The Mindful Coach



Get ready to hear inspiring stories, learn powerful coaching skills, stay updated on the latest technology, and gain insights from conscious marketing experts. Tune in to ‘The Mindful Coach’ podcast with host Brett Hill as he interviews an incredible lineup of coaches and helping professionals in the The Mindful Coach Association community.

Are you a coach or helping professionals who values mindfulness in life and work? Meet your colleagues in weekly meetings, list your services and who knows? You could be a guest on the show! Free membership.

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Your eyes are the windows to your soul, your mouth and conversation is the front door. – c

Does this sound familiar? Have you been struggling to communicate effectively, feeling like your message isn’t getting across? Maybe you’ve been told to just speak louder or more assertively, but it’s left you feeling frustrated and unheard. It’s time to change that and find a new approach to mindful communication that will transform your vocal presence and elevate your impact. Tune in and discover the powerful techniques that will revolutionize how you connect with others.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Uncover the transformative power of mindful communication and revolutionize your coaching style.
  • Enhance your vocal presence through expert breathing techniques and captivate your audience effortlessly.
  • Unlock the true potential of your coaching sessions by learning to more effectively use your voice
  • Master mindful communication techniques to establish genuine connections and inspire positive change.
  • Embrace the importance of authentic voice coaching to elevate your coaching impact and influence.

My special guest is Susan Murphy

With a rich background in broadcast media, Susan Murphy brings a wealth of experience to the table as a broadcast voice coach. Having transitioned from roles such as radio traffic reporting to television news reporting and weather forecasting, Susan’s journey has been diverse and dynamic. Her expertise now lies in empowering individuals to harness the power of their voice, not just for professional success, but also for personal growth. With a strong emphasis on authenticity and vocal presence, Susan’s insights are valuable for coaches seeking to enhance their communication techniques. Her unique blend of industry knowledge and passion for mindful communication makes her a compelling guest on The Mindful Coach podcast, where she shares practical strategies and invaluable insights.

You can reach Susan on her website or Linked In and also Insta


00:00:04 - Brett Hill

Welcome to this edition of the Mindful Coach podcast. And wait till you meet my next guest, Susan Murphy. She started as one of the nation's first radio traffic reporters in Philadelphia, moved to Florida to be a tv news reporter and a weather girl back when they called them that. And at 25, she helped start the first traffic reporting service in New York, then became a radio talk show host and producer, a news director, a news director on Long Island, a public television personality, documentary narrator for several shows, including one that won an Emmy Award, promo voice and producer, college assistant dean and instructor, and a voiceover artist. And now she's a broadcast voice coach, which is why she's talking to us on the Mindful Coach podcast, because she works actively with people to help them use their voice, inhabit their voice, and powerfully use that as a tool and resource in their lives and their work. So welcome to the show, Susan.

00:01:51 - Susan Murphy

I am so happy to be here. I think this is going to be an interesting conversation.

00:01:55 - Brett Hill

I'm sure it will be because you've had, because you're an interesting person. And so tell us about your journey from being on camera to being someone who helps people at some point or another, you had this insight and movement to go, I'm going to help people use their voice. What was that pivot like for you?

00:02:19 - Susan Murphy

Well, when you're in the broadcast industry, it's always best to be ready to pivot. And that's the word we use, or reinvent yourself. And when I was doing some voiceover work and working at Hofster University as an assistant dean and teaching broadcast level courses in tv performance, that's when I sort of got it into my head that, you know, I'm pretty good at teaching this, and I love to watch my students just sort of grow in confidence. And I like to say that most of my students are graduated around 2005, six, seven, many of them made it into the industry, are still there and doing very, very well. And I like to follow their journeys because I had a little something to do with it.

00:03:10 - Brett Hill

It's always fun.

