If you are looking to improve your speaking voice, your first priority is to find a coach who will teach you how to breathe with the support of your diaphragm. Breathing with this support is something most people are not doing. In fact, 99% of the population is renowned for being lazy or shallow breathers. When you breathe in that manner, you are using only the upper portion of your lungs for your air intake.
The reason you need to change your breathing pattern is because your ‘real’ voice is powered by your chest cavity, in addition to your other 4 resonators. If you are not breathing correctly, however, then you are not using your chest as your primary sounding board and are instead relying heavily on your throat and voice box (as well as your mouth and nasal cavities) to power your sound.
This change in voice placement, coupled with diaphragmatic breathing, is what is going to make such a significant difference in how you sound. While most coaches work on the voice you already have, which is known as your habitual voice, there are a few of us who can show you the voice you don’t know you have. Deeper, richer, and warmer in quality, it will sound more mature. Not too old. Not too young.
There are many other benefits to changing your voice placement, one of which is that you will actually be able to increase your volume without shouting. It is called projection; however, it is only possible when your voice is being amplified in your chest cavity. Increasing your volume without this support is called shouting, yelling, or screaming – any of which can do untold damage to your vocal folds (cords) and result in vocal abuse.
Another benefit of breathing correctly is that you will discover the best means of controlling your nervousness when addressing an audience, be it 5 people or 500. Nervousness in public speaking is indeed a blessing when you are in control of it. The problem for many people, however, is that their nervousness is in control of them. When you can control your nervous jitters, you are then prepared for the ‘fight’ position of that adrenaline rush rather than being in the freeze or flight mode.
Imagine hearing your voice on your answering machine, voicemail, or some other form of recording equipment and actually enjoying what you hear. Change the placement of your voice and you will be amazed at the difference. Learn to breathe 'the right way' and the possibilities are endless.
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.