The communication process of your ideas is done through clear articulation of your speech. This requires the physical movement of the tongue, lips, jaw, in contact within your mouth, your teeth, and palate (roof of your mouth) to create distinct enunciation of your words. The connection of these speech organs depends on the air-stream through your throat, mouth and teeth for your message to be heard accurately.
The sound waves are altered by your speech muscles stopping or shaping the sound you hear, as either consonants or vowels.
For English consonants it’s your tongue tip touching your alveolar ridge (gum ridge behind your front teeth) to produce t, d, n; or the air streaming over your tongue to produce s, z sounds, or the many other consonant-combinations. The consonants give the edge to your words. Without this edge your sound comes out as if you are mumbling because you don’t open your mouth widely, or move your lips to define words with distinct m, p, b; or with lips and teeth contact, such as f and v.
The English vowels give resonance to your words and the consonants give them clarity. Listeners may hear what you say but they may not understand what you say if there is no clear combination of breath, consonants, and vowels.
Your breathing is a partner re-shaping to where you place your tongue in your mouth at the upper front, middle, back, arching it up, or dropping it down. The air is rushing to accommodate around your positioning to create your sound, words, phrases, and sentences.
The Link of Diaphragmatic Breathing process to your articulators is that it provides more flexibility and volume of air space and air pressure as it changes and travels through your lungs, chest, larynx (voice box), trachea, nasal and oral cavities to exit as clearly understood words.
Improve your diction to create presence when you speak, by avoiding to speaking too quickly, having a tight jaw or little mouth movement, and you’ll improve your speaking confidence.
If you would like some exercises including a few tongue twisters so you can train your articulators as if they doing gymnastics, take a look at Chapter Four on Articulate to Attract in “Breathing…Just Steps to Breathtaking Speeches” by Speech Coach, Brenda C. Smith.
Have you read the previous Blog# 1, 2 and 3 in this Series on How Diaphragmatic Breathing Is Linked to Your Voice?
Why do actors spend so much time devoted to voice and speech training; yet, so many public speakers and business entrepreneurs think it is not needed? The answer is quite simple: actors recognize that they are in the business using their voice and speech skills to generate income and art.
Most public speakers have not considered how valuable this training is; however, now is your time of enlightenment! You are about to discover how a well-trained voice will massively benefit your business.
The bottom line of your business is how effectively you use your voice. If you take the time to receive accurate training and coaching to improve your vocal quality, you will master the three key fundamentals: breath control, quality tones, and crystal enunciation. Your audience will be so attracted to your voice that they will clamber to hire you and your products.
The first actor's training fundamental is breath movement with your ribs. What a treat it is when you develop your diaphragmatic breathing method so that you have firm control of how to manipulate your breath and create sensitivity in your message. You will have the power of movement of every muscle working for your expression, and projection without ever having any shortness of breath or strain of delivery.
Secondly, your body is your instrument that needs care and tuning in order to emit the sounds that are the extension of what you want to achieve. Training shows you what to tune and how to tune it. A squeaky instrument turns a listener away, while a fully tuned one invites the audience to you while keeping them enraptured.
An actor learns how to manipulate his resonator cavities of the chest, pharynx, mouth, and nose to be flexible and produce well-rounded tones. Knowing these skills will give you the confidence to avoid muffled, throaty, or too nasal a sound. The individual configuration of size and shape of your resonators will affect your pitch, and musicality of tone. You will go from boring to dynamic with this training.
The third fundamental actor's voice training includes perfecting enunciation of consonants and vowels so every word has clarity of sound and meaning. Combine this with the correct pace and knowledge of where, when, and why to pause brings a hypnotic empathy to capture the audience's mind, heart, and spirit. The actor's training of voice for the public and business speaker is a combination of techniques that emote a compelling speech to create a connection and movement between you and your listener as you experience the energy together.
Don't become routine and lifeless; hone your voice and speech skills just as the actor does by taking the time to understand how your voice nuances work individually. Then practice until it becomes second nature.
This is not a quick-fix investment; but definitely well worth the effort and time, because you will encompass this knowledge and training skills for the rest of your life. If you are willing to invest in your business, then you need to invest in yourself; after all, your voice is your business.
Did you find this blog post helpful?
Our book "Breathe,,,Just Steps to Breathtaking Speeches" gives you "7 Steps to Putting Your Best Voice Forward: Discover the Techniques of Voice-Over Speakers, Actors, and Professional Presenters" This book is like having a voice-coach with you.
Your voice is your business; so let us show you how to leverage it today.
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On a recent webinar, I listened and watched a coach leading us into a relaxed state of finding our energy points and centering our focus. He really knew what he was doing, and his exercises were effective.
However, I found myself somewhat distracted by his high and quiet tone level that made him seem tense. It seemed to be out of sync with what his purpose and demonstrations were about. So, in today’s blog I want to address how to center your mind and vocal tone level.
To go from a high pitch level to a more natural comfortable level, you must be aware of two things.
First, take notice if your body stress is manifested in your neck and back shoulder areas. When this happens, it is common for your jaw and back of your throat to tighten, which can lead to your emitting vocal sounds through your nasal passage and less through your mouth or oral passage.
To remedy this, you must exercise your mind and focus on loosening the muscle tightness, and on directing the tone to escape through your mouth. The sounds that include: /m/, /n/, and /ng/ are English nasal sounds that which should resonate in your nasal passage; but all other sounds do not.
If these other sounds are nasal, then it could be a result of a lazy velum closing off close the passage of your mouth. Since the velum at the back of your throat is flexible, exercising this particular part of your mouth can strengthen its capacity to be more agile and close off your nasal passage from your unwanted nasal tones.
The second thing you should notice is where your breathing action is before you begin to speak or after pausing. Your breathing must initiate from under your rib cage by applying the diaphragm and intercostal muscles to act as a holding tank for your breath; and to allow your breath to move up and out through your mouth as you speak.
You can decide if you want to let your air escape slowly and gradually; or, if you wish to shoot the air out like an arrow flying up and out through your mouth. In either case, you will run out of breath at the end of this process; then you’ll need to take in more air.
The advantage of using your diaphragm for all this support is that it can hold more air than just using your upper chest area. Also, you will have greater control manipulating reserving some air, or letting it go quickly. This is all done with very little effort on your part. It’s your diaphragm that’s doing all the work.
Another benefit of using the diaphragm is to make your sound project louder and farther to your listeners’ ears. Your voice will be heard by all without your doing any shouting or straining of your vocal folds.
You might want to follow-up with recording yourself to assess whether your tone is misrepresenting your best voice to your listeners. If they can’t hear you, or are tuned out to you because your voice sounds nasal, monotone, or on a high pitch level; then check the basics to determine changing in your breathing method and your resonating process.
If you would like specific exercises to follow up on, you will find more in my book, "Breathe...Just Steps to Breathtaking Speeches" or simply contact me.
Brenda C. Smith