In another interview to prove The Awards People are not East Midlands biased, Rach welcomes Judith Quin of Your Whole Voice about speaking with clarity, confidence and conviction – a great advantage to those who find themselves in front of a judging panel.
Good morning. Good Morning. It’s Rach here, an award-winning award writer with The Awards People. I’m joined today—actually, you know what? Somebody said to me not long ago, “Well, you’re very Leicestershire/East Midlands-centric with your vlog. So, I looked through my address book, but where is my chum from London?
JQ: [Laughs] Just the one.
RH: Just the one. I know. I can’t dilute it too much. Erm, and she’s here on the sofa. She’s trained all the way up from that there London. No passport, no nosebleed?
RH: Not yet.
JQ: Not yet.
RH: Not yet. Er, I am buying her lunch afterwards. Erm, this is Judith. Now, before I stuff it up, you know, viewers, what we’re going to say. Before I stuff it up, why don’t you give your name, rank, and, and what you do to, er, my mum, er, because she’ll want to know. She’s nosy like that. Absolute blatant plug. Go for it, Judith.
JQ: Hi there. I’m Judith Quin. My business is Your Whole Voice, and I’m passionate about reconnecting you to what’s really important so that when you speak and express yourself, whatever that situation may do, erm, you are connected to who you really are. You are connected to what’s important about what you want to say. And so you can speak with clarity, with confidence, and conviction.
RH: Wow. That sounds good. We’ll have a bit of that.
JQ: It, it is. Yeah.
RH: We’ll have a bit of that. And this is why I wanted Judith on the Sofa of Success because we have quite a thing in Britain about being very modest—
RH: – which, you know, I’m not saying is wrong. There’s no right or wrong on this sofa. Er, just better. Erm, er, but what I want for my clients or, or for anybody watching this—it doesn’t have to be a client of The Awards People, for goodness’ sake, it’s to have that confidence. So, the paper submission, whilst being critical, is part of the process. Sometimes in the world of business awards, you’ll get invited to go in front of a panel of the judges. That can be scary. That can be as scary as talking in front of 500 people—
RH: – for certain groups of folks. Sometimes when you get to accept your, er, award—you’ve won.
JQ: Yeah, I’ve won.
RH: I’ve won. Erm—
JQ: I’ve won one. [Squeals]
RH: [Squeals] We’ll talk about that in a second, erm, you get either the opportunity to say a few words or you’re interviewed about some aspects—two or three aspects, IoD do this with their regional one. Anyway, er, you get asked a couple of things about the awards. And what I don’t want for anybody is to kind of go—you see it with people [gasping sound] and they, kind of, freeze from here. You can hear that slightly getting higher voice thing happening.
RH: So, I thought let’s get Judith on the sofa with her oodles of, of experience. Top tips. What’s going on? How can we help folks to get around that?
JQ: Okay. Massive topic.
RH: Huge topic.
RH: We don’t go small.
JQ: [Laughs] I literally can speak for two days about this, er, which is what I do on my two-day workshop.
JQ: It’s, it’s, you know, there’s a lot, so trying not to use 1,000 words where 10 will do. There are certain things that everyone feels, and I get nervous too, I want you guys to know that. It’s not because you’re unusual or weird. Very, very, very few people don’t get nervous at all.
JQ: And I say if you don’t get nervous at all, you probably don’t care that much. So, the reason you get nervous is because you care. So, that’s a really good thing to start with.
JQ: I mean, it’s, it’s a good thing. Your nerves are showing you that this is something that means something to you. So, remember what it means to you, why it’s important, and not about yourself. So, there are a few things everyone can do.
RH: I can feel some top tips coming on, team.
JQ: Yeah. There are, there are three main areas which I work with, and whenever I talk—I speak about these, so that is your brain—
JQ: – your body, and your breath. And I don’t know why, but recently I’ve gone European with my, counting fingers.
RH: You have, have you?
JQ: I have. Yeah. I know English is this, and recently I’ve gone European. Maybe it’s my new international audience. I don’t know.
RH: Ooh, there you go.
JQ: So, your brain. Your brain is the biggest thing that’s getting in your way because it’s your brain going, “Oh, my god. Er, this is dangerous. People might not like me. Who am I to say this?” Imposter Syndrome kicks in.
