Find Your Authentic Voice

It was 8am on a Saturday morning and I somehow convinced myself to get out of bed for a HIIT class. After a stressful week at work I was determinded to have a detox weekend, packed with fitness, yoga, and green juice.

I was lucky enough to meet the Coach before the class. Considering the terrifying description of the course, I was pleasently suprised at her kindness. Her voice was gentle, she took time to listen, and had a twikle in her eye as if she just dsicovered a new passion for life. I was ready for her to commence my weekend of wellness.

In the classroom the coach flopped her flowing blonde locks into a messy bun on the top of head and strapped on a microphone. She smiled. And something changed… her forhead wrinkled, her eyes glazed over and went into airplane mode, and her sweet gentle voice was no longer human, it was closer to the sound of a robot. In fact, she was screaming into the microphone.

She was not authentic. She was FITNESS COACH !!!!

Finding your authentic voice may seem easy, yet it’s one of the most common struggles for fitness instructors. Something horrible happens to coaches when they feel the spotlight and turn on the microphone. They often become drill sergents or weird robots, repeating the same class over and over again.

It’s even more challenging to naturally use inspirational phrases or quotes. Emotive coaching only works with an authentic voice. Otherwise it is communicated fake, corny, or too esoteric.

An authentic voice takes time and practice to discover. My training for coaches involves theatre exercises, vocal warm-ups, and personal development. First you must know yourself. You must be content and confident with your true self before you can guide others to wellness. Then we find the natural voice and exlpore how to make it dynamic while staying authentic. Then we practice the Stanislovski Method to deepen our understanding of emotions and emoting.

To begin this jounrey, try some pillar rules in your next class :

Be open and listen to your audience

Connect with your audience

Believe in what you say

When you rehearse this way, your natural voice will emerge at the right moment and your audience will know you’re the real thing.

 

Make something people love

This is a summary of an online class taught by Alexis Ohanian. 

Alexis Ohanian is a co-founder of Reddit and modern day philosopher, interested in creating value. His class can be found on the General Assembly website

Here are few highlights I found worth sharing:

Introduction

Identify a problem and solve it. When selling your solution, communicate from the inside out.

People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do. — Simon Sinek

We ought to ask ourselves the following questions:

Why? Why do you wake up in the morning and want/crave/need to solve this problem?

How? How are you attacking the problem?

What? What is the solution?

Community

Create a community. A strong community always starts with a founder who cares… a LOT. Hire and sell to people who also care and believe in what you believe.

Treat your first 100 clients like gold. Always reply to their feedback and remember to say thank you. If you’re a non-social website, create a community by engaging people on social media channels.

Go above and beyond to make customers happy. Monitor the web for people asking questions and be helpful. The questions don’t always have to be about your brand- as long as you’re providing value.

Connection

Treat your customers like your friends. Always say thank you and handle your fails with candor.

Write content that’s useful to your customers. Infographics are a great way to visualize an idea or data. Let the community define the direction of your content.

Give your customers something to be excited about. Inspire them to be better. Alexis held a fundraiser to build a school in Africa and tracked the progress with photos on the company blog. His community of users became more emotionally invested and excited about his company.

Design

Great user experience is good communication. If you create a horrible user experience, customers will be offended. It’s as if you don’t care about their experience enough to make it enjoyable.

If you’re looking for a good start-up idea, start a list of websites with bad user experience. Identify the core problem, throw everything out, and create a simple solution.

Write interesting copy for your website. Even the most boring pages should be an opportunity to communicate with your customers in a unique way.

Take Aways

Be passionate about why you do what you do.

Make your product easy to use.

Treat your customers well.

Osiris, Egypt’s Sunken Mysteries

This morning I went to the Osiris exhibition at the Arab World Institute . Archeologist Frank Goddio discovered the remains of legendary ancient cities Canopus and Thônis- Heracleion in the bay of Abu Qir Bay (just west of the Delta Nile). The exhibition unveils a secret and sacred ceremony signifying the triumph of good over evil. 

What struck me the most was the similarities between the Egyptian mythologies and Christianity. Even more interesting is the fact that the myth of Osiris outdates the Biblical story of Cain and Abel by many centuries. Orsiris is like Christ, a compassionate male god murdered by evil and comes back to life to save the world. Mary represents the same love and devotion as the Egyptian goddess, Isis. 

It makes me wonder if we are all telling the same story, but conflicted over the details. It's quite possible we all believe in the same higher power or greater good. I certainly hope so. Or perhaps the battle of Osiris and Seth or Heaven and Hell or Right and Wrong (whatever you want to call it) is never ending. Maybe the meditation or rituals of these stories helps us survive in a world riddled with Evil. 

The exhibition is an immersive experience, designed to reenact the mythical tale in a labyrinth of dark passageways lit by dim blue lights. At times I felt like I was there with Frank Goddio, investigating the mediterranean sea for stories untold. 

For more information visit their website

Museum: Arab World Institute
Exhibition: Osiris, Egypt's Sunken Mysteries
Dates: September 8 - March 6, 2016
Rates: 15.50 EURO
Location: 1 Rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard, 75005 Paris