Jean-Marc Berne, President/Talent
914-420-3022 | jeanmarc@bernemediaenterprises.com

Everything listed under: Public speaking

  • How To Speak When You're Sick

    Hey, let's face it.  We all get sick every once in a while.  Now, what do you do when being sick affects your voice?  Let's jump right in.

    I got the inspiration for this post because a few of weeks ago, I had the flu, and I was totally useless to the world for several days.  After a few days of slow improvement, I was getting ready to give a teleseminar for Women's Prosperity Network, and I was debating whether to cancel.  I hadn't completely recovered yet, and the day before the seminar I had slept for 16 hours.

    Somehow, I was able to do my 1-hour teleseminar the next day, and no one had a clue that I was sick and that I had to go to bed right after the call.  How did I accomplish that? By using the breathing and projection techniques that I teach, and having a clear line of intention to help as many people as possible on the call by powering up their voices.  To get more details about these techniques, you can refer to some of my previous blogs on breathing, and changing up your energies.

    By applying these techniques, I was able to conserve my energy while delivering my message with power and confidence.  Now, I'm not advocating that you give a class or give a public speech if you run the risk of infecting someone else or of causing further harm to yourself.  In my case, I was able to judge that given where I was in the recovery stage, that I'd be able to pull off a one-hour teleclass and that I wouldn't infect anyone over the phone.  So for every case, be the judge of your own energy and weigh out all the possible consequences.
    I'd like to hear from you.  Was this helpful?  What other topics regarding your voice would you like me to cover in my blog?  I'm here to serve in the best way I can, and your feedback will go a long way in helping me accomplish that.

    Thanks for all your support -- until next time,   May "The Voice" Be With You!

  • Are Allergies Hurting Your Voice?

    Here's a neat trick to combat allergies: Strip it! That's right, it's a little trick I've learned over the years as an audiobook reader, which has helped me maintain the quality of my read during the height of allergy season. And one I will share in today's blog.

    If you're a speaker or a voice over artist, you know how frustrating it can be to get congested because of allergies, and have that affect the quality of your speech.  You get to your voice over gig or audition, and all of a sudden you start getting congested and because of that, you sound all nasal.  Here's a quick fix for this: use a nose strip!  Within minutes of putting it on, you will notice how you're able to breathe easier, and how you'll sound more like your normal self.

    I'm using this neat trick right now, as I'm voicing the audiobook version book "La Fiesta Del Chivo," by the Nobel Literature Prize winning author Mario Vargas Llosa.  One note: I don't start the session with the nose strip on.  It's only when I notice that I start sounding congested and nasal, that I put it on.

    And for speakers, while the above might work well for a teleclass or a radio interview, what do you do when you're in front of an audience?  Here's what you do: give yourself extra time before your engagement to use a Neti Pot to irrigate your nostrils and have some Green Tea with honey. The Neti Pot will clear your nasal passages and the hot Green Tea will loosen all the muscles in your mouth and nose and allow for easier breathing.
    Try these tricks for yourself the next time you feel congested before a Voice Over gig or speaking engagement and please share your experience in the comments section.

    And until next time, may "The Voice" be with you and thanks for spreading the word!

  • Are You Straining Your Voice?

    Do you know if you're straining your voice? How do you find out? And why is it important to know? Let's jump right in.

    First of all, let's start with the definition of strain. Here are a couple of dictionary definitions of strain:
    1- To draw tight; make taut.
    2- To use one's efforts or strength as much as possible.
    3- To injure (a muscle, etc.) by stretching too hard.
    4- To make excessive demands upon (someone or something).
    5- To cause to pass through a strainer
    6- a) To filter or b) Ooze

    1- Now when it comes to your voice, any tightness will close off your sound. Your ideal sound will come out when you have free air flow from your lungs all the way out your mouth to project with power.
    2- When you’re using as much effort or strength as possible, you’re draining your energy and being inefficient, which inevitably will drain the power of your voice during a long conversation, presentation or narration.
    3- This one is self-evident. Who can work with an injured voice box?
    4- (Refer to #2 above)
    5- (Ditto)
    6- a) By causing strain to your voice, you are filtering your sound. When you put a filter in front of your sound, your projection will be minimized, forcing you to work harder to get heard.
    b) Who wants ooze in their sound?

    So how do you know when you're straining your voice? If you're speaking from the middle of your mouth or from your throat, you are straining your voice. You'll know that you're speaking from the middle of your mouth when you feel the sound bouncing inside your cheeks. And when you're speaking from the throat, you'll have a raspy sound to your voice, with very little projection. Because we're not able to fully project from the middle of the mouth or from the throat, what happens is that most people compensate by opening their mouths more and increasing the volume of their speech. This makes you work harder to project your sound, which overworks your vocal instrument. For an exercise that will help you feel where you're putting your voice placement and correct the placement, please refer to this previous blog post on projection: (Click to read more)

    Try this exercise every time you speak and pay close attention to how your voice feels when you're speaking, and also to how it feels at the end of the day. If you're doing it right, your voice will carry more power and will feel less tired at the end of the day. And please share your experience in the comments below.

    And for those of you who would like to get coached on how to project from the right place on a consistent basis so that you always deliver your message with power, authority and confidence, make sure to join me for our complimentary seminar, "Power Up Your Voice: 3 Simple Secrets to Project, Be Confident and Command Presence" next Monday March 7th at 9pm EST. To register, please go to: http://bit.ly/1QCwszk

    Until next time, may "The Voice" Be With You and thanks for spreading the word!


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