RH: Oh, yeah.
JQ: Or, erm, what are people gonna think of me? Or I hate speaking. And, oh, I, I don’t like my accent. I don’t like my voice. I speak too quietly. I speak too loudly. I—whatever it is, your brain is sending all these messages to your body. So, your body tenses up and goes, “No. No, no, no, no.” And I’ve gotta run away as fast as I can, or I might want to fight someone, but I probably want to run away.
RH: Yeah, the whole fight or flight thing.
JQ: Fight or flight. So, what a lot of people do is then freeze—
JQ: – or you have to be there, but you’re wanting to run away. And so your heartbeat’s racing, and that effects your breath. And if you have no breath, like Rachel was saying earlier, you, you get the tightness in the throat—
JQ: – you get the higher voice. You literally run out of breath. And that is why it affects your voice and what you’re saying. And you don’t say the things you wanted to say because you’re brain’s going so fast you’ve forgotten the things that are important, and you forget to thank your mum. No, Rachel never forgets to thank you, does she Mum? Erm, so—
RH: She wouldn’t agree.
JQ: Where are the top tips? Well, they relate to your breath, your body, and your brain. Breath. It’s the number one thing. It’s, it’s, as Rachel knows, my signature for my email is, “If in doubt, breathe.” So, take a breath [breathing sound], let it out. Breathe in through your nose; breathe out through your mouth. And slow, slow breaths.
JQ: It’s, it’s the core of all meditation, and there are reasons for that.
RH: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
JQ: So, when you breathe slowly; when you get in touch with your breath, that affects your body. It slows down your heart rate. And if your heart rate’s slowing down, then it’s slowing down the amount of adrenaline that is being sent around your body.
JQ: It’s, it’s reducing the rate at which adrenaline is going around your body. So, you slow your breathing. That slows down your heart rate. And if there’s—if the adrenaline is slowing down, that sends a message to your brain saying, “Ooh. We might actually be safe. There might not be a sabretooth tiger about to attack us.” Erm—
RH: [Laughs] It’s just three people around a table judging you.
JQ: Yeah. Erm, the tribe’s not gonna kick me out. And that’s where a lot of the fears come from. It’s your—
JQ: – er, er, primitive brain being afraid that if you stand up, if you stand out, if you shine—
JQ: – if you are different, if you become—in New Zealand it Tall Poppy Syndrome.
JQ: If you’re the Tall Poppy, you’re going to be the first one to get your head lopped off.
RH: Ah. [Indiscernible 07:21].
JQ: And your brain is saying, “If I don’t belong to the tribe, the tribe will kick me out.”
JQ: “And if the tribe kick me out, I can’t kill that sabretooth tiger or that woolly mammoth on my own, and, therefore, I am unsafe.” So, when the adrenaline slows down, it tells your brain, “Actually, we might be safe.” And then, so that’s your body telling your brain. And then your brain goes, “Oh, am I safe?”
JQ: So your brain sends safe messages to your body, and so the circle goes. So breathe.
RH: So just time to breathe.
JQ: Breathe, breathe, breathe. It’s the number one thing, I would say.
JQ: It also slows down, not just your heart rate, but your thinking process—
RH: Yeah. Time to think.
JQ: – which means you generally slow down your words, so you’re less likely to gabble and go, “Er, erm, well, the reason I deserve this award is because, erm—”
RH: And fall over your words and, like I do, make up words.
JQ: “I, I, I really—” Yeah. And we all do it. I did it in my introduction. Those of you who didn’t notice can go back and watch again.
RH: She’s good.
JQ: I caught myself doing it, but it wasn’t the world’s worst disaster.
JQ: So, we all make mistakes, but when you breathe before you speak, you’ll manage the nerves. But I also suggest you breathe while you speak. Otherwise, you’re gonna run out of words.
RH: That’s not good.
JQ: And that will give you a chance to think about what you actually really want to say which is really helpful for those filler words, the erms, the ers, the so’s, the likes. Er, I had a client the other day, what was her filler word? You know.
RH: Oh, you know. You know.
RH: I’ve had a you-knower.
JQ: Yeah, and you know isn’t great because half your audience don’t know you, you know?
RH: I don’t know, you know?
