What kind of an impression does your voice make? When speaking in public, using a strong, dynamic voice that projects to the very back of the audience is essential. A strong voice ensures that every member of your audience hears your message, whether you’re speaking to an audience of two or 2000. In addition, a strong voice gives an air of confidence, professionalism, and natural leadership.
So how do you develop a strong, dynamic speaking voice? The secret is in your breathing. Your breath is the power behind your voice, and developing good breath support and control will make all the difference in how your voice is projected.
Great breath support begins with great posture. If you’re hunched over, you won’t be able to take in and retain enough air to properly power your voice. To stand straight, imagine there is a string running from the top of your head through your spine, and that there is a gentle, constant force pulling on this string from above. Keep your shoulders back, and your chin level with the ground.
Now, take a slow, deep breath from your abdomen. When you inhale, you should feel your stomach expand. If your chest rises instead, that means you’re not breathing as efficiently as you should. If you have trouble breathing from your stomach, try taking a deep breath while lying down on your back. This position creates natural abdominal breathing, so it’s a good way to get used to the sensation.
Once you have your posture and abdominal breathing set, put them to work! Take a deep breath in through your nose, and then count to ten out loud as you exhale. Over time, gradually increase how high you count, trying to say as many numbers as you can without decreasing the quality of your voice.
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