So many people ask me about my voice quality “How do I get a good sounding and strong voice?” ” No body seems to listen to me”, “I think I must have a weak voice”
It is best to not try to change who you are however you can develop your voice quality and how you use it with practice. Several tips we have used seem to work well when practiced often.
We’ve often hear people using uptalk or HRT ( declarative sentences sound like questions) where you uttered with rising-pitch intonation at the end of your sentences. This shows a little insecurity that shines through as if you are seeking some confirmation you are saying the right thing.
Your vocal fry is when our voice tapers off to being low and scratchy, especially at the ends of sentences. I often don’t hear the ending of the sentences from both men and women although it appears more from women, perhaps because women already have a soft voice anyway.
Both these modes are constantly attributed to female speakers, however I hear them often in both men and women — and the solution to both uptalk and vocal fry is deeper breathing. You can begin with the exercises below.
Guess what? It’s breathing. Your voice after all is air passed through your voice box so breathing from your diaphragm provides a steady evenly controlled flow. When you breathe shallowly into your chest instead of deeply into your abdomen using your diaphragm, your voice will sound weaker and nervous like.
Example is – Put one hand on your belly button and one hand on your chest. Breathe in deeply, and notice which hand moves. I see lots of people breathe while heaving their chest up and down. Keep your chest steady and think about breathing into your stomach as you inhale.
Then exhale slowly, like letting air out of a balloon. If you’re having difficulty? Try “wall sits” – when you lean against a wall with your back flat against the wall and your legs slightly bent. This posture helps you focus on your abdomen while breathing, instead of breathing with your chest.
Remembering to breathe properly when you’re nervous or stressed can be a challenge until you form the habit, by taking full-relaxed breaths you will sound more confident and it will improve the depth of your voice.
“To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
Plain water – Gods wine – has magical powers. Keep yourself hydrated it helps the quality of your voice, your voice eminates from a natural organ that needs to be at its fittest.
Drying agents like coffee, tea, soft drink (soda), sugars, crisps, nuts, lollies etc etc etc will not help your voice sound the best it could be. Again this requires you to develop the habit of only drinking water the day of and before your talk.
When giving long presentations have room temperature water handy to sip, not ice cold water.
Pinch your nose closed with your finger and thumb. Yes, grab your nose and now say something. You will hear that nasally sound, a bit like a 1940s news reader. Why? You don’t speak through your nose. Because you’re generating your sound from within your head and vocal chords.
We usually generate this sound when talking in conversation. However, Presentation skills aren’t normal conversations. You’re commanding your audiences attention. You want your voice quality to flow.
The remedy. Holding your nose closed again and speak as normal. Listen carefully to your nasally sound, now I want you to focus on generating your sound using your diaphragm. Continue by going lower into your abdomen (don’t try to make your voice lower, just bring the sound from lower in your body) hear how your nasal sound almost becomes a normal sound.
By being centred and grounded we are generating our sound from our core. Your voice quality sounds more confident and allows you to command the attention you deserve while being pleasant to listen to.
This is one of my weaknesses that I need to convert into a strength. I nearly always get excited and speed up a bit. Mostly people speak quickly when they’re nervous or unsure about what they’re saying. You will improve the clarity of your message when you slow down. Comprehension and confidence and control are noticeably enhanced when a speaker uses an measurable pace. Listen to speeches by Martin Luther King.
To practice to speak slow enough, speak as if you are reciting a phone number so a person listening would have time to write it down. Use this method to practice your speaking speed, speaking a long string of numbers, jotting them down as you speak will create the right cadence of your voice quality.
If you are excitable like me then you will need to wash off some energy and then try to control the amount you allocate to your voice. I tend to mix up my volumes and different pitch with expression to disguise my excited pace.
First I am going to promote TED talks and Amy Cuddy. I watch this often and find her advise very helpful.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, distribute your weight equally on both feet, now raise your arms up over your head whilst breathing in deeply. As you exhale, slowly lower your arms down to your sides and keep your ribcage where it is.
Make sure your shoulders are back, not bunched up behind your ears. Keep your chest pressed out front. I practice this every day. This is the best posture for speaking, you are projecting confidence, you are standing straight and tall, and you are owning your full height and presence.
it’s all about you letting your body allow your voice to shine as an integral part of you. Like anything it takes practice experience and care for your self. A way i use to help me with breathing and voice development is going and singing in a choir once a week.
For more information or Courses check out – Speech Master Academy
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