top of page

Your voice matters. Practical tips for becoming a better speaker (and listener) with Susan Murphy

Susan Murphy on the Speaking of Phenomenal Podcast

We all have experienced discontentment with the way we express ourselves. It might have happened during a professional meeting, a family discussion, a social gathering or a simple conversation with a friend. The situation (or the multiple situations) might have been more or less traumatic, but, in any case, we wish we had done better in transmitting not only the content of our message but the intention behind it: confidence, credibility, empathy, and so on. We wish we could go back in time to convey more precisely whatever we wanted to say and how we wanted to say it. We wish we had put more intention in our words instead of just trying to fill the silence that bothers us.

Voice coach Susan Murphy helps people find their authentic voice. A former radio and television reporter and producer and the founder of VOSOT, she teaches broadcasters, businesspeople, public officials and other professionals breathing and posture techniques to help them discover their natural pitch. Not the girlish voice many women incorporated when they were teenagers and never abandoned, but the true voice that “lives” in their diaphragm. Susan’s ultimate goal: to help people recognize and transmit their value to the world.

“If your eyes are the windows to your soul, your mouth and your voice is the front door,” Susan told host Amy Boyle in the latest episode of the Speaking of Phenomenal podcast.

During the episode, she shared concrete techniques that can help us find our voice and eliminate ticks that, despite frequent, don’t represent who we are. Everything starts with breathing exercises, which Susan, an already experienced reporter at the time, learned while rehearsing for a Footloose musical. Then, she teaches her clients to improve posture, pace and confidence. She teaches them to talk “boldly.”

“You have to gain some confidence,” she told host Amy Boyle. “And that often can be dropping your shoulders, breathing into the belly, putting into words what you want to say and doing it… the more you do it, the more your confidence grows.”

Susan also urged us to be more intentional about what we say and think while we’re saying it, which can impact all our relationships, not just professionally. This way, we can avoid saying things we don’t believe in just because we are angry or want to fill the void of silence.

One last precious piece of advice:  when one lacks confidence, “the change has to come from a shift in your mindset… you need to know that what you contribute is worth it. It is worth listening to.”

It is a matter of improving a little bit every day (Susan suggests 2%), using what we already have, avoiding habits we want to leave behind – “likes,” “uhs” and “ums,” for example – and incorporating vocabulary and good practices – such as pausing and listening better – we lack.

“If we listen and speak deliberately and intentionally…it spreads into the world a little more kindness, a little more thought, a little more attention to the other person... It can cause ripples into all areas of life, and it starts with your voice.”

What will your 2% be today?

Carolina Baldin is a freelance journalist from Brazil. Having worked in law, policy and regulation, she is passionate about everyday stories that illustrate larger issues. She graduated from a master's program at Northwestern University in 2023 and became a guest blogger on the "Speaking of Phenomenal" podcast blog in March 2024.

9 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page