June 30, 2022

How to Use Your Voice to Beat Your Fear of Speaking Up with Katherine Beck

Would you like to speak with authority and intention to influence and connect with your peers or your audience? In this episode, my special guest, Katherine Beck, shares usable tips for anyone who is feeling like they're not using their voice to its full potential and how to overcome any fears of speaking so they can connect with other people to make their opinions known and to be known in the world. Tune in to hear Katherine share different stories about her own life and background and how her move to another country not only made her curious about how our voice affects how we are received by other people but also helped her realize her greater purpose to help others embrace their voice, feel confident when speaking and to be proud to share their message. 

Katherine Beck is a Voice Actor, Voice Coach & globally ranked podcast host with over 30 years experience performing on stage and screen. She works with Presenters, Podcasters, Entrepreneurs, Broadcast Journalists & Actors on how to discover their true voice, to speak with intention, influence and connect to your audience. 

• [4:12] Katherine shares when she realized her greater purpose was to help others embrace their voice and feel confident speaking.
• [9:13] “I think innately as human beings, we want to acclimate, we want to adapt to our environment. And we want people to receive us and connect with us.”
• [14:07] “If you shift the way you think you can shift the way you speak.” 
• [23:56] Katherine talks about creating ideal outcomes by speaking from a place of inspiration, enthusiasm or any sort of positive feeling…

For more information on the Make Time for Success podcast, visit: https://www.maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com

Connect with Us!
Dr. Christine Li -
Website: https://www.procrastinationcoach.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/procrastinationcoach
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/procrastinationcoach/

To work with Dr. Li on a weekly basis in her coaching and accountability program, please register for The Success Lab here: https://www.procrastinationcoach.com/lab

Guest Information
Katherine Beck -
Website: https://www.katherinebeck.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katherinebeckvoicecoach
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katherine_beck_
Katherine’s Free Download: https://www.katherinebeck.com/voice


Christine Li  0:01  
Hello and welcome back to the Make Time for Success Podcast. I'm Dr. Christine Li. And this is episode number 81. I just finished interviewing voice actor and voice coach Katherine Beck for this special episode. And after we stopped the recording, Katherine continued to give me some tips on how I can improve the way I'm using my voice for podcasting. I've been using my throat a lot and it's been wearing on my throat and she gave me a great tip to use my diaphragm and how I'm breathing and supporting the air that's going through my body through my throat and through my mouth to save my throat while speaking. And I really appreciated that tip and I think you are going to benefit as well from Katherine's being here on the show. She shares so many different usable tips for anyone who's feeling like they're not quite using their voice to its full potential to connect with other people to make your opinions known or to be known in the world. And we also get to hear some different stories about Katherine's own life and background. And how her moved from the United States to Australia made her really curious about how our voice affects how we are received by other people. Katherine is, like I said a voice actor and voice coach, and she hosts a globally ranked podcast. And she has over 30 years of experience performing on stage and screen. She works with presenters podcasters entrepreneurs, broadcast journalists, and actors on how to discover their true voice, how to speak with intention and influence, and how to connect to their audience. Again, this episode is chock full of good material for you to use in your own life. Let's go listen to this episode now.

Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li, and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn a powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together so that you can focus on what's really important and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand.

Welcome to the Make Time for Success podcast. Hello, my friends. It is Christine Li with the Make Time for Success Podcast. Today I have a wonderful, wonderful, exciting guest for you. Her name is Katherine Beck. And She hails from the land down under. And she and I are in different professional circles together. And we tend to hang out with the same coaches and we both are enjoying podcasting. And I thought she would be an amazing guest to have on this show. Because she is a voice coach and she is going to share with us today everything she knows about how to build confidence with your voice and how to use your voice to get the things that you want in life. So Katherine, welcome to the show.

Katherine Beck  3:35  
Thanks so much, Christine. It's so great to be here.

Christine Li  3:38  
Thank you for making the time to be with us. Please let us know a little bit more about you and how you came to be a specialist in the voice.

