The other day I received an email from a young man who told me that he was getting a sore throat by speaking loudly at the clubs and wondered if my training dealt with volume. I had to smile when he said that he had read several books on voice and none of them talked about how to increase or decrease the amount of sound you use. They also didn’t discuss projection which involves speaking in a bigger voice without shouting or yelling.
This is something I’ve known for years and I certainly wasn’t surprised by his remarks. Teaching others how to ‘improve’ the speaking voice and not covering volume is like going to a doctor who missed the course on anatomy.
The reason volume is so important is because there are many people who are soft-spoken. There are also a few who speak too loudly. Volume matters in communication today. If you expect to be heard, then you must speak at a normal volume level. On the other hand, if you speak too loudly, people will shy away from listening to you.
Projection is another component that is vital in good voice training. The ability to increase your volume without straining your throat and vocal folds (cords) means less likelihood of vocal abuse as well as less pain to your listeners’ ears.
When I teach voice, the 1st thing we work on is diaphragmatic breathing, the 2nd step is optimum pitch, and the 3rd is volume and projection. Whether you are working with me in person or by means of my video training, I explain that voice training is a progressive course. You must start at the beginning and go through each session before you can move on to the next.
It is important to understand that you cannot work on your volume until your voice is being powered by your chest cavity. And, you cannot power your voice from your chest cavity until you are breathing with the support of your diaphragm. That’s the only way to discover the voice you don’t know you have.
There are many who will show you how to improve the voice you already have – then there are a few of us who will show you how to find the voice you don’t know you have. If the program you are researching does not cover diaphragmatic breathing, optimum pitch, and volume, it isn’t voice training.
The Voice Lady, Nancy Daniels, offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as the Voicing It! the only video training on voice improvement. If you would like to see a great example of volume control, watch Mohammad's ‘before & after’ video clip, at Nancy's Voice Training website.