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Full Voice: The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence (BK Business) Paperback – October 3, 2011

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Full Voice: The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence (BK Business) + The Voice Book: Caring For, Protecting, and Improving Your Voice + It's the Way You Say It: Becoming Articulate, Well-spoken, and Clear
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Product Details

  • Series: BK Business
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (October 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605099228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605099224
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #571,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Full Voice:

“I’ve worked side by side with Barbara for many years and witnessed the brilliance of her talents—her strong, soaring voice that she so skillfully uses to encourage others to find their voices. I’m so grateful she’s written this book so that many more people may discover the gift of giving voice.”
—Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science and Perseverance and coauthor of Walk Out Walk On

“The Tibetans speak of body, mind, and voice, rather than body, mind, and spirit. This book offers wise guidance for opening our voices—and spirits—to their full expression.”
—Eric Utne, founder, Utne Reader

“A practical and inspirational guide to how we can more fully bring our voice into the world. Barbara McAfee offers tangible ways in which we can strengthen and express our authentic voice.”
--Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist and author of The Second Half of Life

About the Author

Barbara McAfee is a musician, coach and consultant with over twelve years of experience in organizational change. She has brought her music to such clients as Best Buy, The Coca-Cola Company, the YMCA, Wells Fargo as well as to numerous wellness events, colleges, and private functions. She is the songstress for Meg Wheatley’s Women’s Leadership Revival Tour, travels and performs with Peter Block, and is active in the Heartland Circle’s gatherings in Minnesota and California. Barbara has produced 5 CDs as an independent producer working with the finest musicians in the Twin Cities.

More About the Author

Barbara has firsthand experience with the transformational power of the voice. The paralyzing stage fright and chronic vocal problems that plagued her when she began performing in her 20s have been replaced with ease and joy she could not have imagined possible.

In her twenty years as a voice coach, she's helped a wide variety of people - including leaders, coaches, consultants, physicians, shower singers, and teenagers -- to "find their voice," whatever that means to them. She synthesizes her experience in her book Full Voice: The Art & Practice of Vocal Presence ( Berrett-Koehler Publishers), due out on October 3, 2011.
Barbara studied extensively in the United States, France, and Canada with members of the Roy Hart Centre. She has also pursued vocal studies with other teachers.

Groups all over North America invite her to their conferences, retreats, and workplaces to incite radical aliveness through song and sound. Rooted in 12 years experience as an organizational development consultant, her music explores the rich territory of change, community, vitality and balance.

She was "the band" for The Women's Leadership Revival Tour with Meg Wheatley. She composed and recorded the theme song for the 15-city tour. She also appears with speaker and author Peter Block.

As an independent artist, Barbara has made six recordings of her music. Barbara is also the founder of the Morning Star Singers, a group of volunteers who bring songs of comfort and healing to people in hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes.

A native Minnesotan, she now lives across the street from the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

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Customer Reviews

This is a practical guide to improving the way you use your voice.
While reading it I had a big cry once, a whole bunch of laughs, and a couple of uh-huhs, complete with palm slapping my forehead.
I recommend Full Voice to every level of self-identified singer and non-singer.
Louise Miner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dean Miller on October 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
I teach.
I speak at conferences.
I do some consulting.
I write, and read my writing.
And I HATE my voice.
I met McAfee at a media conference last month and bought a pre-release copy of the book on the strength of her presentations.
She has magnificent vocal presence herself and she wasn't always that way, which puts a lot of weight behind her technigues. As they say in Texas: It ain't braggin' if ya done it.
Second, the vocal techniques and ideas about voice are clearly expressed, which is usually the mark of a writer who has done a lot of thinking about their material.
If you live by your voice, you'll find this book helpful.
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Format: Paperback
I suspect something is shady with all the 5 star glowing reviews from reviewers who haven't reviewed ANY OTHER BOOK. Almost all the 5 star reviews for this book come from someone who created an account just to review this book.
You should vote them down for helpfulness when you see that, and vote up the 4 star reviews, since they may be less biased. Or, if I see a 5 star review from a reviewer who has many reviews under his/her belt, then I'll vote that one up.