Katherine Beck  3:49  
Well, it's really interesting that I found voice as a career or profession for myself because I was a very quiet, shy girl growing up, I was actually really afraid to use my voice and to make my presence known. And maybe that's why I discovered this is my greater purpose is to help others embrace their voice feel confident speaking in front of whether it's one person or a group of people to own who they are and to be proud and share their message. So I started as an actor, that's where I found my voice. I felt very comfortable creating other characters and using their voice as my way to creatively express myself. And from there. I fell into voiceovers, which is a very easy progression with voiceovers. You hear people use their voice all the time and you don't realize that in voiceovers it could be for a television commercial It could be an ad you hear on the radio, it could be a character that you hear in an animated movie. And I was fascinated by this. And I also became really fascinated by learning other accents. So when I graduated from university and I moved to Hollywood, I quickly progressed into voiceover and really loved diving deeper into that understanding of voice. So when I moved to Australia, that was a massive shift for me. And I learned, really the difference in communication, where, depending on where you come from your environment really plays a massive role in how you speak. And the more I got involved in entrepreneurship, and working online and working with people all over the world, I found that we have this one common bond, which is our voice, but how we utilize it in different ways depending on where we're from. So I got really passionate in taking another direction in not just working on voiceovers and coaching actors on accents, but to really help everyone in embracing their voice. So that's a little bit of a background on me.

Christine Li  6:25  
I love it, I have at least two questions. The first one is would you mind sharing with us your understanding of what caused you to feel shy and afraid to use your voice when you were younger?

Katherine Beck  6:42  
I was the youngest of three kids, my brother and my sister were nine and 11 years older than me. And when I arrived onto the scene, I was a surprise baby, a welcome surprise, but an unexpected arrival into the family. So there was this common theme that I felt and I was actually outwardly spoken, that I was the child that raised herself. I was so independent, and I could do everything myself that it was almost like my parents didn't need to raise me. And so I took on that role. And I remember every day after school, that meant that I wasn't going to activities, like all my friends were going to activities or going to the friend's house, most of the time, I was going to my parents shop, and I was hanging out there in front of adults. And I felt like I had to be very adult, I also think I felt like I had to be quiet and respectful. So I didn't speak a lot. I didn't really feel the need to use my voice unless it was necessary. And so I found myself being really quiet a lot. And then when I was asked to use my voice, for example, in school, if I needed to raise my hand, I felt very shy, very awkward, very uncomfortable doing that, because I was so used to being an observer. I didn't like being in the spotlight.

Christine Li  8:14  
Okay, thank you for sharing that. Because you know, I'm going to be curious about that. Okay, and then I think my second question, it's a little fuzzier. But if you could say a few more words about why was the voice the vehicle for you? Why did you hone in on I just feel like this is, this is the key for me, this is something that I can really understand dig deeper into, and flourish through.

Katherine Beck  8:46  
Yeah, the voice is so fascinating. And the thing that I've learned in being an actor and then becoming a voice coach, is that our voice changes over time. The voice that we had when we were younger is not the voice that we have today. You can actually hear that maturity in your voice, I'm sure, right. But also, when you move from one country to another, your voice changes, meaning that I think innately as human beings, we want to acclimate, we want to adapt to our environment. And we want people to receive us and connect with us. So what happens is our voice actually changes to match our environment, which is why a lot of times you'll hear when somebody moves, for example, from the US to another country. I'm not a very good example because I'm an American accent coach, so I have to keep my accent strong. But a lot of times you'll hear people start to lose their accent and they'll have the sort of hybrid accent. Maybe sounding like they're from the US but they also sound like they're from Australia or if they've moved to the UK they you know, they've got maybe English or British tones. to their voice. And that's all about instinctively, we want to fit into our society. And I think it's something with like a survival instinct of wanting to fit in with the herd, with a crowd not wanting to be separate. And that really fascinated me when I moved to Australia, because I was so American, and I sounded so American, you could hear it in my voice. But I was repelling people, by my energy and my tone, because it was so foreign to them. And I thought, what is that? Why is that? And the second I started playing around with that, and softening my accent, and softening my approach, I noticed that I was more received by this new environment. And I thought, Gosh, that's so fascinating. There's something there. There's something about speaking to a global audience that if you sound too much like you're from one specific area, is there something that could be repelling a global audience from receiving your message, and I thought that was so fascinating. So I started playing around with that, and teaching people how to speak to a global audience. And I noticed a difference for myself living over here. But what shifted for me and why I think voice is so key is, I noticed my self confidence shifted. When I wasn't received over here, when I was too American, I sounded too American, I actually started to stutter. I never had a stutter before. But I started to get really self conscious and develop this stutter. And I thought, what happened to me? Where did my voice go. And so was this whole whole discovery of finding how to communicate with others, where I felt comfortable and confident, but also didn't lose myself. And it really is that balance, and I think a lot of us really struggle with that doesn't matter where you're from, whether you move to like me, you're still you know, where you grew up, we have these insecurities. And it's like, we've got this invisible barrier that guards us and tries to protect us from getting hurt. Therefore, we suppress our voice, we suppress our thoughts, and we don't share it. And it gets harder and harder and harder as we get older as time goes on, to find our voice, and feel comfortable sharing it with other people.