00:03:11 - Susan Murphy

It is. And I get to even almost live vicariously since I'm no longer on the airplane. They are, and I get to watch their journey. And then many years had passed and lots of water under the bridge. I was widowed. I decided to move from Long island down to charlote, North Carolina, where my daughter lives. And it was a couple of years ago I was flipping around the channels. And I noticed that I would see young reporters shoot video pretty well. Their writing was okay, the story was fine, but the voice they used really wasn't rising to the level of professionalism that the rest of their work was at. And I thought, gosh, I could help these kids. They're literally kids. And I thought, well, we're going to start one kid at a time. And I ran an idea as a news director friend of mine, and he thought, oh, my gosh, that's a great idea. I know lots of news directors who would love to be able to offer this to their staff. So he sent me two of his reporters. I worked with them, sent them back, not sent me. We did all the work on Zoom.

00:04:21 - Brett Hill


00:04:23 - Susan Murphy

He didn't pay me, but he wrote me a wonderful recommendation. I sort of hung out my shingle on LinkedIn. Two and a half years later, it doesn't pay all the bills yet, but I have a wonderful working relationship with many news directors. Word of mouth comes down, and particularly young women find me to work with. I even got recommended to coach a game show host on the game show network from somebody that, I have no idea how that happened. I now have the cred. I have the street cred as being someone who really can take a broadcaster who just doesn't know how to properly use their voice. Some of them, women in particular, can't even find it.

00:05:15 - Brett Hill

You're right. Exactly.

00:05:17 - Susan Murphy

So, yes. And from there, that's where the seeds of confidence grow. So I work with them on both their voice pitch and tone and their writing because they have to go together. And I love it. It is my life's calling. I love doing this. I will do it till the day I die.

00:05:39 - Brett Hill

Oh, wow. Nice. Well, I can feel you when you say that. I can tell you, you light up when you say, I love it. And it really is authentic and real for you. And I can see how you can, sitting there and you're watching a new person in the industry on camera, going, looking at their phone, greeting their script. Well. And today at the intersection of, it's kind of like, okay, it's cool. But I hear what you're saying because I've had some similar thoughts. I've thought, these guys need a little work. There's a little bit of. And everybody starts somewhere, right?

00:06:14 - Susan Murphy

Yes. But when I was coming up, people before me, too. You didn't go straight to television. You always went to radio news radio or a radio station doing morning or afternoon news. Well, that kind of fell off.

00:06:31 - Brett Hill

Those days are gone, right?

00:06:33 - Susan Murphy

And they're not coming back. So it's kind of a sin that these kids just don't have the opportunity to learn anything about the instrument that they have, because when they're in school, they constantly are talking about the technology. It's this, it's that, it's this. So many reporters, they don't have photographers. They run the camera, they set up the shots, they get the light, they.

00:06:57 - Brett Hill

Do the whole thing, they edit.

00:07:00 - Susan Murphy

It's horrible, let me say that. And so their voice is the last thing they think of, but it's the first thing a viewer sees and hears.

00:07:14 - Brett Hill

Interesting. And so how do we make this particular conversation work for coaches and for people who aren't necessarily in front of cameras? Although these days, if you're producing your own know, you need to be comfortable in front of a microphone and a camera, these days I say you need to be. I encourage the people at the mindful Coach association and other places to get comfortable with this as a medium. And so is that the intersection that you find here as well?

