Tips For Improving Your Speaking Voice
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A lot of people ask me about how to improve their speaking voice.
Sometimes people think that because I have a normal speaking voice that I have no advice to give about improving my speaking voice.
The reality is that you can achieve a speaker’s voice through proper breathing and vocalization.
In this article, I’ll go over some common mistakes that people make, the ones that you can fix, and the ones you’ll just have to accept.
1. Breathing issues
Speech breath can be very important.
You should exhale for as long as you inhale. To improve your breath and tone, try repeating this:
Take three quick breaths in and three quick breaths out through the nose.
- Inhale for a count of three
- Exhale for a count of three
- Now exhale for a count of three
Repeat this process six times per breath cycle. Make sure that you’re breathing evenly.
A few things to note about the breathing exercises:
You should exhale with force. Don’t just hold your breath.
It’s better to breathe in a controlled manner.
More important than the time that you breathe in, is the time that you hold your breath.
If you hold your breath longer than 30 seconds, you’ll likely lose your balance and fall over.
Keep in mind that the length of the breath cycle is important. To get the most benefits, don’t hold your breath for longer than 60 seconds.
2. Weak range of voice
There are two big reasons for this:
It’s unnatural. You’ll lose your voice quickly.
You should strengthen your voice by expanding the range that you can speak in.
There are two basic choices of expanding the range of your voice:
Kajökull ELC – this is a device that uses a mic. You speak into the mic and it’s broadcast through a speaker.
I would suggest that you start by using a mic for the very first stage of your voice improvement.
Vocal Band – this is a mouthpiece that you put on your mouth and speak into. The benefit of this is that you can stretch your vocal range more.
While these tools work well for improving the range that you can speak in, what’s more, important is that you develop a strong speaking voice.
A strong speaking voice is important for being able to succeed in any kind of business.
If you find that your voice is weak, it’s time to do some work to improve your speaking voice.
3. Poor voice distribution
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when trying to improve your speaking voice is using your head to help you speak.
Your speech is mostly comprised of the words that you speak.
One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve made over the years was to try and push through the air as hard as I could, trying to get as much air through my mouth as possible.
Unfortunately, it works the opposite way. You actually push air out of your mouth, instead of pulling air in.
The best thing to do is to try and communicate on the air. If I can’t communicate on the air, it’s a sign that there’s something wrong.
The good news is that there are a few things that you can do to improve your voice distribution. The first thing to focus on is speaking as softly as you can.
An important note: Try not to rely on words alone.
It’s important to combine speaking softly and speaking smoothly. Some very powerful harmonic resonance exercises can be done in this area.
Another way that you can improve your voice distribution is by focusing on breathing.
You should breathe deeply, through your nose and into your throat. This will help you to breathe in a controlled manner, without letting the air pass through your mouth as forcefully.
Don’t just hold your breath when you’re speaking. Instead, take a deep breath, focus on your voice, and speak slowly.
You might be thinking: this seems very meta! You’re improving your speaking voice, but talking to yourself is part of your speaking voice, so you’re also improving your speaking voice.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: self-talking isn’t actually a bad thing.
Studies have shown that you can actually improve your speaking voice by talking to yourself. You’re right. The saying is “talk to yourself, it’s good for you”.
When you talk to yourself, it helps you to take control of your voice and use it as a weapon against speech errors.
When you’re speaking, there’s a tendency to speak loudly and with force. We don’t want to speak that way in front of others. The best way to control that impulse is to talk to yourself.
When I’m doing a keynote speech or delivering a performance, I often talk to myself. I remind myself that I’m not there to impress people, I’m there to teach.
This is important. To be effective, you need to remember that you’re there to teach.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the art of delivering a speech or a performance.
A common mistake that I see is people who treat the stage as a performance platform but forget that it’s their mission to be able to effectively teach others.