How to Develop a Perfect Speaking Voice

  • Published on
    10-Jul-2016

  • View
    218

  • Download
    4

Embed Size (px)

Transcript

How to Develop a Perfect Speaking VoiceWe have all heard at least one person in our lives whose voice is so beautiful and rich that we enjoy listening to them speak, sometimes regardless of what they are actually saying. While developing perfect vocal intonation and diction can be a lifelong task, a beautiful sounding voice can be obtained in a relatively short amount of time. All you need is a little guidance and some dedicated practice. So if you would like to develop a perfect speaking voice, start with Step 1 below.Part1Developing Good Speech Habits1Speak up.It's important to be heard when you speak, so raise your voice! If you tend to whisper, mumble or speak with your head down, it is much easier for people to talk over you or ignore you.. However, this doesn't mean you should shout - rather, you should vary the loudness of your speech depending on the situation. For example, if you're addressing a large group of people it will be necessary to speak loudly in order to project your voice.. But speaking too loudly in normal, everyday conversation is unnecessary and can give the wrong impression.2Slow down.Speaking too quickly is a bad habit and it can be difficult for people to keep up with you or even understand what you're saying. This makes it easy for them to tune out and stop listening.. Therefore, it's important to slow down your speech by saying your words more slowly and pausing between sentences - this helps to add emphasis to what you're saying and gives you a chance to take a breath!. On the other hand, it's a good idea not to speak too slowly. Speaking too slowly can be monotonous for your listeners, so they may become impatient and just tune out.. The ideal speaking rate is somewhere between 120 and 160 words per minute. However, if you're giving a speech, it's a good idea to alter the speed at which you speak - speaking slowly can help to emphasize a point, while speaking more quickly can give the impression of passion and enthusiasm.[1]3Enunciate.Speaking clearly is possibly the most important aspect of developing a good speaking voice. You need to pay close attention to each and every word you say - pronouncing it fully and correctly.. Make sure to open your mouth, loosen your lips and keep your tongue and teeth in the correct position as you speak. This may also help eliminate or disguise alisp, if you have one. It might feel odd at first, but if you consistently make the effort to pronounce your words correctly, it will soon come naturally to you.[1]4Practice deep breathing.Deep breathing is essential for a full, rich speaking voice. The majority of people breathe too quickly and shallowly when they speak, which results in a more unnatural, nasal tone.. Your breath should come from your diaphragm, not from your chest. To figure out if you're breathing correctly, place your fist on your abdomen, just below your last rib - you should feel your stomach expand and see your shoulders rise and fall as you breathe.. Practice your breathing by inhaling deeply, allowing the air to fill your belly. Breathe in for a count of 5 seconds, then exhale for another 5. Get used to this method of breathing, then try to work it into your everyday speech.. Remember that sitting or standing up straight, with your chin up and your shoulders back, will help you to breathe deeper and project your voice more easily. It will also give you an air of confidence as you speak.. Try to breathe at the end of every sentence - if you use the deep breathing method, you should have enough air to get through the next sentence without having to pause for breath. This will also give your listeners a chance to absorb what you're saying. 5Vary your pitch.The pitch of your voice can have a real impact on the quality of your speech and the impact it makes on your listeners. In general, speaking in a shaky or unsteady pitch gives the impression of nervousness, while an even voice is more calming and persuasive.[2]. Although you shouldn't try to change the natural pitch of your voice (no Darth Vader impressions, please), you should make an effort to control it. Don't let your nerves get the better of you and aim to achieve a fuller, smoother pitch.. You can practice controlling your pitch by humming a tune, or simply by reading a piece of text aloud to yourself. Keep in mind that it's not necessary to maintain a steady pitch at all times - some wordsshouldbe voiced in a higher pitch in order to add emphasis.[3]Part2Practicing Your Speech1Do some vocal exercises.Practicing vocal exercises can be a good way to develop your natural speaking voice. Practicing while looking in the mirror is the most effective way to achieve this, as are some of these ways:. Try to loosen your mouth andrelax your vocal cords. You can do this by yawning widely, wiggling your jaw from side to side, humming a tune, and gently massaging your throat muscles with your fingers.. Increase your breathing capacityand volume by fully exhaling until all of the air is completely expelled from your lungs, then take a deep breath and hold it for 15 seconds before exhaling again.. Work on your pitchby singing the sound "ah", first at your normal pitch, then getting progressively lower. You can also do this with each of the letters of the alphabet.