Unless you are scheduled to speak at 7 in the morning, I would suggest not warming up the speaking voice. Since you use your speaking voice throughout your day, my question is ‘What is there to warm up?’ The speaking voice is not like the singing voice where you will be using several octaves, possibly singing very high or very low in pitch. In that sense, warming up the singing voice is a must.
The muscles necessary for singing need to be stretched just like the muscles needed for playing a sport or even a musical instrument. But what really needs to be stretched for the speaking voice?
The range used in speaking is nowhere near as great as that for singing and, if you talk during the day, whether it is to family, friends, colleagues, or the clerk in the convenience store, you are using the muscles needed for speaking. That is the warm up.
As a voice coach, I see a tremendous amount of vocal abuse among the general population, especially as the voice ages. Teachers in their 50’s going to back to school in September often find they don’t have the same endurance for speaking as they did when they were in their 20’s and 30’s. Even in singing, there are some opera stars who will not sing in full voice when they are rehearsing the day before the opening because they do not want to push the voice to that degree.
Instead of concentrating on ‘warming up’ your speaking voice, I would prefer you learn how to use your chest to power your sound. Presently, you are probably relying heavily on your throat and voice box to do most of the work. When you discover you ‘real’ voice, you will find that the sound is richer, warmer, and deeper in pitch. In addition, you will also be able to increase your volume without shouting. This is called projection and is only possible if you are using your chest cavity as your primary sounding board. Anything else is called yelling or shouting and is very hard on your throat and vocal folds.
Bear in mind, your vocal folds (cords) are a most delicate organ; and, stressing them further by warm up exercises is unnecessary and a waste of time. Discover your real voice and your voice will always sound good – even at 7:00 am in the morning!
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 on voice improvement. If you would like to see a dramatic ‘before & after’ clip, visit Voice Training Website and check out Craig’s video.