JQ: So, when you slow down, it gives your brain that chance to filter.
JQ: So, that’s a breath thing. Breathe. Body. If you’ve got nerves that affect your body in like it’s shaking or—then if your hands are trembling a little bit, then shake them.
JQ: It’s just energy.
JQ: It’s nervous energy.
JQ: So, don’t try and suppress the energy. Use it.
RH: Which is what most of us do, and we go rigid.
JQ: Oh, god. I can’t.
RH: And then we go rigid and we’re not breathing.
RH: And all of a sudden, we look like Lego—
JQ: Yeah. Yeah.
RH: – or doing that nasty robot thing from the 1980’s.
JQ: [Laughs] I have a friend who used go around Europe doing that.
RH: Well, there, there’s good robot and there’s, there’s Rach robot. Not good.
JQ: Yeah. Er, so, so, yeah. If you feel it in your body and you’re going to speak to a panel about why you should win this award—
RH: I do. I’m a shaker. Yeah. Honestly, I look like I’ve got the DTs.
JQ: So then shake.
RH: Mm. I shall remember that.
JQ: Jump up and down. Go to a loo and lock yourself in a loo before you do it. But give your hands a—
RH: You’d look a bit odd.
JQ: Give, give your hands a shake. Have a boogie. Jump up and down. Do whatever it takes to use that kinetic energy.
RH: Thinking about it, it’ll get rid of the nerves, but it’ll also—if you’re feeling a bit scared, you’re not necessarily feeling positively excited or—
RH: – charged positively. So, it’ll get rid of the bad stuff, and I use that in huge scary quotes but it’s not bad. It’s there for a reason. But it’ll give you that, kind of, [blowing sound]. Smile on the face.
JQ: Get some endorphins going.
RH: When you walk into a room of judges and you’ve got a smile on your face, or you’re walking up to that stage with a big smile on your face, “Wow.” Everybody’s like, “Yeah.” You haven’t even really, you haven’t even spoken.
JQ: Yeah. Exactly. And, and smiling is—everyone loves a smiler.
JQ: Yeah, but for in some cultures where it’s deemed, yeah, something else. But there again, we, we love a smiler.
JQ: Yeah. So, the third thing with your brain that you can do—so you’ve got your breath. You’ve got your body. And your brain is—and it’s possibly the most challenging one, but it’s tell yourself the good stuff.
RH: Ooh. I like that. Be your own cheerleader.
JQ: It’s, like, remem—Yeah, and we’re not good at that, like you were saying.
JQ: Here in Britain, we’re a bit pants at that. When I first, when I first went to live in America for a bit, erm, at university, I was there for six months, it was really annoying. Like, the American positivity was just—ugh. But you know what we could with a bloody good dose of it? It’s like tell yourself the reasons why what you do is a good thing. And the best way to do this is to take the spotlight off yourself—
JQ: – and remember what’s important about what you do.
JQ: Like who else does it affect?
JQ: Why do you do what you do? Why would having an award help, not you, but the people you serve?
RH: Mm. I love that. I had a lady on the sofa earlier who you won’t know, Glynis. She’s a, a legend in Leicestershire. She’s just awesome. You and her must connect at some point. And she set up and runs a very successful, very fast-growing family law and divorce specialist—
RH: – practice. And she was saying, very similar, she was saying, you know, it’s not narcissistic to, to enter awards to enjoy receiving the awards. She’s employed 21 people in 7 years, so that’s 21 jobs that wouldn’t otherwise have been around—
RH: – da, da, da, da, da, da. The giving back that her business gives to the community in all sorts of different ways wouldn’t be there. Yeah.
RH: Tell your good story, and if you need to, or you’re suggesting that you do, take it away from being you—
RH: – first person and into—like you would to a friend. If your best friend was standing there saying to you, “Oh, you know, I’m not good enough to win this. I’m just another ‘insert industry provider’ doing this.” What would you say? You wouldn’t go, “Yeah, actually.” You, you’d, as the best friend, you’d be going, “What? You slayed that competition that you were in a proposal situation with last week. Er, look around at those beautiful offices that you now have got. Look at the [indiscernible 12:57] client testimonials on your website. Are you mad? Come on. You, you deserve to win.”
RH: We’d all cheer our, our friends on.
