• Alexandra Bond Burnett

How can you make the most from a conference?

Conferences are now a regular part of B2B life. quite literally to gather in a space to confer. You will have either been the delegate or the exhibitor or a speaker... whichever of these you have been, you will have attended for 4 simple reasons.:

- To Sell

- To Learn

- To Network

- To Experience

One or all of those could be on your list. Either way - you will be using the same tool to achieve your goal.

You. And by you, I mean your voice, body and ears. All the most important instruments to connect to any material, people or product.

Your Speaking Toolkit

Our body language and voice gives you your first impression off, and in a conference environment, this is so important.

Hours of talking, listening, networking and standing around. Talking all day can really take its toll, especially if you are a speaker or exhibitor leading you to have poor vocal quality or worse, lose your voice entirely! It has happened to me, usually if I'm straining to maximise volume in a loud environment.

At these events you need to make sure you make the best impressions that lead to profit building, or valuable learning relationships.  

How can you prepare?

What do you need to prepare: Like any athlete you need to get some exercise. Get fit - start warming up. It's so simple. The London marathon is this Sunday and I bet you 90% of those runners have been practicing for months, out there stretching, testing their endurance and building muscle tone.

Same goes for speaking. Your vocal equipment is all muscular and can be strengthened. Chatting away all day is not the way to build a quality speaking voice. Here is my guide to help you get fighting fit to get the most out of the day.

1) Build up breath control.

Breathing is the fuel of the voice, you cannot make sound without breath. Simple! When I was swimming three times a week, I had amazing breath control. Being underwater helps train you, and build up those muscles between the ribs. You can expand your capacity.

These days I have capacity because as a singer, I trained to hold long notes and have powerful lung capacity to hold the note.

Having better lung capacity will help you communicate and control your voice, as well and give you bountryful oxygen.

2) Build your articulation

Stretch your mouth, exercise your articulators - your tongue, lips and jaw. Stretch them our and strengthen using tongue twisters and over pronouncing words to exercise.

3) Vocal quality

Remember Terry Wogan and that beautiful chocolatey voice? Filled with vocal quality which I sometimes call “Colour in the voice”.

You can practice this by playing with your pitch in the voice. Hum from your lowest note to your highest, and back down. Gently scale up and down will warm up and stretch your chords to give you a colourful vocal quality. Be more Terry.

If you would like more exercises download your free Voice Aid Kit to get started on a powerful speaking voice and get the best out of your conference.

If you're heading to accountex - come see me next week, 1st and 2nd May 2019 at the Innovation stage.