There is no doubt that excessive nasality can be most annoying for your listeners. Voices which possess excessive nasality sound like Fran Drescher, Don Johnson, and pro golfer, Jack Nicklaus. Of course, Fran Drescher has made a fortune on her sound which is akin to nails on a blackboard. If you are like most people, however, excessive nasality is indeed not an asset and could jeopardize your success, both professionally and personally.
Luckily, ridding your nose of those unpleasant tones is not that difficult if you are motivated and willing to retrain your ‘inner ear’ to recognize those sounds. Once you are aware of the sound, you will find that the best exercise is to practice saying a few words with exaggerated nasality. Then relax your jaw, say the same words again, but this time with no nasal sound as in the following exercise.
1. Say the sentence we will be here, sending it directly up through your nose. (It will sound silly so make sure you are alone when you try this.)
2. Now relax your jaw. To do this, you need your teeth unclenched and your mouth open with your tongue lying on the floor of your mouth. [Relaxation is the key here. There is no doubt that some nasality can occur because of tightness in the jaw and neck.]
3. Say we will be here again, this time enunciating the words along the floor of your mouth.
With the exercise above, you should hear a difference between the exaggerated nasally sounds and those same words said with no nasality. Bear in mind, the consonant sounds in those 4 words are not nasals and have no business being in your nose. True nasals consist of only 3 sounds in the English language: n, m, and ng. Any word which consists of one or more of those sounds will vibrate in your nose to some degree. The question is how much?
If you have a lot of nasality in your voice, then it is quite possible that words like Maine and finger are creating a preponderance of twang in your voice. The answer is to say those words as well along the floor of your mouth. They will still vibrate to some degree in your nose. What you want to do is to limit the amount of vibration that is happening.
Nasality mars the speaking voice. It is certainly not a pleasant attribute for your listeners to hear and does not sound professional.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. If you would like to hear the difference in a nasal versus non-nasal voice, watch Katie's dramatic Before & After Video at Voice Dynamic.