00:07:47 - Susan Murphy

Sure, because I've actually branched out and I've coached ministers, I've coached ceos, I've coached nurses. Many of these people wanting to do things, create a video series or create a podcast or whatever it is. But even in what you do in your work, being a mindful coach, you stress helping your clients find their natural and authentic voice, which is exactly what I do, but I do it in the literal sense, in the figurative sense, although both of them go together. So especially with women who just have trouble accessing their natural pitch, which is way lower and way rounder and mostly way more beautiful than they know. It's a system that I've kind of worked out after years of singing lessons and voice lessons and voice acting lessons, and then just what I know from being on camera, that there are ways to access more beautiful tones. It's amazing to me. I didn't know this was going to be part of my job going into it, that anywhere from 15% to 20% of the women I work with can't seem to let go of breathy, childlike, girlish, higher pitched voices. And I have a lot of tools in my toolbox to help you. There are psychological ones and physical ones, and I once had to have some vocal therapy after a bad bout of laryngitis. So I've even done the blowing air through a straw into a glass of water that has about two inches of water. And when I can't get those women to find that pitch, then I have to have a conversation with them about what life was like, maybe growing up, who their siblings were, what their family life was like. And invariably what happens is I learn that maybe because of where they were in the birth order or because of their ethnic background weren't wanted, they were told to go away. I don't care about your opinion. Let's let your brother do this. Lots of reasons why women's voices are squashed sometimes, too. I think that to survive a dysfunctional family or to survive bullying in school, that their smaller voices, the breathy voices, help them to survive that. And I sometimes think, too, that the male figures in their life would prefer their stay small and quiet.

00:10:43 - Brett Hill

Right? I mean, a young girl learns that by speaking in a certain way, using a certain kind of pitch and a certain kind of intonation, that that's the way she gets the attention of the men or male figures around her and speaking in some other way. She doesn't draw the same quality of attention. Then you learn to associate that with getting the results that you want out of it. And I hate to be very mechanistic about it, but oftentimes those are the explorations that we go through as children. It's like, how do I work this world? How do I work my voice, how to work my body? Who am I, and how do I interact with things? It's very innocent and yet very powerful work.

00:11:28 - Susan Murphy

And it's rewarding to me to have those women if I'm kind of dancing around the issue a little bit. I'm not a therapist, but they'll say, well, yes, that resonates with me. Or they'll come back at another session and sometimes their eyes are a little filled with tears and they say, yes, that was my life growing up, and I was working with a minister who, her eyes filled with tears and she went, oh, my God, that's been every woman in my house for generations, and I have a young daughter, and I'm not going to let that happen to her.

00:12:08 - Brett Hill

Wow, nice.

00:12:11 - Susan Murphy

So once they realize that, it's literally that they have to give themselves permission to step into a different voice to those voices in our head, particularly when you're going to be a reporter or an anchor and you grow up thinking that's what you want to be, and you go through school being that's what you're going to be, there's a little voice up there that says, okay, you're a reporter or anchor now, so now you have to sound like one. No, that's not really what you have to sound like. But those other voices, too, like the voices that say, oh, no, don't give you me, that deeper voice, because you remember back when just have to take those voices and say, thank you for getting me to this point.

00:13:00 - Brett Hill


00:13:01 - Susan Murphy

Could you move over just a little bit? I'm going to try something new. Don't wrestle with that voice. You're not going to win.

00:13:08 - Brett Hill

Right. That's really strong advice right there.

00:13:11 - Susan Murphy

And I then will say, and the more you work with the natural pitch that is you, the voice will fade away. It goes on its own. Don't wrestle with it. And I have watched some women just go from part timers to full timers, and then they jump markets, and one of them is in one of the top three markets in tv rating land. So it's wonderful for me to watch these women access something they've always had. Just know it. They just didn't know it. It wasn't something that was encouraged or men's voices change at puberty because of hormones. Our voices don't. Their vocal cords grow larger. Ours don't. A woman's vocal cords is the size of a dime, a man's vocal cords the size of a quarter. And it's amazing to me that that instrument with which we communicate to the world is the size of a dime. So let's use it. And when you learn to tap into that authentic voice because it lives in your gut, because it's at the bottom of your diaphragm, and I show them how you activate the parasympathetic nervous system and the breathing exercises. It changes the way they walk into a room. It changes the way they stand to do anchoring or the stand up in the story they're doing. So for me, it has been a joy to do, but I had no idea that so many women just never knew how to find that voice all the time.

00:15:05 - Brett Hill

I really am interested in what you just mentioned about. Because of they land in this authentic voice. It changes the way they walk into a room. What are the mechanics of that in terms of, like, how does that actually work? Why is it that finding your voice would change the way you walk into a room? And what's the impact of that on the people around them?