RH: Be your own friend.
JQ: Yeah. And remember that it’s—that’s what other people look at. They do look at things like awards. And, yes, it’s, it’s slightly embarrassing sometimes because we’re brought up to be humble or whatever, but it’s not about you. You’re—and with any speaking, it’s not about you. And it’s egotistical to think that it is about you.
RH: Who’s it about?
JQ: It’s about your audience.
RH: It’s about your audience.
JQ: So, who are your audience? What people? If you win an award, and you’re up there, and you’re getting your voice out there which is, obviously, what I do, but it’s not just your physical voice. It’s not just speaking. It’s being visible. It’s being seen. It’s putting, “Oh, my god. I just won this award” on Instagram, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, on Facebook, on whatever you are. It’s in your local papers. In national papers if you can—
JQ: – because it’s about the people you can help, and that will get their attention.
JQ: They’ll go, “Oh, actually, do I wanna work with this person who’s won this award or this person who’s won nothing? Hmm. I’m gonna look at their website first.” And then they’ll know whether they connect with you, and that’s the steps. But it will be a step towards looking at you first.
JQ: And I know it’s embarrassing because last year I won a couple of awards, and I was like, “I don’t know if these awards mean anything. You know, I don’t—who do they mean something to?” But, I mean, actually, that’s just—
RH: ’Cause it’s still a validation. It’s not you going, “Yay, I’m great” because—
RH: – okay, perhaps we’re not American in that way, but what are you gonna say about your business? Of course, you’re going to say you do good at what you do. Otherwise, you know, well, actually, I’m, a, er, a mediocre—
RH: – erm, erm, welder. Erm, it ain’t gonna get you anywhere. But the awards nomination, shortlisting—you don’t even have to win the damn things. We’ve said this times—
RH: – it’s the validation. Somebody else has gone yeah, actually. That is a damn fine piece of, of, of work, entry, erm, erm, stuff that you’ve given us there. Let’s find out more. Let’s have them in for judging. Let’s give them this award. It’s because somebody else is validating what you are saying about yourself. It’s that, and that—
RH: – opens doors. I’ve seen it. I know it.
RH: That’s why I’m excited about [indiscernible 15:21] The Awards People.
JQ: So, I stepped outside of my humble this year, actually.
JQ: And, so the, the awards last year, I was nominated by other companies. This year, I have applied for the Coaching Academy Awards.
RH: Good for you.
JQ: I’ve put myself forward because it’s—it does have that thing. You, you, you get more interest. And if you’ve got someone who’s erm-ing and er-ing about working with you, or they’ve been lingering, and they suddenly see somewhere that you’ve been nominated for an award, like Rachel was saying, you don’t even have to win it—
JQ: – it suddenly brings you back to the forefront of their brain. They’ll go, “Oh, I see. I will look at them again.”
RH: And there’s something else as well, your customers and clients, of course it’s hugely important, er, other influencers looking at you, of course, hugely important. Actually, there is something there about, and I think this will resonate very strongly with you, Judith, there’s something there about actually sharing your story so it inspires others. It’s that sharing, paying forward, I don’t know, er, gratitude for whatever—
RH: – appreciation of, but it’s that sharing, inspiring. What you’re saying subtly is I’ve done it; so can you.
JQ: Yeah, or I, I do it and I’m good.
RH: Yeah. Yeah.
JQ: I—and I can help you.
JQ: And, like you say, whether that’s I can help you by building you the best brick wall, er, for your garden that’s not gonna fall down in five years’ time, or I can help you change your life by writing an amazing awards—
JQ: – application for you. Or, I can help you because I’m the best dentist. It, it doesn’t matter.
JQ: But it’s saying actually I deserve this so that I can let you know that you can trust me.
RH: Yeah. Oh. First person to say it, I think. I-, it-, it’s about giving that trust and developing that trust. Top tip, all the way from London.
JQ: All the way from London.
JQ: See, if you want, if you want the Top Tips—
RH: – you come to Leicester.
JQ: Yeah. You come all the way from Southeast London to Leicester—
RH: [Indiscernible 17:26 – Laughing]
JQ: – to share them.
