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Certified Health Coach, Award Winning Author, Motivational Muse

How to Find your Voice When You Are at a Loss for Words

Have you ever been in a situation where your words froze? I’m not talking about writer’s block. It’s about being able to verbalize effectively. Recently this happened to me in a meeting where I developed word drool and could not get the sentence out. I attributed it being tired, but I just think my brain froze and disconnected with my words. Fortunately, I gathered my thoughts and rebooted quickly.

This happens more than you think. Everyday reasons are stress and fatigue, or perhaps you have strained your voice or become hoarse due to an upper respiratory condition.  A more extreme medical condition is aphasia (language impairment) often caused by stroke or trauma, or primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a degenerative disorder that results in loss of language skills.

But for most of us, being at a loss for words, could be that we are shy, uncomfortable with the discussion, situation or ourselves, or just plain tired. But, these are all fixable. And there are more ways to communicate than verbalizing.

Often, it’s when you need your voice that it stumps you, like in an interview or meeting. And it’s not only about being at a loss for words. It’s also about how you deliver them. Tone, pitch, content and expression all matter. Some people fail at job interviews, legal interrogations or media interviews because their body language or tone of voice imply another message.

loss for words- ID 55750466 © Retrostar -

ID 55750466 © Retrostar –

Effective communication uses all your senses and body parts in unison. It takes practice to sync them. That’s what mirrors are for, as well as coaches. My mother has taught public speaking at the university level for more than 30 years. It’s a class that will most likely never be phased out because so many people are losing their ability to communicate effectively thanks to fast technology.  Robots may be able to replace many aspects of our lives, but they will never be effective communicators, which is the all-important human touch.

During my career and experience working in communications, I’ve learned these five points:

Listen with your entire body, not just your ears. Let your eyes soak in what’s in front of you. Pay full attention and do not allow your mind to wander. Face your body forward to the person(s), not partially turned. Distraction diminishes one’s attraction.

If your words are still stuffed in a cloud, don’t rain puddles of gibberish. Just be quiet and listen. Or ask another question until you can gather your thoughts. It’s hard to clean up after saying the wrong thing.

Watch your space. Be considerate with how you communicate with your body. Some people take offense if you come too close or touch their arms or back. Watch their body language first and take stock before reaching out. Before you travel overseas, research local customs and manners to avoid appearing impolite by making the wrong move.

Everyone has a voice. We may not always agree with the message. But tread carefully when trying to abuse or silence the voices of others. It could turn into a deafening roar.


Listen to this! In this episode of Fearless Fabulous You! Body Language Expert Sharon Sayler provides some tips on effective communications:


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