00:15:34 - Susan Murphy

The impact on them is that they now realize, hey, wait a minute. What I have to say, the way I have to say it and where I am going to say it is important. I'll say to a reporter at every tv station, there's a morning meeting where they go in and they discuss what stories are going to be covered. I said, so when you go into the morning meeting, tell me, where do you go? To the far corner.

00:16:03 - Brett Hill

You mean like physically in the room?

00:16:05 - Susan Murphy

Physically in the room, yeah. No, you're going to walk into that meeting, you're going to stand next to the news director, and you're going to outline what your story is going to be that day and why you're going to do it. And they look at me with wild eyes.

00:16:24 - Brett Hill

Right. I really love it that you mentioned that, because it's one of the. Because now we're really talking about moving away from. Not away from, but we're talking about is including group dynamics and the impact of coming from an authentic place. And one of the things I try to teach people in the right context is something I call dealing yourself in. What's that?

00:16:54 - Susan Murphy

I love that. Dealing.

00:16:56 - Brett Hill

Dealing yourself in. Right. So it's just like you're saying you come in, it's kind of like instead of being at the back of the room, I mean, you're the reporter, you're the face of the story, right. Instead of being the new kid on the block, back of the room, or in this case, a coach who's got something and standing in the back going, oh, well, I'm just going to wait to see who lay the land because I don't feel powerful enough. But whenever you find your voice, you just automatically step into the table and say, this is my seat. I have a voice here, and it needs to be heard, because what I've got is unique, and it's not an idea. It's not like, oh, I'm just going to do it. It's a fact. Right?

00:17:43 - Susan Murphy


00:17:43 - Brett Hill

And that's the thing. It's like, oh, no, I actually do have a contribution that matters, and it needs to be heard. It's a service to the group for me to speak up. And it's not ego, it's just the truth.

00:18:01 - Susan Murphy

Right. And isn't it funny? I think it's funny that people who want to be in front of an audience, in front of a camera with tens of thousands of people watching them, they're afraid to approach a table full of other people just like them, to speak up, to speak their truth, to be a little bit more assertive. When I was coming up, I stand on the shoulders of a Jane Paulie, of a Barbara Walters, and in the late 1970s, I'm thinking, okay, I'm going to not, I didn't think technically, but I'm paving the way for the next generation of women broadcasters. No, apparently I didn't because it's just as bad as. It's not quite as bad as it was. You can't call them a weather.

00:18:52 - Brett Hill

There's still some more paving to do.

00:18:57 - Susan Murphy

But at least that's true. Yeah, we've made some progress, but not enough. And I don't understand how that happened. The generation of me raising daughters, what did we forget?

00:19:16 - Brett Hill

I don't think it's a massive institutional issue.

00:19:19 - Susan Murphy

It really is, I suppose. But if you can stand in your agency. When I coach these young reporters to help find that voice, to do the breath work, to focus where you are, and they hear themselves for the first time, it surprises them. It's like I've never heard that. Not only is it surprising to you, it's going to stop the room when you.

00:19:51 - Brett Hill

Exactly right. I love that so much. Right. I tell people, I say, when you speak from your authentic voice, people will notice. And I have another thing I say. What is it? You become not unassailable, but become more or less invincible. Irrefutable is what you become. Irrefutable.

00:20:13 - Susan Murphy


00:20:13 - Brett Hill

Because no one can dispute that you're being authentic, and they may. And even if they do dispute it, it doesn't matter to you, because you know it's not. So.

00:20:22 - Susan Murphy

I love that. Start using the word irrefutable.

00:20:26 - Brett Hill

Yeah. I don't know where I learned this, but I'm sure I learned it, but it's more like, when you speak from your authentic voice, you become irrefutable.

00:20:37 - Susan Murphy

Love that. And people do pay attention.