RH: [Indiscernible 17:27 – Laughing]. I am so grateful for you for you’re coming up and sharing. It’s, it’s amazing. Now, you mentioned that you have two-day workshops. So, I’m guessing—Judith’s details will be at the end of the video. You know the score. We always do it, but I’m guessing that details of your training courses, etc., workshops—forgive me the terminology you use—
JQ: Yeah. No, the same thing.
RH: – erm, will be on your website—
RH: – so that people can, can look, learn more. Judith does a cracking blog as well full of tops tips, etc., so there’ll be stuff there for them to be able to look at—
RH: – because we’re on a mission here. We want people to speak with confidence.
JQ: There’s lots. That we do, and to find your true voice.
JQ: And we don’t have time to go into that today—
RH: No. I’d love to get her back again.
JQ: But I’m all, I’m all about getting to the true truths, so what you think is your voice probably isn’t your voice. And that’s all my other side of my work which is the resonance—
JQ: – finding your truth, finding your voice vibration—
JQ: – so that actually—and that comes into your applications.
RH: It does.
JQ: It’s what do you really want?
RH: Yes, it does.
JQ: What’s the true truth, and what’s the vibration of that, both physically-verbally but energetically because that’s the vibration you take into the room that the judges see, that the audience sees.
RH: It’s all about energy. We’re all that energy.
JQ: And, yeah. And that’s, that’s huge but yeah, there’s loads on, er, er, workshops coming out. I don’t know if you might be watching this in three years’ time so workshops, retreats, one-on-ones—
RH: Oh, yeah. The retreats.
JQ: Yeah, the retreats.
RH: We need to talk about retreats over lunch, definitely.
RH: But yeah, the whole tone of voice thing is, is, is just essential. When I’m writing, I’m trying to hear that tone of voice because your entry has to be you, not a professional writer writing for you. It has to be you. It has to be how you would speak. I would almost say, kind of, the warts and all. The, the little idiosyncrasies—
RH: – of—because, otherwise, it just sounds like everybody else’s. And that’s what you don’t wanna sound like. That’s why you’re doing the awards to stick your head above the parapet and be counted.
RH: You don’t want to sound like everybody else.
JQ: Yeah. Be heard. Be seen.
JQ: Yes. And the biggest—here’s another top tip—
RH: Oof. It’s coming.
JQ: – or a little-known awareness before—while we wrap up is most people are not afraid of speaking and being heard.
RH: What are they afraid of then?
JQ: Aha. You’re afraid of being seen. When you sound off and speak—
RH: Is that not the same?
RH: It’s not?
JQ: When you stand up and speak, people think they’re afraid of speaking, but it’s not speaking they’re afraid of. They’re afraid that when they’re standing there, everyone’s looking at them.
JQ: And that people will see, and that they’ll see you. And then they might see the real you. And you were saying the idiosyncrasies, the things that they might see your flaws. And that’s what people are really afraid of.
RH: Ooh, ooh. I-, I’m having an Oprah Aha moment. I’m having an Oprah Aha moment. It isn’t [indiscernible 20:13].
RH: Oh, we’re gonna so tweet that one out.
RH: Would you do a blog on that for us?
RH: Would you guest blog?
JQ: Yeah, sure.
RH: I’m not gonna put a timeline on it because you’re a busy person, but I think that would be awesome.
JQ: Blogging. Another amazing way to get your voice out there—
RH: It’s true. It’s true, friends.
JQ: – and to get those awards people going, “Oh, look at all the things they do.”
RH: [Laughs] That, too, is very true. The stuff I have to pillage off blogs is—but, it, that, it’s a source. It is a source. So, oh, I could talk for hours with you. I literally could talk for hours with you. Yeah, I might even drag you back here after lunch—
JQ: I, I, I don’t do the small stuff.
RH: for a second one. No, well—
RH: You know, I was reading, er—I wasn’t actually reading, I was listening because I was driving the car, so reading and driving would be tricky—er, Grant Cardone, huge personality, American—
RH: – who’s like, “I’m doing audio, baby.” It’s just amazing. He’s so American. I’m like, “Ooh, I’m very British. I’m not sure about this.” Erm, that’s me driving, by the way, erm, a bit like, er, Miss Daisy.
JQ: You are.