So far I've listened my way through 2 hours of this audiobook, narrated by the author (so a third of the book). After 2 hours of waxing poetic about how your voice is important and influences all areas of your life (I honestly believed that already...which is why I purchased this book) finally the author mentioned an exercise. She said it could be seen on video (I was glad for that), at the web address she gave. I typed that in (fullvoice.net) but it redirected. That website is pages and pages and pages long, and SOMEWHERE on the site (I'm sure) is that video.
I'm not going to wade through that huge, one-long-page website to find the video.

I may revise this review after finishing, because it's bound to get better, now that after 2 hours into the audiobook we're getting practical.

The author (when narrating anyway) speaks in a stilted voice throughout most of the book, so that the cadence of the sentence is not fluid. Half the time she reads one word at a time, and it shows. She has a nice voice, but she doesn't read naturally. It just sounds like someone's reading to you and leaning far too long on each and every consonant and being sure to leave a distinct space between each word in every sentence.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Leicester on September 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I find this book utterly enthralling. The author's depth and breadth of understanding of voice in all its glorious hues and shadings sparks my curiosity and inspires deeper awareness of my own vocal presence and those around me. The book is really an invitation to the adventure of exploring our fullest voices, how they impact others and the world. The book is remarkable in so many ways.

First, it's practical and playful. Within its covers is useful information about how our voices matter on so many levels, personally and professionally. As a long-time educator and teacher educator, I recognized at some level that my voice mattered when it came to being heard, letting students know when I cared, when I meant business, when I was being playful. I used it to give comfort for scraped knees and bruised egos, to inspire, to invite a love of learning. Yet, after finishing this book, I realize the voices I used were just the tip of the iceberg. Her vocal exercises invite us to be playful while exploring latent voices, experiencing amazing "a-has", unearthing ancient longings. I practice them over and over. What fun! And if truth be told, some of our most enduring learning erupts out of pure fun.

Second, this book is poetic and profound. It reads with the clarity and depth of a great poem or a great song. No surprise here. After all, Barbara is a gifted professional singer, songwriter, and poet. Each chapter poses the kinds of questions poets ask of themselves and their readers, the kind that provoke us to think about what makes us feel most alive, most human. Questions that cause seismic shifts in how we relate to the people and the world around us. Poet David Whyte tells us, ". . .anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. kinkead on September 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book very inspiring and helpful. I have certainly taken my voice for granted. This book helped me understand how I can authentically use my voice to more effectively support what I am trying to communicate. I found the book so accessible and enjoyable to read. The author clearly speaks from the heart and brings whole new dimensions to the often unsung (sorry bad pun)hero that is our voice. Thank you Barbara McAfee for making me much more conscious of this potentially powerful part of me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Prieve on September 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for those of us trying to "reclaim our voice." Its emphasis on vocal presence, not just voice technique specific to speech or singing, really gives depth to the ideas being put forward. The "5 Elements Framework" teaches us to pay attention to the inner landscape of the voice in the same way we pay attention to our external persona--how we present ourselves to the world each day. Barbara's point is that when we integrate these inner and outer aspects, we can have an impact on our world and relationships that we couldn't have imagined.

For those of us who need context in order to make sense of why we are going to try something new, Barbara cites many examples where vocal limitations are problematic and how dramatic and positive it can be when the limitations are overcome with these techniques. The exercises contained within the book (augmented by the online videos!) offer very practical ways to get in touch with and strengthen those aspects of our voice that we may have restricted for a variety of reasons. This increases our palette of choices to use our voice for maximum impact, whether for showing passion, commanding authority, offering comfort.

Well-intentioned self-help books have often put me off because the author's advice giving has a tone of "talking at" rather than talking to or guiding. No problem here. Barbara's greatest strength is her tone of compassionate encouragement--suggesting (often with humor) rather than directing--within a framework of practical exercises to expand and improve the voice.

Highly recommended!
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