Audio recordings became helpful practice tools for my patients, but I also found that listening to audio recordings of motivational or inspiration speakers while driving was something I enjoyed. As I recorded more and more tapes for patients, I became interested in doing some professional voice over work, which would allow me to record audio books and other types of technical and instructional materials. Enter, Susan Berkley.
Susan Berkley is the president and founder of The Great Voice Company and author of "Speak To Influence: How To unlock The Hidden Power of Your Voice." The Great Voice Company provides professional voice talent, translation and recording services in all languages as well as training in persuasive speaking skills. I registered for a weekly telecourse with Susan, learning not only about the voice over industry, but also, during weekly exercises, actually learning how to flex my voice muscle, some weeks trying to mimic the voices on radio commercials and at other times narrating a medical video. I eventually travelled to Susan's recording studio in New Jersey, where I recorded my first commercial voice over tape.
Susan writes a weekly newsletter, and many of her suggestions are similar to advice I often offer patients coming to me for voice treatment. In a recent newsletter, Susan discussed "soft speakers". Speaking too softly is a very common problem for many persons with Parkinson's disease because of changes in the muscles of the voice and respiration. But, another component of speaking too softly, that Susan touches on, is self-image, or THE WAY YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF.
Susan says: "I have found that there is often a strong psychological component to communication difficulties. Soft speakers may unconsciously be trying to hold themselves back, inhibit their self-expression, or stifle themselves and these factors should be explored."
I often wonder about this component of soft speakers when I am meeting a patient for the first time. So, if you are someone with a soft voice, contemplating speech therapy treatment, I might ask you:
How comfortable are you going to be with an improved "loud" voice that gets you back into the conversation?
People will be listening and looking at you. Are you self-conscious about some changes in your body due to PD?
Do you worry about holding up your end of the conversation because you sometimes have trouble organizing your thoughts?
I have asked Susan Berkley to join me for an interview when I launch:
VoiceAerobicsTalking2YOU on blogtalkradio.com a little later this year.
Stay tuned, and I hope you will join us for a lively conversation and tips for developing Your Great Voice!
For more information about Susan Berkley or to subscribe to her newsletter contact The Great Voice Company at 800-333-8108 or email@example.com.