Have you ever given a speech only to find that you failed to command the attention of others because your voice was too soft? Or perhaps you’ve heard a recording of your voice, and cringed at the way it sounded. Many people think that our voices are fixed as part of our biology; and are unaware that the quality of our voices can actually be changed with training.
Voice coach, Cynthia Zhai, is on a mission to do just that. Cynthia believes that everyone has a powerful voice within them, and wants to help them use their voices more impactfully.
Despite having a naturally deep voice, which many associate with authority, Cynthia found that she was not well-heard. This was made worse as Cynthia is a Chinese national – and hence faced much prejudice and discrimination. As a result, Cynthia found herself facing rejection from many potential clients and collaborators.
Not knowing what to do, she felt upset and disillusioned, a state of mind which inadvertently affected her personal growth as well as the growth of her business.
Her breakthrough came when she heard a radio interview that gave her an epiphany. She realised that everyone encounters roadblocks to their success, and what she was experiencing was merely one of those roadblocks.
This helped her to stop feeling upset and focus on doing her job well. As a result, her voice coaching business started to grow slowly as she leveraged on her strengths to gain the respect and cooperation of others.
Many of her clients had the problem of speaking softly and without confidence. “Even when they spoke up in meetings, they were looked over. They found it hard to get a word in and be heard by their colleagues,” said Cynthia. “I helped them develop their voice, not only to work on projection, but to optimize the quality so it sounds fuller and has more presence.”
When clients saw how their voices literally changed after working with Cynthia, they recommended her services to their peers.
Fast forward to the present, Cynthia has served clients from over 46 countries and has written two books about improving your voice – and a third one is in the pipeline too.
Her journey made her realise that a fundamental problem she faced, similar to many of her clients, was self-acceptance. Thus, she tailors her coaching to focus on more than the physical voice, such as emotional and mental factors that affect one’s confidence.
We’re inspired by how Cynthia paved her own path, changing from someone who was often disregarded and discriminated against, to someone who is empowered enough to help people around the world.
Her mission? To help people realise they have the power to not only be heard, but also to make an impactful change in their lives, just like she did.