Christine Li  12:46  
I think that's such a beautiful story. I thank you for describing your own aha moments, especially about how you were being received once you moved to Australia, and the pain of that, but then also the Oh, wow, this is kind of interesting, too, because I was I was fine just a couple minutes ago, right? In my home country. So now you've got me thinking about self confidence and the voice. And just before we press record, today, we were talking about what we might want to focus on since voice is such a big topic. And I just loved the fact that we could help people by bringing you on to talk about how we can strengthen our voice and how we're communicating perhaps a little bit more with greater intention. And how do you coach people in things like that, if you have a client coming to you? Who is feeling nervous about their new role, or their new location or their new position? How do you get people to have a stronger voice?

Katherine Beck  13:56  
There's so many ways we can go about doing it. But one of the main things that I think is really key and one of the first things I do when I work with somebody is I talk about if you shift the way you think you can shift the way you speak. So it all starts with a thought in our head that thought is communicated through our voice. And if you're feeling nervous, uncomfortable, scared, frightened. Any of that, we can hear it in your voice. So the second we reframe or shift that thought we can now start to hear a shift in your voice and and happen so quickly. So I like to use trigger sentences with anyone that I work with. Find something that is unique to you. But if you can't I always give you my go to sentence which is I have something to say. I think it's very powerful. And it gives you that strength and confidence to say whatever is coming out of my mouth isn't cordage and needs to be heard. So instead of, Hi, my name is Catherine back, if I think I have something to say, Hi, my name is Catherine back, I'm taking that authority, that sense of what I have to say is important. And you want to listen, I'm giving myself a mental note, before I speak that. I know my audience is wanting to hear what I have to say.

Christine Li  15:30  
One of my favorite things about working with Katherine and knowing Katherine is the way she uses her voice to play, and to demonstrate and just bring the conversation alive. And I think everyone who's listening is hearing that. And I have to share with you that as I've been listening to on this recording on this interview, I'm noticing that you pause and that you can slow yourself down mid sentence. And I'm just admiring that. But that's also making me realize that I am still one year into podcasting. nervous because I think I have a story or a thought in my head that I don't want to waste anyone's time on a make sure I sound a certain way. But there's this pressure that I feel to not bobble, not speak too slowly, even though my thoughts might not quite be formulated quickly enough so that I can get the words out in a smooth way sometimes. So thank you for sharing the power statement, I have something to say. And just to tuck that away, for me and for my audience members that if you're feeling like you struggle with being wobbly, or the arms and the eyes, that maybe at the start, just develop your own confidence mantra before you speak so that your voice is stronger, and that you feel more confidently when you speak.

Katherine Beck  17:01  
Yeah, and actually, you can use that throughout, not even just just the beginning, throughout. As a reminder, I still have something to say, those are the moments where the arms and the eyes come in, because then you go in your head again, right? So if you can take those moments, or even the transitions and implement that trigger line again for yourself, gives you that extra little boost of confidence to go Oh, that's right. They do want to hear what I have to say. And I've got more to share with you. And it's that building of that energy and excitement and enthusiasm, that ah, there is a purpose behind this podcast or my message. They still do want to listen to what I have to say. But the second you go back in your head, that's the second you lose them. Right? So we want to sustain their attention. We have to remind ourselves throughout what's our objective, what's the reason why this podcast is on what I want for my audience by the end of this podcast, if we keep moving towards that direction, and keep that in the front of our mind, it's going to help us carry that energy all the way to the very end of the podcast or whatever you're talking about.

