In an earlier article, I discussed the reason why you need to breathe with the support of your diaphragm in order to find your ‘real’ voice. The second part of my training deals with volume and projection, the latter involving the increase of your volume without shouting. Trust me, if you are not:
1. breathing with support; and,
2. speaking within the optimum range of your speaking voice,
then your increase in volume is shouting. There is no other way around it – no other way to describe what is happening.
If you have been using your throat and voice box, mouth and/or nasal cavities to power your sound, then increasing your volume by means of those 4 resonators will result in a voice that is high-pitched, strident, harsh, and loud. Loud hurts your ears. A projected voice is a bigger voice but it does not hurt your ears. Were James Earl Jones to stand next to you and increase his volume, it would not be painful. Were Fran Drescher to do the same, beware. I guarantee you would want to get as far away as possible from the source!
Those who are soft-spoken will discover that once they are speaking with their ‘real’ voice, their volume will automatically increase to a normal level of sound. If Volume 1 is the normal everyday volume level used in most situations by most people, most of the time, then the soft-spoken individual tends to speak at a .8 or is about 20% shy of normal. This is why we struggle to hear them.
On the other hand, the loud voice tends to be somewhere around 1.25 or more which is too much volume for the normal situation. And, over the phone, the loud voice can be most painful. It hurts your ears. Once your find your ‘real’ voice, however, your loud volume will automatically decrease to a normal level because the voice takes on a warm quality with no edges, no sharpness, and no stridency. This happens because of the placement of the voice – in the chest cavity – and is the only way you are guaranteed a deep, rich, resonant quality.
Using your chest to power your voice also means an end to vocal abuse if that is a problem you are experiencing. Misplacement and/or overuse of the voice is caused by excessive wear and tear on your throat and vocal folds (cords). Once your chest cavity becomes your primary sounding board, however, you will immediately relieve the strain and your vocal abuse will be gone.
Don’t think of voice training as the icing on the cake. Good voice training is the cake. It is the fundamental; and, unless you change the fundamental, all the icing in the world is not going to improve the cake!
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. If you would like to see and hear a dramatic change, from childlike to mature, watch Trish's 'Before & After' video clip.