One of the most fascinating aspects of good voice training is that the techniques used to solve the problem for those who are soft-spoken are the exact same techniques used for the loud voice. Take the two extremes, apply the same method for both, and the volume for those who speak softly will increase while the volume for those who speak loudly will decrease.
The reason it works in this fashion is because of the change in voice placement. In phonation (the production of voiced sound), you have 5 resonators or cavities that should be used to produce vocal sound: the voice box, throat, mouth, nose and chest. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of the 5th and most important of the resonators, the chest cavity.
Because the majority of the population is renowned for being shallow or lazy breathers, so too most people are not able to use their chest to power their sound because their respiration is only occurring in the upper portion of their chest. Hence the terms shallow breathing or lazy breathing.
Once you learn how to breathe with the support of your diaphragm however, you can then utilize your significantly larger chest cavity to power your voice which alleviates vocal abuse as well as a host of other problems. (Your diaphragm is a muscular partition, separating your chest from your abdomen.)
If you speak loudly, this change in placement in phonation takes the edge off the voice thereby naturally decreasing the volume level. You will not speak too softly, however, just in a normal volume of sound. If you are soft-spoken, on the other hand, the change in placement of the voice will increase your volume – again – naturally.
It is truly amazing to see how the two extremes can achieve the exact same results just by changing the placement of the voice and allowing the chest to do its job. In both cases, the voice takes on a richer, warmer, resonant sound that becomes normal in volume – not too loud, not too soft – just right.
Both Antonia Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are using their chests to power their rich, vibrant tones; Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson are not.
If you are tired of others telling you not to speak more softly, you would be wise to consider making the change. Being loud is offensive, irritating and even hurtful. Use your chest to power your voice and discover the joy of no longer being shushed!
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. Visit Voice Dynamic and watch Nancy as she describes Your Least Developed Tool!