[1]. Repeat tongue twisters like:. Red leather, yellow leather.. She sells seashells by the seashore.. Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. 2Practice reading aloud.In order to work on pronunciation, pace and volume, it is a good idea to practice reading aloud. Pick a passage from a book or magazine, or better yet, find a transcript of a famous speech (such as one by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and read it aloud to yourself. Remember to stand up straight, breathe deeply and open your mouth fully when you speak. Stand in front of a mirror if it helps. Keep practicing until you are happy with what you hear. Then try to employ the same techniques as part of your everyday speech.3Record yourself.Even though most people don't like listening to the sound of their own voices, it's a good idea to record yourself speaking. This can help you to pick up on any faults that you wouldn't normally pick up on, such as mispronunciations and speed or pitch problems. Nowadays, most phones will have a recording option that you can use to listen to yourself. You could also use a video camera (which could be helpful to check your posture, eye contact and mouth movement). 4See a voice coach.If you're really worried about improving your speaking voice - for something like a debate, speech or presentation - then it might be a good idea to book an appointment with a voice coach. They can identify your individual speech issues and help you to correct them. A voice coach is also a good idea if you have a native or very colloquial accent that you're trying to minimize or eliminate.Getting rid of an accentis a difficult thing to do, so seeing a professional can really help. If seeing a voice coach seems a little extreme, then consider practising in front of a particularly articulate friend or family member. They may be able to pick up on any issues and give you some helpful pointers. This will also help you to feel more confident about speaking in front of others.[4]5Smile as you speak.People will judge you and the content of your speech more favorably if you use an open, friendly, encouraging tone (as opposed to an aggressive, sarcastic or bored one). A good way to make your tone more friendly and warm is to smile while you speak. Not a crazed grin, mind you, but even a slight upturn of the corners of your mouth can make the sound of your voice more appealing - even over the phone. Of course, smiling isn't always appropriate, especially if you're discussing a serious issue. But just remember that inserting emotion into your voice (whatever emotion it may be) can do wonders.[5]Community Q&A How can I smile and speak without looking ridiculous? Keep it simple and small. Soft and subtle smiles are the best choice because they look natural even when you are nervous. You don't need to smile the whole time, especially when you're talking about something serious. What should I do if I am not able to speak properly? See a voice coach. If you are unable to do that, try watching videos of people talking online and copy how they speak. Try saying one syllable at a time. Once you've perfected that, put every syllable together and perfect that. Do this with every word you have trouble pronouncing. Record yourself speaking and see how it measures up against the speakers you've been copying. How about speaking softly? Is this considered "perfect"? Speaking softly can be ideal for some personalities, suggesting that you're a kind and sweet person. If this is the style of voice that suits you, then yes, it's perfect too. Is it bad to drink cold or hot water? What do you mean by "bad"? If it's bad for health, yes. Water that is either hot or too cold can cause injures to your throat. Warm water is fine and room temperature or normal chilled water too. It's about your preference.Tips If possible, perform these exercises in a closed room without carpet so that you can hear yourself better. Try different singing exercises, as it is a great way to learn proper breathing and vocal technique. Make sure youdevelop good posture, as it is essential to a good voice. When your vocal cords create sound, you should feel vibration in your chest, back, neck and head. This vibration will create resonance and give your voice a full, delicious sound. This is what you are trying to achieve, so spend a lot of time on relaxing these areas. Your jaw and lips are the most important parts to relax because they form your resonating chamber, like the sound hole in a guitar. If your mouth is too closed, you must exert more effort to achieve the same volume. Having your jaw and lips relaxed and free-moving will make your voice sound more natural and less strained ormuffled. Don't stress if you're still not satisfied with your voice. Some of the most recognizable voices range from high to low and everything in between.

