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As a success coach, Ali Brown really knows the magic success formula for women! That’s why I decided to repost a recent article of hers.  Even if you’re not an entrepreneur these tips about your personal appearance will help you feel better about yourself.  And as you know, feeling feminine will definitely help you sound feminine and the confidence that results is priceless.

Posted on January 26, 2012 by Ali Brown

Running a business in the new economy means that most of us spend a big chunk of our workdays behind a computer screen. And as many can attest, the longer we work from home, the fuzzier the idea of looking presentable gets. Our definition of making a good impression means we spell check our emails, rather than practice the perfect handshake. But, what happens when we land a big client meeting, or that long-awaited media interview? Below, are a few tips on how to shift seamlessly between work-from-home solo-preneur to real-world, successful business owner. And don’t worry, you don’t have to compromise your authentic self to do it!

Do Right By Your Brand

Your brand is in essence, your point-of-view. The more confident you are expressing your spin on things, the more likely you will make a positive first impression on your ideal clients. Take a few minutes to think about what your brand represents, and how you can embody it best with your dress and overall appearance. This means different things for different people by the way: just think of how a business consultant might dress compared to an edgy hair stylist. Blue highlights could garner praise at a high-end hair show, and rightly so—but it would probably not win over a Fortune 500 client. What would make you feel in integrity with the business you’ve created AND make your target market feel comfortable buying from you?

Young, trendy industries love creative expressions of dress, but even in these scenarios, it doesn’t always mean you have full license to let your “freak flag” fly. The key here is to give an impression that you are successful and confident in your area of expertise, whatever that may be. Do some research on successful people in your field, and keep an eye on the way they present themselves. It’s likely that they’ve taken their brand and their philosophy, and added their own, sophisticated spin on it.

Focus on the Fit

Ask any stylist what their #1 rule is when it comes to dressing to impress, and they will likely agree that it’s all about the FIT of the clothing you wear. Whether your daily uniform is a tank and a cropped pants, or a cardigan and slacks, you can uplevel your appearance by simply becoming a stickler about the way clothes fit, and flatter, your body.

Note that fit has nothing to do with being thin, or hitting the gym until you’re in the best shape of your life. Every person has a particular body shape that will shine in certain styles, and will flop in others. Find out which ones work for you by investing in a book, like that of Clinton Kelly’s (co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear) Dress Your Best! The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That’s Right for Your Body, or Kendall Farr’s The Pocket Stylist.

Pay Attention to the Details

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the challenge of putting together an outfit, and neglect the finishing touches that truly seal the deal. Here we’re talking about well-groomed hair, makeup and nails. Your hair is one of your most important accessories. It should always look styled, and frizz-free, no matter how conservative or alternative your personal style is. It’s okay to keep things natural and not overdo it on products and makeup, but the goal is to give an overall impression that you are composed and put together—and you care about your appearance.

If you think this tip is only useful for a diva, chew on this… when mental health specialists do an assessment of a new patient, one of the first things they’re required to do is gauge the dress and grooming of their patients. If a patient doesn’t look like they comb their hair or take care of basic grooming, it’s a red flag that they aren’t functioning at 100%. Grooming says a lot about how you handle your world. It shows how well you tend to details, and how invested you are in where you want to go in the world.

Don’t Wait ‘til You’re THERE

Despite what you think, you don’t have to wait until you weigh a certain number, or have a certain amount of money in the bank to start presenting yourself like a successful business owner. Invest in a suit that makes you feel like a million bucks. Get the shoes that make you want to take a presentation by storm. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to do this—focus on wearing pieces that make you feel confident in your skin.

Be Calm

It’s likely that people won’t remember exactly what you were wearing, but they WILL remember how your energy made them feel. No matter how nervous or out-of-your-element you may feel inside, make eye contact and take your time to connect with people you are speaking with. Keep your business cards in a designated place in your purse or satchel, so you don’t have those awkward moments of scrambling through your purse.

If you can step into the world confidently representing your brand, and showing that you care about your business, yourself, and your clients, then you are dressing for success. People will pick up on it, and you’ll find that they’ll be ready and willing to champion you and your business.

© 2012 Ali International, LLC

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com

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The pitch of your feminine voice matters.  A lot.  While it is true that some women do have low-pitched speaking voices (see the Bea Arthur video) and some woman are able to sing quite low (see the “woman with deep voices” video), they still sound like women.

Actress Bea Arthur

Women with deep (“dark”) voices

This month (March) is Step 3—establishing your speaking pitch in a feminine range. Those of you who have been working on your voices already know that the average adult female has a speaking pitch between 200-250 Hz (or G3-B3 on the piano), which is just below “middle C,” or C4.  The average adult male has a speaking pitch about an octave below that (100-150 Hz, centered around C3).

Tools:

You’ll need a frequency tuner.  I often use the Boss TU 80 chromatic tuner.  I like it because it also has a metronome which you’ll need later in your training.  Click HERE to go to their website to learn more.

iPhone and Android apps are also plentiful and easy to use and some are FREE.  Click HERE to learn more about CLEARTUNE.    Click HERE to learn more about TunerTool.  Click HERE to learn more about PitchPerfect.


Another FREE frequency tuner can be downloaded from Seventh String. They also have a FREE metronome.

