February 22nd, 2009 12:05 PM by Lehel Szucs
The 2 Essentials for Finding Your 'Real' Voice - By Nancy Daniels
Most people are unaware that they can improve their speaking voice, that they probably should improve their voice, and that the techniques for doing so are simple and basic. And while good voice training will actually improve many other aspects of your life, not all those who teach voice understand the two essentials.
Many of us who teach voice are classically-trained singers. While I don't teach singing anymore, I use similar principles in teaching others how to find their 'real' speaking voice.
Good voice training involves teaching you, first and foremost, how to breathe with the support of your diaphragm because your 'real' voice must be powered or amplified from the chest.
If you are part of the 99 percent of the population who are renowned for using only the upper portion of the chest to breathe, then your speaking voice is being powered by means of your voice box, throat, mouth, and/or nose. What results is a voice which is probably higher in pitch than it should be and will not display a warm, resonant sound. Those who have had training use the chest cavity as well as the other four resonators to power the voice.
The next step is then to find the optimum pitch of your speaking voice. In most cases, the pitch (highness or lowness of sound) of your speaking voice will drop to some degree. It may be a slight change, or it may be a significant drop in pitch. If you go to my website and click the Before & After tab in the top Menu Bar, you can watch Craig who had a tremendous change in the pitch of his voice.
When I discovered my real voice in graduate school, my drop was at least four whole steps. I went from sounding like a teenager to a mature woman -- not old, not young -- ageless. And, my speaking voice is improving as I get older, which is interesting because after 40, nothing on your body improves with age!
Once you find your real voice, you will then learn how to increase your volume without shouting, eliminate nasality, speak in living color to your audience and not at them, and control your nervousness in any form of public speaking.
Finding your real voice is a life-changing experience because you not only gain total control over your voice, as well as an increase in your level of confidence, but you will also discover tremendous benefits that have nothing to do with your voice or public speaking. You may find you sleep better at night, or hit a golf ball better, or even notice a drop in your blood pressure because breathing diaphragmatically means that you will be eliminating more of the toxins in your body. Shallow or lazy breathing, again typical of 99 percent of the population, actually increases your toxins as well as your level of stress.
It is truly amazing to discover the difference in your voice, in your business, and in your life just by taking a breath! About the Author:
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels is a voice specialist and president of Voice Dynamic. Holding corporate and 2-day workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada, she launched Voicing It! in April of 2006, the only video training course on voice improvement. You can watch clips from her DVD on her website and 'before' & 'after' takes of her clients, as well as download an audio presentation in which Nancy shows how voice training can improve your life both professionally and personally. Go to http://www.voicedynamic.com
Check out the Experts page for Nancy Daniels, the Official SelfGrowth.com Guide to Public Speaking.