Women Raising Their Voices, In More Ways Than One, Will Change The World.

With Women’s History month upon us, and in the wake of the #metoo and #TimesUp movements, women everywhere are feeling more supported and heard than ever before, and are continuing to seek vehicles through which we can empower and express ourselves with boldness and authenticity going into 2019.

Enter Tasia Valenza, professional Communication Coach, Emmy nominated actress and Voice Over artist, and, most recently, the force behind the growing “Giving Great Voice” campaign, which invites us all to spread kindness in a way so traditional, it is becoming new again: By using our voices. Tasia is spearheading a global invite for people to connect with others using their voice (not text, emoji, email, but actual voice) and share their experience of what that means to them in a 60 second video on Instagram, as you might have come across in your feed during the past few months. (If you haven’t, go check it out at: givinggreatvoice.com). 

Valenza counts powerhouses like Marianne Williamson and Oprah Winfrey among those women successfully modeling her aspirational style of self expression and self embodiment, and it’s fitting that she opts for role models who demonstrate unparalleled abilities to genuinely connect with others on a human level, and who raise their interpersonal dynamics to a new standard. “Every time you take a step to give great voice – it’s a step to creating that connection that humanity requires,” says Valenza.

“A heart felt ‘I love you’ can never be replaced with an emoji”.  Valenza’s passion for “bringing voice back” is clear when she speaks of reaching out to distant friends whose moods have brightened instantly from hearing a warm voice on the line, or of a student she recently coached who had experienced bullying, and whom she taught to use her voice in a richer, more empowered way to assert herself.

In the era of iPhones, Instagram, Twitter, and the general ubiquity of all things internet, when the majority of our professional and even personal communications have been co-opted by the inescapable digital void, Valenza raises a valid point. What are we missing out on when we forgo using our own voices for emojis, texts, posts and emails? 

As I begin my conversation with Valenza, she is rushing out the door to pickup her teenage daughter at the airport. “Goodbye, my lovely family,” she sings, as she heads to her car. “Giving great voice is, to me, a campaign of kindness,” Valenza says. What’s powerful about her goals behind the campaign though, is the implicit lesson within the concept of giving voice – That our voices are a gift that we can likewise give to ourselves.

When asked if she can recall a time when she personally felt empowered after giving great voice, Valenza names a time when she was feeling particularly frazzled while driving in traffic, “because,” she notes with honesty, “I’m not perfect”. In her car, Valenza used her own voice to practice both breathwork and affirmations that restored her to a calm and clear state, despite the congestion surrounding her. 

In sum, the benefits of ‘Giving Great Voice’ are as vast and far-reaching as we are willing to use our voices, which is why Valenza felt impelled to start the #GivingGreatVoiceChallenge. As her website describes it, the “#GivingGreatVoiceChallenge is a kindness campaign in the spirit of giving. There is no more beautiful gift we can give than to share our beautiful voices and touch someone we care about. […] it’s a “call” to action! Use your most powerful communication tool: your voice! To speak your truth, to lift another human being, to share a memory of how you were touched by receiving great voice, and then to share your “GivingGreatVoice experience with the world”. 

“This is such a crucial time for women,” says Valenza, “to convert, connect, commune, and continue to speak to each other meaningfully, and not to continue to go in this direction where leaving a voicemail message is almost an aberration. To speak up for ourselves and speak our truth, and continue to connect with each other verbally”.

We think Oprah and Williamson would agree.

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