How to begin:

We’ll be layering your feminine posture (which you’ve been working on for two months now), your respiratory mechanics (from last month, February) and your feminine pitch in the simple exercises in this video.  I strongly urge you to practice with this video at least once a day.  If you’re quite skillful with you voice already, you’ll benefit from a brush-up on both the proprioceptive (felt sense) and metacognitive (mindfulness) strategies you’ve been trained to incorporate when speaking.

Pitch Tuning For Beginners

BONUS VIDEO: I thought you might like this video of a guy (Nick Pitera) singing in a female voice.


Nick Pitera singing male & female parts, “Don’t Stop Believing”

Try singing along with Nick in his female voice.

Step 3:  Your Feminine Pitch

For the month of March, your goal is to use a frequency tuner (of your choosing) and tune your pitch at least ten times every day.  Before you begin, check your posture, connect with the breath (hint: the exercises from last month), then “hit” the A3 pitch for “hee,” then “haa,” then “hoo.”  Check your tuner. Did you hit it?  If so, FANTASTIC!  Do it again. If you didn’t hit the A3, what pitch did you hit?  Did you over shoot or under shoot the target?

I’d LOVE to know how you’re doing with Step 3. Stay in touch over the month.

Keeping you and your voice close to my heart,

Kathe

Denver, Colorado

Feminizing your voice requires a clear plan, practice and some attention to caring for your voice.  Sleep, hydration, what you ingest, how much you talk (or don’t talk) all affect your voice.  Most voice therapists provide a vocal hygiene program for their patients.  Here are some tips for you to consider.

  1. WATCH OUT FOR DRYNESS.   Dry climates, excessive talking, poor intake of water or clear liquids, and too much caffeine (to name a few) will dry out the throat and vocal folds.  When the vocal folds become dry, they become stiffer, which makes it much harder to control your pitch.  You may experience more pitch and voice breaks when you’re dehydrated.  Depending on body size and the climate where you live, most TG women should consume between two and four liters of water daily.  Remember the saying, “pee pale.”
  2. GET YOUR BEAUTY REST.   Poor sleep is near the top of the list of problems that have a negative impact on the voice.   Inadequate sleep results in physical fatigue causing a loss of mental focus on your voice techniques.   Common remedies include the use of ear plugs, eye shades and room darkening window coverings.  Also avoid caffeine, sugar, and junk food.  Practice meditative or breathing relaxation techniques on a regular basis and go to bed when you’re tired, don’t resist sleep.
  3. AVOID SMOKING AND USE OF ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND MARIJUANA. Alcohol and most recreational drugs (i.e., cocaine) have a significant drying and irritating effect on the vocal folds.  Marijuana and cigarette smoke are highly irritating to the delicate issues (mucosa) of the vocal folds.  The heat and dry smoke “burn” the vocal mucosa causing redness, swelling (in some cases) and poor vibration.
  4. AVOID THROAT CLEARING. The vocal folds make contact (vibrate) every time you make a sound.  When you clear your throat, the vocal folds “slap” together, which, if done excessively, will irritate your vocal folds.  Sip water instead of clearing your throat.  Keep a water bottle (room temperature) with you at all times.  If you experience excessive mucous and feel it’s impossible to avoid clearing your throat, contact your doctor—there may be medical problems underlying the excessive mucous production.
  5. ACID REFLUX.  Gastroesphageal reflux is a medical problem that requires diagnosis and treatment by your physician.  Symptoms of gastric reflux are not always consistent with heart-burn.  If you experience excessive mucous, a bitter taste in your mouth, a rough “morning” voice, or frequent belching, you may have acid reflux.  Contact your doctor.  Acid is a problem for the TG woman’s voice because the chronic irritation to the vocal folds from stomach acid will make it very difficult for you to have a “beautiful” feminine voice.
  6. AVOID EXCESSIVE LOUD TALKING. When environmental background noise is high, when we’re talking on the telephone, or in the car, there is a natural phenomenon to push the voice (called the Lombard Effect).  This vocal strain can create vocal fold irritation and leave you with a rough, husky voice.  The solution is to learn techniques for controlling airflow and reducing tension in the neck when you speak in noise.
  7. BREATHE RIGHT FOR A BETTER VOICE. The single best technique you can learn for your voice is abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing.  There are many ways to learn these techniques.  Learn to speak from your diaphragm.
  8. THAT DARN TELEPHONE. “Yes, sir,” may be two of the most annoying words when you’re speaking to someone on the telephone.  The answer to this problem is to warm-up your voice and “tune” your pitch before you make calls.  Use an upward inflection when you speak.  Avoid speaking in a whisper.
  9. WHEN YOU’RE SICK (with a cold). Acute laryngitis occurs when you’re sick with the flu or a bacterial infection.  The “common cold” sometimes affects the voice, and when it does your pitch may drop significantly.   Treat your cold, rest your voice, and drink plenty of water and warm-up gently.  When in doubt REST YOUR VOICE.
  10. MEDICATION. Some medications (like tricyclic antidepressants and decongestants for treating allergies) have a drying effect.  The solution is to speak with your doctor about your medications if you are experiencing excessive dryness that does not resolve by increasing your hydration.

Are there other things you do to care for your voice?  I’d love to hear from you.

Keeping you and your voice close to my heart,

Kathe

Denver, Colorado

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