Christine Li  18:21  
Okay, beautiful. Now I'm thinking about how these issues affect women in particular. And maybe there are some perceived risks or actual dangers for women, feeling like they can command the room that they can be at their peak authority. I am just thinking of different things I've heard about women in the business space or the corporate space. I'm wondering if you could share your thoughts about that. Is there a fine line where you don't want to go too far? I'm all in favor of women absolutely occupying their voice 100% Is there some sort of kickback from society or from male dominated society when it comes to women really fully occupying their voice?

Katherine Beck  19:16  
Oh, this is so good. Okay, so this was one of the things that I really noticed when I moved over to Australia. And I thought it was an Australian thing I found out later it's a it was, you know, a Commonwealth country thing. And then talking to a lot of women in the US I realized it's still very prevalent in the US. When I started American accent coaching for actors, who are not from the US, but when a sound American so they can book us roles. One of the things I brought into my teaching, which I thought was really important was for actors who aren't born in the US to understand some The basic characteristics of how Americans speak. So I usually break it down really simply, you know, Americans tend to speak with confidence. That does not mean that we are confident, right cross streets, Christine, but it means that we sound like we're confident when we speak. This is a very sort of embedded into how we communicate in the US. And I think it comes from freedom of speech, being one of our basic rights is that we feel so passionate and empowered, that we have this right to speak. So we speak very confidently. Another one is that we speak confrontationally. And when I say confrontationally, it's, sometimes people think that in a negative sense, but I think of it in a positive sense, I think of it. Like, we have very strong opinions. And generally, we and I always speak in general terms. We feel okay, communicating our point of view, most of the time, depends on the circumstances, were very direct. In general, with our point of view, were very vocal with it, what I learned when I moved over here, it was a little bit different. People weren't as vocal about how they were feeling, they tend to hold things in. Or they tend to be a little bit quieter when they vocalize something. That is, maybe if they think differently from somebody else. They're very quiet with how they vocalize it. I found that really interesting. And I thought, Well, why is that? And again, I think it goes back to especially over here for the Commonwealth countries. But I think it's some sort of hesitation or fear or insecurity or doubt of separating from the pack of that one common theme. And I think when we're talking about women in the workplace, is that, you know, I think sometimes there's a bit of caution of putting yourself out there for fear of what might happen. So I think use your voice, have strong opinions, stand by them with conviction, but say it in a way that is well received, you know, it does not mean being confrontational, that you have to be aggressive or pushy in your tone. It's about allowing yourself that moment to say, You know what, I have something to say I've got a slightly different opinion, and I want to share it with you. And I think that's okay.

Christine Li  22:51  
I love it. Thank you for that example of how you can do that, too. I have found in working with clients myself that oftentimes I'm encouraging people to use their voice more fully, but that the first thought that the patient has is that it's going to sound aggressive. And I think that's interesting, because we're moving from very much quiet, muted, not not using their voice fully. To the oh my god, I'm gonna sound so aggressive. So I think there's a fear of getting into that confrontational zone. When really from a therapist standpoint, we're you're nowhere near that, because you've spent many of your years suppressing your voice suppressing your opinion, suppressing the volume, all those things. So I guess how would you help someone feel like they can experiment APA in the workplace with all of this variety that comes with the voice?

Katherine Beck  23:56  
I think, consider what your ideal outcome is, speak from a place of inspiration or enthusiasm or any sort of positive feeling or outcome. When you come from that state of mind, we'll hear those tones in your voice. If you're worried about the outcome, if you're worried about sounding pushy or aggressive, there's a chance we might hear that in your voice, because you're coming from that perspective. So again, it goes back to that idea of not just you know, saying I have something to say you could say I have something to say and you can hear the aggressiveness and the voice. But if you say to yourself, I have something to say I'm going to inspire you with this different thought that I have. Now you're taking us on a different direction where we will receive that information way better than if you're pushy and aggressive.

