Improve Voicing Using Better Mental Focus

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on November 1, 2011

I talked to a television client this week who told me that in a two-hour period that day she had done three different live shots in three different locations on three different topics.  For you readers who are not broadcasters, that means she had to drive to one location, get all the needed facts, set up for the shot, do the live shot and then repeat that process two more times.  I was not surprised when she told me she was having trouble focusing her thoughts. I got whiplash just thinking about it!

So what can we do on a daily basis to focus our thoughts and prepare ourselves for crazy days like the one my client had?  There are three things that definitely help:  eating well, exercising, and relaxing.  Let me explain why these are important.

Blood sugar is what fuels your brain.  To have good focus, your brain has to be working in top form.  Now here’s the problem.  When you don’t eat for more than four hours, your blood sugar drops.  Presto, there goes your calm, clear focus.  Want to know how to eat to keep your blood sugar where it should be?  Check out this post I wrote a couple of months ago.

Exercise is important because it reduces stress. Nothing works to agitate the brain more than stress.  Keeping up an exercise schedule will help chip away at the stress on a daily basis.  Any exercise will do.  You can run, bike, or swim.  And check out the mental benefits of simply walking. You decide what you like and add it to your day.  You’ll feel better and think clearer.

And finally relaxation can pull your thoughts together and change them from chaotic to focused.  This doesn’t mean you have to turn into a yogi.  Simply taking three deep abdominal breaths will do the trick for most of us.  Watch my video on breathing, and  develop a routine that includes deep breathing to calm your thoughts before you record or go live.

These three things are well worth the small amount of time they take.  You just have to focus in on them to get better focus!

Want to know more about stress and voice work?  Download a copy of my book, BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK, and read a whole chapter on breathing and one on stress control.

 

 

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