Vocal Exercises for Better Public Speaking

Does your voice get tired from public speaking? Do you need to boost your vocal energy and endurance? The Public Speaker has exercises to get your voice into tip-top shape.ByLisa B. Marshall,The Public SpeakerOctober 10, 2014Episode #268I want to welcome you to todays exercise class. Dont worry, you dont need a yoga mat or a heart rate monitor. Were going to work on training our voices..Although I have improved my vocal energy and endurance over the years, I still have a long way to go! This is one of the most difficult areas of public speaking for me personally.If your vocal muscles are out of shape, youll tire more easily. You wont have the energy you need to provide an engaging experience for your listeners. Today I'm going to share some exercises that will help you get your voice in public speaking shape.Oh, and you may want to try these is a place where no one can hear you. You'll sound a bit silly. Basic Vocal Warm-UpsYou wouldnt run a long distance race without warming up your muscles first, right? In the same way, you should warm up your vocal muscles before speaking in public. Here are 4 quick exercises you can do to warm up:1. Hum your favorite tune. I use a silly one like "If You're Happy and Your Know It"2. Run through some scales (do re mi fa so la ti do).3. Pretend like youre chewing gum or eating a soft cookie using your upper and lower muscles. Chew slowly and gently to loosen your jaw.4. Swish your tongue around your mouth. Tension sometimes mounts in the back of your tongue and this exercise will loosen and relax it.Breathing exercisesProperbreathingis an important part of vocal training. You need to fill your lungs all the way to your abdomen with air. Practice these 4 steps in order:1. Stand up, shoulders back, and hands on your stomach. Let your stomach muscles relax.2. Breathe in through your nose and fill up your abdomen first (you should feel and see it expand), then your ribs, and all the way up to your chin.3. Hold this breath and count to 10.4. Now exhale slowly. As you exhale, keep your ribs expanded and tighten your abdomen. The lower abdominal muscles should come in first as though you were rolling up a tube of toothpaste.While you are breathing, check your shoulders and stomach. Your shoulders should not be going up and your stomach should be going out.Voice Relaxation ExercisesIf your voice is tense, it will sound harsh to your audience. It might even sound like youre squeezing the words out. A relaxed voice sounds more confident and controlled. Here's how to relax your voice:1. Stand up and place your hand lightly on your throat muscles and speak in a normal tone. Note the tenseness of the throat muscles and the tightness of your jaw.2. Yawn. Open your mouth wide. Finish the yawn with a hummmm, prolonging the mmm for several seconds. Drop your jaw as far as you can without stress.3. Waggle the jaw from side to side and continue humming with the lips closed and jaw loose.4. Repeat the yawning and humming.Notice your throat muscles have loosened and become relaxed.Volume ExercisesHere are 4 exercises to help you increase your volume without straining your vocal cords:1. Breathe deeply and exhale with a hisssssssing sound. Repeat 10 times.2. Vary the loudness of your voice using the sound Mmm-mmm. Start with a soft sound, then middle, then loud. Repeat, starting with the loud sound until the soft. Repeat again soft - loud - soft - loud - soft - loud. Do this for several seconds.3. Repeat exercise 2 using a vowel (for example, ah): soft - middle - loud; loud - middle - soft; soft - loud - soft; loud - soft - loud. Do this for several seconds4. Repeat the exercise using a number of your choice.If you want to keep your voice in good shape for public speaking, repeat these exercises daily. I prefer to do them in my closet so no one can hear, but I've done them at my desk too. You may even consider doing them in your bathroom in front of the mirror (to be sure youre not breathing with the shoulders). You can also try them laying down in bed. This will help you isolate your abdominal muscles. Just be careful - your family may mistake you for being sick!It wont be long before you starting noticing results from your hard work!Tip 10 Ways To Stop Boring Your Listeners (How to use Vocal Variety)ByNat Robinsonon February 18, 2010

Heres the problem and its remedy is vocal variety.You are giving a speech or presentation and, although the content is excellent and matches your audiences expectation and needs,nobody is listening.

Vocal variety can cure your bored audience.

Instead you are looking at blank, disinterested faces. Someone is checking their watch, another is doodling, and that person in the front row is struggling to stay awake.

Your voice is turning ears off. To put it bluntly, it is boring.The...