I had a wonderful experience recently as the proud parent of an officer in training in the United States Army. 137 young men and women were given their branching orders. They walked onto the stage alone, faced the audience and said “I’m Intermediate Officer Candidate,” followed by their last name and then announced their orders which included infantry, chemical, military police, engineer, military intelligence, etc.

What was fascinating was listening to their voices for volume. In a small theatre with no microphone, a normal, everyday volume level would not work for those sitting in the back. Some were so excited that they shouted their orders. A couple of candidates were so soft in volume that even those in the middle of the room could not hear them comfortably. The voice of a leader? I think not. Few, however, were able to increase their volume correctly.

There is a huge difference between shouting and projecting. The former hurts your throat if you do it over a long period of time and most definitely can hurt your listener’s ears. The latter, however, does neither and actually extends the health and life of your vocal cords.

Certainly there were a few good voices among both the men and women; but, by and large, most did not know how to power their voice from their chest cavity. Instead they pushed their voice from their throat and vocal cords. Over time, that can create serious problems, especially as they age.

If you have ever rooted for your favorite sports team and felt hoarse or sore afterwards, then you have been overworking your throat and voice box. When you use your chest cavity to power and amplify your voice, however, you will notice that you not only have more voice but more energy as well because you are greatly reducing the ‘wear and tear’ on those delicate organs.

Some years ago I was giving a presentation at a hotel in Detroit. My room was actually part of the ballroom which had been divided by means of accordion walls. While I was standing at the wall divider, behind me was a most festive and boisterous party with a band. For 2 hours, I spoke to my audience with enough volume that they heard me comfortably. I didn’t yell; I didn’t shout; I projected. Not only was my throat in good condition afterwards but I had plenty of energy when I was done. Had I shouted for that amount of time, I would have had no voice left.

Your voice is a precious gift that you rely on for your business as well as in your personal life. Stop shouting; stop yelling; start projecting!

Author's Bio: 

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 or watch Nancy in a brief video as she describes how to control your voice with Voice Power.