Earlier, we talked about how language selection is an important part of effective communication with your athletes and clients. Often, we focus on selecting the right words but rarely do we think about the volume of our voice in relaying those words.
Wolf of Wall Street scumbag Jordan Belfort has made an entire second career teaching the importance of volume and tone manipulation to strategically convey messaging, and while not the same as fitness coaching, the concept is quite similar.
In one-on-one settings, it’s a little less important because it’s just the coach and the client, but in a group setting like yours, how you manipulate the volume of our voice can have huge impact on what the room thinks of you as a coach.
It is the practice of many to think that a big, commanding presence is needed to lead a group. With this in mind, many coaches often project their voice in hopes of conveying confidence and leadership. While true, the room needs to hear you and see you as a confident leader, overcompensating with a voice that is too loud can have the opposite effect.
What do we do with sounds that are too loud?
We turn the volume knob down. We back up. We leave the room. All actions that distance ourselves from that loud noise, and your members are emotionally performing the same actions. Shouting can come off highly abrasive and creates a communication gap between you and the room. It makes them less inclined to see you as a peer and more likely to see you as unapproachable.
You only have ten to twenty people in there. You’re not on stage performing Shakespeare, all you need to communicate effectively is to bring the group in closer to create intimacy and speak at your regular volume.
Speaking too loud is talking at people. Slow, regular volume of voice is communicating with people. Don’t alienate yourself from the room before you’ve ever even had the chance to coach.
ASSIGNMENT: In your next class or group setting, pick out one person in the room and pretend you are teaching the workout only to them. Don’t stare only at them like a creep, but think about your communication in a one to one tone. Notice the effect it has on your volume and overall tonality, and see if it impacts your ability to coach and be approached.