RH: And, but he was saying, you know, be counted. It’s called 10X. 10X your thinking. Stop thinking average. Go for it. When did average serve you? That kind of stuff.
RH: And it’s the same—same, similar to what we’re talking here is.
RH: You know, show up—
JQ: Show up. Speak up
RH: – because you’re valuable.
JQ: Be seen. Be heard. And stop telling yourself in your brain, or this—and this is big stuff I work with, it’s what you’re telling yourself—
JQ: – which is what gets you trapped.
JQ: And your body holds it as emotion, memory. And your cells hold it on a cellular, physical vibrational level—
JQ: – which is where the sound vibration work works.
RH: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
JQ: So, what are you telling yourself because you’re not gonna go to an average dentist or doctor, or you’re not going to go to an average builder. You’re not gonna go to an average—
RH: Yeah, I hope not.
JQ: – vocal confidence coach. You’re not going to go to some—you don’t—and if you, and you know very well that if you pay average, you’ll get average.
RH: And if you pay cheap, you’ll pay twice.
JQ: [Crosstalk 22:05]. Yeah.
RH: At least.
JQ: Erm, so yeah. You know you’re not average.
JQ: So find the things that you love that you do. Find the things that your clients all tell you, the things they—and, and it might be surprising. Look back through your testimonials—
JQ: – and look for any—you might surprise yourself. I was surprised. I did this as an exercise for someone and the word humour kept coming up.
RH: Oh, yeah.
JQ: And I was like, “Oh.” Clearly, my sardonic, sarcastic flippantness, er, works.
JQ: So, er, so find the things that other people say about you and start bloody believing them because they’re not being paid to say nice things about you. So start believing the good stuff.
RH: Oh, my god. Can you see now why we dragged her up from that there London with, er, a bribe of lunch, can you? Erm, Judith. I can’t even begin to say thank you enough. It’s been—I’ve had an a-ha moment. Thank you, Oprah. Erm, it—that, yeah. Awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
JQ: My pleasure.
RH: And we must do this again. Erm, before I release you back to the wild, erm, we always ask guests who sit on the Sofa of Success—
RH: – our Sofa of Success, Pete, er, three hugely-challenging questions.
RH: So, I want you to breathe. I want you to brain. And I want you to body.
JQ: I’m brain, body, and breath-ing 23:31.
RH: Fantastic. Erm, ooh. You see, I was doing—
RH: You see? Yeah, yeah. So, the first one is, and as an award winner, you’ll be, you’ll be [indiscernible 23:40] with this—you’re sitting at an awards dinner. You know you’re a finalist and, er, Dave, er, Sinclair, Filmmaker Extraordinaire, is standing on the stage. And he goes, “And the winner is—
DS: And the winner is—
RH: Judith Quin.
RH: Are we doing bear hugs or high fives around the table?
JQ: Ooh. Hugs.
RH: We go on to the stage. Is it you or you and your team?
JQ: Oh, it’s me.
JQ: I come because I’m teamless at the moment. I am scaling up, so my team will soon be there.
RH: Ooh. So, that’s Judith. It’s limelight on, spotlight on.
JQ: Oh, yeah.
RH: Marvellous. Have your merriment.
JQ: Oh, yeah.
RH: Good god, yes. I’m at the bar. You’re collecting the award. You come down the stairs. I go, “Champagne or Prosecco?”
RH: Oh, it’s a Champagne day. I’m having a Champagne supernova. I’m winning. Pam Marr, Superstar, with your Prosecco.
DS: [Indiscernible 24:30].
JQ: Crisp, dry, biscuity Champagne.
RH: 50K, then.
RH: That’s my year, baby. Right. There’s no answers that are right answers. Remember that, friends, on the Sofa of Success. However, well done.
JQ: Champagne is.
RH: They were the right ones.
RH: We’re gonna go for lunch. I’m gonna buy her a beautiful lunch. We’re gonna have some fun, some questions. Check out her website. Have a look at those courses. Do not be that contained voice. You have to be you. You deserve to be heard. Let’s raise our heads above the parapets, friends. Let’s do it. [Indiscernible 25:04]. Yeah, no. I’m letting it go.
RH: Erm, and we will see you next week for more fun and [indiscernible 25:12] on the Sofa of Success. That’s Rach checking out from The Awards People.