Has this ever happened to you?
You’ve prepared your speech, power point, and your presentation or your webinar, and you’re all set to go; but suddenly as you open your mouth to speak, you hear your voice crack; then you need to cough to try to regain some sort of composure and vocal strength. This totally throws you off and you spend most of the presentation sipping on water, racing through your speech, losing your breath and focus, while struggling through to finish.
The most likely reason for this happening is because you chose not to spend very much attention to the health and maintenance of your voice, which just happens to be the single most important instrument that you are using to convey your message or to make your business sale. The next time you prepare and rehearse your speech, also take time to warm-up your voice, and do it again just before you are about to speak.
Begin your warm-up with a relaxation exercise to release any muscle tension in your body. Stretch in all directions and loosen your shoulder, neck, and jaw muscles. Start at the top of the head and mentally work down to your toes to focus your mind on releasing any tightness that you feel.
Next, consciously let yourself use your diaphragm to control your breathing force. Warm-up your tone by humming so that the sound is resonated in your chest, pharynx, and mouth areas. Try letting the sounds, such as “AH” escape through an open mouth. Find your most comfortable pitch level, so you can control your pitch to avoid unexpected squeaks or tension creeping up on your sound.
Keeping voice fit includes avoiding drinks with caffeine, dairy products, or alcohol to avoid your vocal folds from drying out. They will adjust to how you as a speaker treat them. If you abuse them with unhealthy foods or with physical abuse, such as, yelling, shouting, and smoking; then they respond by protecting themselves and shutting down. The cure to revive them is complete rest and lots of water.
For the few minutes that it takes to do a vocal warm-up, it is certainly worth keeping your own health, and avoiding embarrassment when you do your next speech.
For a Vocal Warmup CLICK HERE
Brenda C. Smith