The Super Bowl is fast approaching and there is one result that I can predict: hoarseness and sore throats. Some may even experience loss of voice by the end of the night. This problem is known as vocal abuse and it can lead to serious problems for your speaking voice.
There are those who can yell or shout on a daily basis and never do any damage. The majority of the population, however, cannot.
To yell or shout, most people lift the pitch of the voice and push their voice from their throat and voice box. This is what the phrase screaming at the top of your lungs actually means. Unfortunately, this is the last thing you want to do to your voice.
Not only is shouting likely to cause vocal abuse, but it also hurts your listeners’ ears and saps your energy to boot! It takes a great deal of work and energy to shout or yell over a prolonged period of time.
When I teach others how to find their real or true voice, one of the techniques we cover is projection. Projection is the ability to increase your volume without shouting. By projecting your voice, you immediately eliminate the wear and tear on your throat and vocal folds which means no more vocal abuse.
Projecting the voice also requires much less work and a lot less energy. In addition, a projected voice does not hurt your listeners’ ears. When you yell, you definitely make others in the vicinity uncomfortable. Imagine Fran Drescher yelling; now image James Earl Jones increasing his volume. The former will lift her pitch – the latter will power his sound from his mid-torso region.
In order to increase your volume properly, you must use your chest cavity to amplify your voice and your pelvic muscles to help power your volume. The true source of strength of your body comes from your pelvic muscles, also known as your girdle of strength. When I was in college, my singing professor advised me to try to lift the grand piano when I came to a high note. I took his advice and the voice that resulted was something I had never heard before. What was happening was that in order to power and reach that high note, I needed to pull in my pelvic muscles. Trying to lift the piano did just that!
When you use your chest as your primary sounding board, you will discover not only the ability to increase your volume without shouting but a richer, deeper, resonant sound when you speak. Stop yelling; start projecting; and, you will still have a voice when the Super Bowl ends!
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 Volume Control.