Did you realise that the ‘quality’ or ‘sound’ of your voice affects people more than the spoken word? When people say “speak up”, they are really saying they can’t hear you easily but if your habit is to speak quietly it is very difficult to change this.
Let’s look at some practical things you can do to make your voice louder.
The ‘power’ for your voice comes directly from the amount of breath you take, so aim to use your full capacity. To do this, practice the following sequence:
- Expand the chest cavity by lifting the rib cage upwards and outwards.
- This will pull the domed diaphragm muscle down and make it flat.
- The stomach should relax away without any tension
- The breath will be drawn deeply into the lungs. (people sometimes refer to this as ‘breathing down into the stomach’)
To PROJECT sound you now need to CONTROL the outgoing breath:
- Tense the stomach muscles (known as the abdominal press)
- Begin pulling the stomach slowly towards the centre while holding the ribs in their expanded form.
- This maximises the breath column and creates a larger initial vocal note in the voice box.
- The diaphragm rises ahead of the abdominal press and then the ribs slowly drop back to their normal position.
You need to practice the process of inhalation and exhalation to help your brain understand the sequence, and reinforce the habitual pattern.
Be aware that if your voice is quiet, you are likely to react to the louder sound of the projected voice. You might even believe you are shouting, but this will not be the case.
SHOUTING is a forced sound made by constricting the muscles and it creates a harsh tone.
PROJECTING is made through an open throat and uses a strong breath column to push the voice forward to the receiver. The tone is pleasant and welcoming.
Remember that projection is a mixture of the physical process and mental willingness to share with others. You must WANT to be heard.
Why not give it a try and good luck!
Speak Loud & Clear!