00:20:42 - Brett Hill

They do. Because you suddenly have this gravity, right? Yes. And people love that gravity. One of the things that occurs to me, like, as I think about your particular profession of broadcasts and people who are on stage, is I feel that there's two different kinds of things. I don't know if this resonates with you, but the way I'm sensing this is like, there are people, when I see them in a broadcast or on stage roles, that they feel like they're magnets to me, like they want the energy coming to them. And then there's another kind who feels more like an emanation to me, like a lighthouse who's going out. And it sounds to me like the work that you're doing is flipping the bits so that people who come into this saying, I want the attention, actually become the emanations, rather than the light grabbers or the light givers.

00:21:39 - Susan Murphy

I like to say there are two kinds of people in our industry. There were the children who grew up with too much applause and the children who grew up with not enough. They are drawn to the industry. Those who want the attention are the shiny, overdone, slightly over the top or very over the top? Very over the top, sucking it in. It's those young people who did not get what they needed growing up who find themselves drawn to journalism to shine light into dark corners, to tell stories of people who are voiceless, to illuminate, educate, inform many, many people. At the same time, they're the people who want to give it back, who want to emanate out. They're becoming fewer and far fewer and far in between. Most of the young people just think, oh, I'm going to be on tv. And then they get here and they realize it's not really glamorous, it won't make enough money for years. They're going to work so hard. They are going to do overnights and weekends and holidays and complain. Oh, boy, do they complain. But that's another story. It's those young people who didn't get that applause, really want to do what's right for the world.

00:23:14 - Brett Hill

And so in terms of coaches and people who are not necessarily broadcast personalities, but what do you say to someone who's in a role where they're moved to help other people? It's like you're saying these journalists, they want to shine lights in dark places in a coach. They just literally want to help someone be better in some way in their life. But at the same time, they have this, how should I say, some kind of resistance, reluctance, where they don't truly fully empower themselves to do that because of this doubt about, well, what do I have to offer? What's my voice in all of this? How would you help a coach kind of learn to say what it is that they do with the same kind of authority that we're talking about?

00:24:09 - Susan Murphy

That's a good question. We have to figure, I don't go find my clients, they come find me. And what's that old asian expression? When the student is ready, the teacher appears. I do believe that to some great degree. I've had a singing teacher who appeared at just the right moment when I was cast into a show where I had to sing a duet, and I'd never sung a duet on stage in my whole life. But anyway, I think coaches, in approaching their students, clients, patients need to believe that they have so much to share. They have so much of themselves, their knowledge, their background, their ability to understand, their ability to listen. That's another thing I do a lot of. I listen because what am I doing? I'm trying to improve the sound of your voice and how you write. So I listen a lot and I think you just have to go with what you know. The person who is in front of you is there for a reason. They need something that you have. Maybe you don't even know what it is yet. I was working recently with a young woman who. Young reporter who has a noticeable lisp. And she was in her first job and she was looking to get into her second and it was all she could think about was the lisp when she's on the air and what we finally. I'm like, I'm not a speech therapist. I don't really not sure what I'm going to do with this. But in working with her, what I could do with her was take your don't, don't notice. Don't even for 1 minute think about how you're saying it. Connect to the story. Connect to your audience. Be passionate and really tell me that story. Don't worry about what's coming out. Just be passionate in your storytelling. And we did it often enough, and we were rehearsing one day and I forget what it was and I wasn't looking at her, I was listening and I turned back around and she went, was that okay? Certainly. Did you notice the lisp in that? And I said, no, actually, I didn't. I was so wrapped into your storytelling. What lisp? I didn't hear it. So sometimes you don't know what it is you have that you can give. Just trust the process. Maybe I've had clients that I've had to work with that I don't like, but I still have to work with them. I do my best. And that can be hard because it can be hard. I have to control myself, never mind teach well, right?

