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Voice Power

spacer Voice Power by Dr. Joan Kenley

The quality of the voice in communicating feelings and attitudes has been proven more than five times as significant as the actual words spoken. The sound of the speaking voice expresses personality and energy and can inspire listeners, yet people striving to achieve in both professional and personal realms often overlook its importance. In the book, Voice Power: A Breakthrough Method to Enhance Your Speaking Voice, Dr. Joan Kenley discusses how the voice can help or hinder the realization of these powerful goals and offers her Kenley Method of discovering one's own optimal speaking voice.

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Unlike vocal coaching books geared toward presentation and elocution guides designed for public speakers, Voice Power reveals how to explore the source of strength and ability available in the speaking voice to express vitality and build self-esteem. Kenley points to scientific studies confirming that listeners attribute certain personality traits to individuals based on their vocal qualities. Says Kenley, "Your vocal quality can reveal who you are directly, spontaneously, and powerfully whenever you speak. Or it can hide your individuality so that no one can sense who you really are, and even you aren't sure how much of you is behind what you say."

In Voice Power, Kenley presents people like Maria, whose enthusiasm for her relationship was questioned because it was not communicated by the flatness in her voice; Jack, a talented young feature writer who choked up every time he spoke with his boss; Roberta, whose strident voice irritated customers even though her words were pleasant; and Martha, whose unsure voice was not respected by her children. These individuals came to Joan Kenley to solve their vocal problems, and she discusses specific techniques used in discovering their true voices.

Voice Power examines in depth the connection between the voice and different parts of the body, including the legs, abdomen, solar plexus, and chest, throat and head, and the steps toward discovering what Kenley calls the "BodyVoice" — a voice linked to the body's multiple energy centers. She discusses how stress can be managed and tensions released and details the emotional and physical impact of relaxed, effective breathing. She also explores the connection between the voice and sexual energy.

In Part II of the book, the Kenley Method is presented in full detail, complete with illustrated exercises for de-stressing, focusing, and breathing. Specific exercises work to improve the sound of the voice and its wide variety of expression.

To chart progress, the book offers two evaluation guides: one for self-evaluation, and one for evaluation by others. These help the individual to detect symptoms of stress, distracting habits that stand in the way of vocal effectiveness, vocal qualities and speaking style, and overall impact of the voice.

Joan Kenley offers lively, personal stories of her own vocal history and her discovery of the Kenley Method. Her direct style communicates the excitement of realizing the voice's full potential and the impact that an energetic, "connected" voice can have on self-perception and the attitudes of others. For all who want to discover and express their personal energy, Voice Power is an unprecedented guide to enhancing one's life through one's voice.

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