Whether giving an important presentation, contributing to a meeting, or just having a conversation with a colleague or client, speaking in a strong, dynamic voice is essential for clear communication and strong professional presence. One way to ensure you’re ready to speak with your best voice is to warm up beforehand. Take a look at our three basic steps to warming up your voice and getting ready to speak like a leader!
- Relax Your Body: Most people don’t realize it, but speaking is a full-body activity! Tension in your shoulders and neck can impact the way you speak and make it difficult to relax and project your voice. Loosen your neck by tipping your head from side to side and forward and back, holding each position for several seconds. Roll your shoulders forward slowly five times, then backward five times. Do each movement in a slow, deliberate manner, going through your entire range of motion.
- Warm Up Your Facial Muscles: Too much tension in your face can decrease the quality of your speech. Start by relaxing your cheek muscles by massaging them gently with your hands. Then, open your jaw as widely as possible. Retract your lips into a wide smile (as though you are saying “eeeeee”), then pucker them as tightly as you can; go from puckering to smiling several times as quickly as you can. Finally, open your mouth and stretch your tongue beyond your lips in all directions.
- Warm up your Voice: Warming up your voice is an essential step in developing a strong, commanding professional speaking voice. Start with some lip and tongue trills to gently warm up your voice. Then, breathe in on a count of five, and exhale on “mmmmmmmmaaaah” alternating between “mmmm” and “ahh.” Take a deep breath and gently release it on “aaaah” going from your highest note to your lowest in a long sigh.
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