cultures can make you feel insecure about whether you are good enough at the foreign language to be able to present in it – which can often have an impact on the sound of your voice and your pronunciation. 

When speaking in a foreign language is tricky and presents challenges, voice training and insight will help you to understand what is happening between the language centre of the brain and its interaction with the speech apparatus – as well as the fact that there is a difference between the Hertz of different languages, and thereby in the ability to speak in another language that may be in a different Hertz to your native tongue. But this can be solved when you understand the cause and effect.

Between 55-75% of all people have a voice dysfunction 
So it is very common for your voice not to do as you wish. However, with the right training, both your voice and the person behind it will be communicated clearly, confidently and engagingly. 

By focusing on the correct use of the voice and a usable sound, and on being able to project your personal impact both physically and mentally, you can learn how to get rid of voice problems like the following: 

•    A voice that sounds monotonous, mumbling or insecure, or which is too eager and fast, without those all-important artificial pauses, which can make it difficult for the speaker to get the message across
•    Parts of words and phrases not being pronounced or pronounced incorrectly, or abbreviations that are rapped out 
•    Your voice fails – perhaps seriously, if you experience hoarseness, soreness or fatigue, you have the sensation of a lump in your throat, mucus problems and a need to clear your throat, or other inappropriate voice experiences
•    Breathing problems such as breathlessness, shortness of breath, or shallow breathing
•    A voice volume that is either too quiet or too loud, or a personal tone in the voice that can present a challenge to both the voice owner and the audience 
•    The use of many filler words and sounds such as “hmm” “er”, “what’s it called”, “so to speak”, etc., which can rob the message of its vitality and irritate many of the listeners. 

Impact is part of a good voice
Being able to give a presentation on Skype is often associated with both tension and a certain amount of nervousness – especially when you cannot immediately see or hear the audience’s reactions to what you are saying. Uncertainty about whether you are being properly understood, or whether the listeners are listening and attentive – especially, as is often the case, when you cannot see each other – or whether you are engaging your audience, can all contribute to making you feel insecure or nervous. And this can often be heard in your voice. 

Is the microphone set to reproduce the sound well? 
A microphone that does not produce an optimal sound can destroy your entire presentation and dialogue. Poor sound can mean that your messages will not be understood, or that the listening ability of your audience becomes strained. 
What can you learn from the course?
•    How to use your voice in a physically and mentally correct manner 
•    How to get rid of various voice challenges 
•    How to create volume, sensible tempi, good emphasis and dynamics, complete sentences and endings, and efficiently emphasise the most important words and abbreviations 
•    How to become better at giving presentations in another language 
•    How to “warm up” before “showtime”
•    How to turn on your impact, both physically and mentally
•    How to control insecurity and gain inner calm 
•    How good posture and sitting or standing correctly in front of the screen secures a good, confident voice and impact 

•    Why it’s a good idea to avoid certain types of food and drink, throat lozenges and medications that may affect your voice 
•    How to “save” your voice on a bad voice day, such as when you have a cold 
•    Why it’s important to have a few, simple and effective slides

After the course, your company will have an employee who: 

•    Can optimally promote the company’s messages and visions, both internally and externally
•    Can best represent the company and its products and give the desired impression to the outside world 
•    Can provide clear, engaging and captivating presentations, especially when the voice is your only communication instrument, and you are looking at a screen 
•    Can speak clearly, with emphasis and variation in tone, volume and tempo, using artificial pauses
•    Can understand the technical speech differences involved in switching from one language to another, and is able to set the “language switch” in the voice and brain 
•    Uses the important artificial pauses 
•    Understands how important it is to set the microphone to give the best possible sound
•    Knows how to achieve a good sense of inner calm, energy and faith that the listeners are attentive 

Structure of the course 
The course begins with an introduction to the topic, and participants will be activated right from the start. The participants will be required to prepare one or two brief Skype presentations to be given from home, through which they will train their new tools. The presentations may either be in Danish or English.
On this course, the participants will already have learned how to share slides and structure their presentations so as to allow the audience to concentrate on the actual message being communicated. 

Course instructor Vibeke Krogsgaard, Voxlab 

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