To have a successful and effective voice-driven career, you obviously must develop the full potential of your vocal skills and qualities. But you must also become an expert communicator and storyteller.
The most effective singers, motivational speakers, singer-songwriters, broadcast journalists, teachers, musical theatre performers, radio personalities, stand up comics, talk show hosts – must be able to clearly communicate key information and points of view to their respective audience.
Observe – Listen
This ability requires two key communication skills that are often overlooked or are underplayed in the pursuit of a voice driven career. But, if engaged, they can help make you standout as a strong, caring communicator. These two skills are keen observation and active listening.
These two skills require you to shift your focus from what you have to say or sing and how you’re coming off, to affirming something about someone else.
Think of how many people you meet that can have some influence on advancing your career and building your fan base.
It can be a production assistant on a video shoot or an engineer in the studio. It might be a booking agent or venue owner. It could be one of Brett Manning’s certified master associates – or even Brett himself.
Gain Support By Giving Support
With each person you meet in the studio, at an audition, in a workshop, at a live performance – there is a potential opportunity to shore up support for your career by using your active listening skills and powers of observation.
Find Out Fun Facts
To get in the habit of affirming others, learn something unique about each person by getting a bit of information about their interests, concerns, passions, or goals.
This sounds like it requires a lot of work, but it really doesn’t. All you need to do is listen, observe, and ask questions about their goals and what drives their passion.
You can ask simple questions such as, how did you get started? You might ask, who are your favorite artists, or who are you mentors? Then, follow up with a question like, what is it that your mentor has influenced most, or how has that artist impacted what you do?
Where Are You From
You can start out by introducing yourself, and then simply find out where somebody is from originally. Then, you just learn how they got to where they are in their career.
This opens the door to further conversation while revealing valuable information. It gives you a point of reference, and likely prompts something you can relate to, with each person.
Just One Piece
Even if you don’t get the chance to talk with someone, keep your ears open, and make mental notes on what they respond to and talk about. Make a point of remembering at least one piece of information about each key person you interact with or encounter.
You might notice something they were wearing. You might remember that they had been sick or in an accident. Someone might have lost a loved one or even a pet. Maybe they just moved.
What Sticks Out Stays With You
Keep your ears open for things that resonate for some reason. Then, you can ask about the issue, or bring it up the next time you work with them. More often than not, it will surprise the individual that you knew this about them, and it affirms their importance.
So, your assignment is to sharpen your observation and listening skills by learning names of, and at least one piece of unique information about, the key people you encounter in the pursuit of your career.
Feel More Connected
It will also make you feel more connected to others as you go through various stages in getting established – from meetings and workshops to auditions and interviews, as well as checking out rehearsal spaces and performance venues.
Use the forums at singingsuccess.tv to gain more information about others that helps to more clearly distinguish and identify the passions and interests of each individual. Find out how others go about gathering information and share stories on the positive impact that sharpening observation and listening skills has had. Talk about any missteps along the way as well.
Your Next Session
Make it a point to learn more about others you meet when showing up for your session with one of Brett’s certified master associates. And, of course, remember key information that makes each of his vocal coaches stand out.
This will help to heighten your awareness of the impact you have on others. This will also help you shift your focus from self-consciousness to audience-awareness when you perform and will make you more comfortable at any post-performance meet and greet opportunities.
Use your observation skills and active listen ability to build positive support in the pursuit of your singing success.