00:27:28 - Brett Hill

I mean, that's what, in coaching that I teach, I call it dual awareness, where you have to be aware of what it is you do. It can go the other way, too. You can really, really like someone. And that can sometimes be in the way sometimes as much as not liking someone and then trying to adjust your approach to someone so that you can be of service as best you can. I'm straight up with the people that my coaches that I teach and say, not everybody's a good fit for you, right. And it's a good idea in the coaching world to be able to sort that out early. Now, whenever you're in a corporate scenario and someone's paying you and they bring you people, you don't get to pick them. They're just brought to you, and I imagine that's the situation you're talking.

00:28:12 - Susan Murphy

Right. News directors funnel people to me, and there they are.

00:28:16 - Brett Hill

That's who they are.

00:28:17 - Susan Murphy

Oh, let's work together for an hour to see if we're a good fit. No, that doesn't.

00:28:21 - Brett Hill


00:28:23 - Susan Murphy

But for your coaches, I'm thinking, I hope they're tapped into their natural pitch and tone, because when you do tap into that and when you are truly listening to your client, what comes out is. I was going to say the word soft. It's a quieter. There's power in it, but everybody's voice when it drops. And I can teach you how to do it. In fact, the short version is exactly seven words, which I'll do before I go. But when you can look somebody in the eyes and gently speak what it is you need to say to them, for one thing, it feels, I think, like a hug, because I come in with clients who, they speak too fast, their pitch is too high. I've got young men who think they're on sports center girls who can't take a breath to save their soul. You're like that. You're not doing anybody any favors because there's not any real listening going on back and forth. And in the first hour that I coach, they practically say nothing because it's all about the breath work in the first hour. So there is something about being able to regulate your breath so that your pitch drops and so that when you speak boldly and with purpose, a little bit of thinking before you speak, I say to my reporters, you have to take breaths. You have to take breaths so you can continue to speak. But those breaths allow me, your viewer, to catch up with what you just said.

00:30:25 - Brett Hill


00:30:26 - Susan Murphy

So in coaching, particularly, I would think when you're bringing up something very personal, something brand new, something that maybe stops them in their tracks, this should be a lot of time for silence, I would think. And every now and again, I, too, rely more on silence between us than conversation.

00:30:49 - Brett Hill

Yeah. Strong advice, because a lot of coaches are trying to fill up every moment with something powerful and not willing to give space to, or not comfortable with giving space to letting what can emerge emerge that needs just a little breath and time. And sometimes the most powerful moments I've had with clients have come whenever I've been moved to speak, and I just shut up and I just let the client do their work on their own behalf. And if you're doing the right things as a coach, you're bringing in all this stuff, and you're causing them to kind of hang out with notions and concepts and feelings and sensations and ideas that they are a little uncommon for them and can take some time for that cake to bake, so to speak. One of the things I say is you can't bake the cake by turning up the heat. You can't bake it faster by turning up the heat.

00:31:49 - Susan Murphy

No, just burn the edges. Even reporters who are doing interviews particularly, and these are so common nowadays, I call it the grieving mother story. When you're having those tough interviews for the people who have agreed to do it, don't interrupt them. If they stop talking, don't go to fill that space they're processing. Let them. Don't rush to ask another question or to do something else. Let the silence sit there for a minute. That's powerful.

00:32:29 - Brett Hill

It is. It's very powerful. Yeah, that's great advice.

00:32:33 - Susan Murphy

Flip it. How about all my reporters? I was working with a bunch from Kentucky last year, I guess it was, and they had had some severe tornadoes. So these young kids are going out reporting on horrendous damage. Some deaths mostly damage families, neighborhoods completely upended, uprooted, and then they come back and brand new for them. They need to decompress. They need to process what they saw. When you're in the moment and you're doing it and you can do it until you get home, and then suddenly everything you saw, everything you heard, kind of hits you like a ton of bricks. So I'm very careful with my clients. I have one young man who, in Missouri, who got assigned three weeks in a row, a story that had to do with sex abuse of a child.

00:33:30 - Brett Hill

Oh, no.