Christine Li  24:59  
I Okay, beautiful, beautiful. So I love that piece of technique that you gave us that we want to start with the goal in mind, we want to figure out what is the message, what do we want to have be the result and how do we want to be received, then we have nothing to worry about which I love. And I want to encourage everyone who's listening to experiment to take what Catherine is saying, and teaching us and experiment. And I always say that there's, if somebody's upset, they can let you know that and then you work with that it's all right, to ruffle some feathers. Sometimes, too. Sometimes I think we're too afraid of being dominant, of being disruptive of being kicked out of the fold. When really no one's thinking that typically we're just really wanting to connect well, so use your voice to be that connection. Vehicle. Do you have some tips for us about connecting using your voice to be a vehicle for connection?

Katherine Beck  26:04  
Yeah, so if you find that you're having difficulty connecting through your voice, oftentimes, it starts with your breath, we, I think, are built to and you would know this way more than me. But I think we are designed to suppress our feelings based on past traumas, and situations that have happened to us. So we're afraid to allow those feelings out. Those breath, those feelings are carried through in our breath. So if we are not breathing properly, we're holding those feelings in. So take a minute and notice, you know, even look in the mirror, do you raise your shoulders, when you breathe? Do you feel that you take short breaths, that could be a sign that you're holding your breath. And if you can start breathing from your lower belly from your diaphragm fully supporting your breath, feeling that expansion and release as you breathe that allows your feelings your true feelings out. So I think if we can start with that, and also it's very calming and soothing, isn't it when you're breathing properly? I think that's a really great place to start.

Christine Li  27:27  
Thank you for that. We took three deep breaths before pressing record and Catherine's breath was easily three times as long as I think I'm probably suppressing something. And just thank you for that all the all of these lessons that you've given us in this brief interview, I think your knowledge is vast, I love how now I understand how your personal background really informs your curiosity about everything having to do with the voice. And can you now describe what your business is like how you coach people what your goals are, and who you'd like to attract to work with?

Katherine Beck  28:11  
Yeah, so my business has really shifted over the past couple of years. I still perform voiceovers. So you may have heard me on your radio, or your television screen at one stage. And I love that because I'm practicing what I preach. I'm teaching my audience exactly what I'm empowering them to do. So I work with a vast array of different people. I work with actors, international actors, how to master the American accent so they can book us roles. I work with just any actors on how to break down their script and speak with intention and emotion. And I take that exact same process, and I teach it to everyone else. So whether you consider yourself a personal brand and entrepreneur, you're a business owner or not. If you work for someone else, and you use your voice because we all use our voice in our day to day, I teach people how to speak with intention, how to communicate with emotion, and to find discover their true voice and share it with the world.

Christine Li  29:23  
So I encourage anyone who's listening who feels connected to Katherine, who feels like they need to work on bringing their voice out to reflect more of the true self within. Please reach out to Catherine and work with her. She's a delight and a wonderful woman please let us know how people can connect with you.

Katherine Beck  29:45  
Absolutely. So my website is Catherine beck.com. You can find me on the Instagrams which is at Catherine underscore Beck underscore I've got a podcast you're welcome to listen to which is called the voice for business podcast. You And I also have a free guide. If you want to check that out. It's a great place just to get some tips on how to start using your voice. And that's Catherine beck.com/voice.

Christine Li  30:10  
In our entrepreneurial group we call Katherine the Beckanator. And I think that's because she's like a powerhouse and so much fun. And she's got so much passion for her business and work and her clients. So you're gonna hear a lot more from Katherine, just listen for her voice. I hope you've all enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. Thank you so much, Katherine for being here. 

Katherine Beck  30:35  
Thank you for having me. 

Christine Li  30:36  
You've been wonderful. Everyone. Remember, give Katherine a shout out on Instagram and follow her wherever you can. Alright, we'll see you next week on the Make Time for Success podcast. Thanks, everyone, for joining. 

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Make Time for Success podcast. If you enjoyed what you've heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Katherine BeckProfile Photo

Katherine Beck

Katherine Beck is a Voice Actor, Voice Coach & globally ranked podcast host with over 30 years experience performing on stage and screen. She works with Presenters, Podcasters, Entrepreneurs, Broadcast Journalists & Actors on how to discover your true voice, to speak with intention, influence and connect to your audience.