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Take a Deep Breath…

In last week’s blog, we discussed techniques to help you keep your voice in top shape for public speaking. This week, we’ll discuss one of those topics in a bit more depth: breathing.

The average person doesn’t put much thought into the breathing process. You inhale and exhale as you go about your day and rarely consider how exactly they are breathing. However, the way in which you breathe can make a big difference in how you speak. This is especially true in public speaking. How exactly can good breathing techniques help you?

Volume: Your breath is the power behind your voice. The more efficiently you breathe, the more powerful your voice will become, helping you to sound strong and confident.

Pacing: Many people tend to rush their words when speaking in public, especially if they are nervous. Taking deep, breaths regularly forces you to pace yourself, keeps you from sounding rushed, and as a result, helps you to produce clearer speech.

Relax: Taking deep breaths regularly helps to battle the anxiety many people feel when speaking in public. By breathing properly, you supply your system with more oxygen allowing it to function at it’s best and to keep your mind clear. Deep breaths also give you an opportunity to pause briefly and collect your thoughts.

So now that you know how important breathing can be to your speech, how exactly do you breath properly? First off, when taking a breath, concentrate on feeling how your ribcage expands. This expansion is what allows you to take a deep full breath and allows you to speak without tension in your throat. Practice speaking aloud with this type of deep breathing. A good technique for increasing your breath support is to read aloud from a book. Start by reading a short sentence. Read this sentence repeatedly, adding a few words to the end each time. Using your deep breathing technique, see how many words you can read in one breath. Over time, using proper breathing, you should be able to increase the length of time you’re able to speak in one breath.

Have a story about how proper breathing has helped you or a question on breathing techniques? Share it in our “Comments” section!

For more great advice on good speech, voice, and communication habits, visit us at our website, www.corporatespeechsolutions.com.