00:33:30 - Susan Murphy

And I said, okay, after the third, please tell your news director, not this week. You need time to decompress. So just for him to talk about it to me was a little bit helpful, but I think he probably needed to do more because he heard, I would think so.

00:33:49 - Brett Hill

That's super intense stuff. And coaches get this. Coaches and therapy. We hear about this all the time with coaches, therapists, particularly those in the healthcare industry, who they deal with so much stress and trauma and people in urgent need that it can be very destabilizing to your own emotional well being. And learning to take care of yourself is really hard work because there's so much need. And a lot of coaches and therapists and other practitioners are empathetic people, and it takes some work to learn to not let your empathy be such a burden. But what you're saying is, I totally respect that, and I appreciate that you're bringing that up, because these reporters and all of us were human beings, and these are things that impact us. And being aware of the impact on that is a part of being mindful about your own experience in the world. And that's what's going to give you all kinds of authority, because let's just say your reporter ignored it and keeps on doing it and pretty soon can't do the job as well as they would like to do because they're not caught up with, they're not respecting the impact of the work on who? On their experience, moment to moment.

00:35:18 - Susan Murphy


00:35:19 - Brett Hill

And pretty soon, they're not even able to do reporting of any sort. It's unnecessary. Anyway. I'm kind of on a soapbox a little bit.

00:35:32 - Susan Murphy

On that soapbox.

00:35:35 - Brett Hill

So what would you say then? You said you were going to share, what were the seven words?

00:35:42 - Susan Murphy

Yes, the seven words to drop your pitch. Okay, really easy. Seven words. Drop your shoulders. Breathe into your belly. When I learned this drop your shoulders thing from a vocal teacher about 25 years ago, this was mind blowing. You have no idea how much your shoulders have to do with, well, first of all, when we're tense, when we're nervous, when we're excited, when we're under stress, where do we carry it? In our shoulders. If you can learn literally with every breath to drop your shoulders, which eliminate muscle holding across the top of your chest and back, drop your shoulders and make sure when you're breathing, as broadcasters and teachers and coaches, we talk a lot, so we breathe in through our mouths and out. So as you breathe in, picture it going all the way down to that cylindrical muscle that is attached to your lower ribcage, that as you bring air in, picture it like a balloon. It fills with air. And you know you're doing it right because your belly expands out against the waist. And then when you exhale or speak, it contracts. So if you can learn to do this, if not, every breath, every other breath. Drop your shoulders. Breathe into your belly, because when your shoulders are tense and when you start tensing your shoulders, it tights up. Your whole voice box gets tight and everything around you and your pitch rises, and pretty soon you're up here. And how annoying is it to have to listen to somebody talk up here? And sure, you're getting air in because you're doing what's called clavicular breathing or conversational breath, and it's enough to get a little bit of oxygen down into your diaphragm, but not, wait a minute, stop. Drop your shoulders and your pitch automatically comes down. When we're born, we automatically breathe into our bellies. It's when we learn walk and talk, and our attention is drawn a million different ways that we start doing that shorter, more shallow breathing. When we sleep, we go back to the proper breathing into our bellies, which is the efficient way of breathing. During the day, most of us do not breathe efficiently. So mindfulness, focusing on your breath, very much a part of what I do with my reporters. Not only does it help with pitch, but it helps focus you, and it makes you razor sharp in where you need to be to start the newscast or do the stand up or do that live shot at the crime scene. We didn't have school shootings or mass shootings. That was something I ever had to do. And now it's commonplace, which is so sad. But if you can pull yourself together, ignore that circus around you with the diaphragmatic breathing, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, it'll make it a lot easier to do.

00:39:17 - Brett Hill

Yeah, that's really wise in the sense that I remember back in the day, I used to be an actor back in the day, and so I had a lot of that speaking from your diaphragm and working with resonance and projecting to the back of the room and that whole bit. So it's like, very much that. And then with martial arts, there's a training of, like, moving from your center and breathing from your center. Have you ever seen those guys in martial arts going, haya, haya? They call those Kiop, and they do it to activate the power, and you move from your center. And so they teach this breathing all the way. It's very similar, breathing all the way down in order to connect to a more fuller motion in your body. And so it's energetic and physical as well. So there's all these tie ins to what you're saying. And so for coaches, it's like, the advice is like, during a transition, like mindfulness transition, it's like, connect to your breath, breathing into your center, right? Going all the way down, feeling yourself kind of connect to this whole more integrated, relaxed experience of who you are, which becomes available to you because you're specifically, mindfully, on purpose, in the moment, doing this practice. And then when you speak from that place to your clients, you come across so much more grounded and authoritative without having to rely on powerful questions. Instead, you're relying on your being. You're relying on your presence and the power of your capacity to just be a mindful, compassionate present for somebody which in and of itself, according, like Ron Kirch would say, when you're in the presence of, when a client engages with loving presence, therapy automatically happens. He created the Hikomi mindful, somatic method of psychotherapy, and I trained with him for quite a while. And so this breathing is very much a part of it, because if you're a coach and you're coming in there and you're all like, well, and do you think that it's like, who's going.

00:41:38 - Susan Murphy

To listen to you right now? That takes us back full circle to those reporters I heard on the air going a mile a minute and a pitch that's much too high. No, I don't like this. I can turn the channel. I always say to them, you don't work for your news director. You don't work for the tv station, the general manager, whoever owns the corporation. You work for me. Why do you work for me?

00:42:10 - Brett Hill

Because. What, what was that last piece?

00:42:12 - Susan Murphy

Because I can turn you.

00:42:15 - Brett Hill

Oh, the audience. Right. Yeah, absolutely.

00:42:17 - Susan Murphy

Work for me. The audience.

00:42:19 - Brett Hill

That's right.

00:42:20 - Susan Murphy


00:42:20 - Brett Hill

Beautiful. I love that so much. So how do people find you, Susan, to connect with you?

00:42:26 - Susan Murphy

I have a website called Susan Murphy Vosat. I always thought I was just going to work with tv people, so I didn't think I needed to explain it because Vosat is broadcast shorthand for voiceover sound on tape, which is. Yeah, it's just a thing in broadcasting. So it's. is my website. I'm on LinkedIn. You can certainly find me, you know, no matter where you are in your vocal journey, if pitch and resonance and being able to be just a little bigger, a little broader, a little more commanding in a room or just to one person, because when you master this for an audience of hundreds of thousands, imagine how much better your communication is with your spouse, with your children, with your boss. So there are lots of tips and tricks and strategies I have that vocally will just make your life a whole lot easier.

00:43:31 - Brett Hill

Boy, it's so true. One of my specialties is mindful communications. And I say this all the time. It's like you would think that your mindful communications is like the foundational thing that human beings do that causes things like, oh, civilization to occur. And you would think because it's so foundational that we would put a little bit of effort into trying to figure out how this works.

00:43:57 - Susan Murphy

You'd think, right, and most of us are so bad at it.

00:44:04 - Brett Hill

Well, what class do you go to? We're going to learn how to communicate with each other this year. You don't get it in college, even unless you take, like I did, interpersonal communications. And so you're just expected to absorb it out of the ether. And it turns out there are a lot of bad habits that you can pick up along the way. And the good news is there are people like you out there who are saying, hey, if you just spend a little bit of time tweaking a few things, you can dramatically improve the quality of every conversation you will ever have for the rest of your life. Now that's a value proposition right there.

00:44:46 - Susan Murphy

Your eyes are the windows to your soul, your mouth and conversation is the front door.

00:44:52 - Brett Hill

That's nice. I like that a lot. Nice. Well, thank you so much for joining us on the Mindful Coach podcast.

00:45:01 - Susan Murphy

I really appreciate it so much.

00:45:03 - Brett Hill

You're welcome. And people can find your contact information in the show notes. Reach out to you and we'll be in touch. Bye.

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