Voice Training Exercise | Easy steps to improve the sound of your voice
How to Develop a Perfect Speaking Voice
We have all heard at least one person in our lives whose voice is so beautiful and rich that we enjoy listening to them speak, sometimes regardless of what they are actually saying. While developing perfect vocal intonation and diction can be a lifelong task, a beautiful sounding voice can be obtained in a relatively short amount of time. All you need is a little guidance and some dedicated practice. So if you would like to develop a perfect speaking voice, start with Step 1 below.
Developing Good Speech Habits
Speak up.It's important to be heard when you speak, so raise your voice! If you tend to whisper, mumble or speak with your head down, it is much easier for people to talk over you or ignore you.
- However, this doesn't mean you should shout - rather, you should vary the loudness of your speech depending on the situation. For example, if you're addressing a large group of people it will be necessary to speak loudly in order to project your voice.
- But speaking too loudly in normal, everyday conversation is unnecessary and can give the wrong impression.
Slow down.Speaking too quickly is a bad habit and it can be difficult for people to keep up with you or even understand what you're saying. This makes it easy for them to tune out and stop listening.
- Therefore, it's important to slow down your speech by saying your words more slowly and pausing between sentences - this helps to add emphasis to what you're saying and gives you a chance to take a breath!
- On the other hand, it's a good idea not to speak too slowly. Speaking too slowly can be monotonous for your listeners, so they may become impatient and just tune out.
- The ideal speaking rate is somewhere between 120 and 160 words per minute. However, if you're giving a speech, it's a good idea to alter the speed at which you speak - speaking slowly can help to emphasize a point, while speaking more quickly can give the impression of passion and enthusiasm.
Enunciate.Speaking clearly is possibly the most important aspect of developing a good speaking voice. You need to pay close attention to each and every word you say - pronouncing it fully and correctly.
- Make sure to open your mouth, loosen your lips and keep your tongue and teeth in the correct position as you speak. This may also help eliminate or disguise a lisp, if you have one. It might feel odd at first, but if you consistently make the effort to pronounce your words correctly, it will soon come naturally to you.
Practice deep breathing.Deep breathing is essential for a full, rich speaking voice. The majority of people breathe too quickly and shallowly when they speak, which results in a more unnatural, nasal tone.
- Your breath should come from your diaphragm, not from your chest. To figure out if you're breathing correctly, place your fist on your abdomen, just below your last rib - you should feel your stomach expand and see your shoulders rise and fall as you breathe.
- Practice your breathing by inhaling deeply, allowing the air to fill your belly. Breathe in for a count of 5 seconds, then exhale for another 5. Get used to this method of breathing, then try to work it into your everyday speech.
- Remember that sitting or standing up straight, with your chin up and your shoulders back, will help you to breathe deeper and project your voice more easily. It will also give you an air of confidence as you speak.
- Try to breathe at the end of every sentence - if you use the deep breathing method, you should have enough air to get through the next sentence without having to pause for breath. This will also give your listeners a chance to absorb what you're saying.
Vary your pitch.The pitch of your voice can have a real impact on the quality of your speech and the impact it makes on your listeners. In general, speaking in a shaky or unsteady pitch gives the impression of nervousness, while an even voice is more calming and persuasive.
- Although you shouldn't try to change the natural pitch of your voice (no Darth Vader impressions, please), you should make an effort to control it. Don't let your nerves get the better of you and aim to achieve a fuller, smoother pitch.
- You can practice controlling your pitch by humming a tune, or simply by reading a piece of text aloud to yourself. Keep in mind that it's not necessary to maintain a steady pitch at all times - some wordsshouldbe voiced in a higher pitch in order to add emphasis.
Part 1 Quiz
How can you avoid speaking in an unnatural or nasally tone?
Practicing Your Speech
Do some vocal exercises.Practicing vocal exercises can be a good way to develop your natural speaking voice. Practicing while looking in the mirror is the most effective way to achieve this, as are some of these ways:
- Try to loosen your mouth and relax your vocal cords. You can do this by yawning widely, wiggling your jaw from side to side, humming a tune, and gently massaging your throat muscles with your fingers.
- Increase your breathing capacity and volume by fully exhaling until all of the air is completely expelled from your lungs, then take a deep breath and hold it for 15 seconds before exhaling again.
- Work on your pitch by singing the sound "ah", first at your normal pitch, then getting progressively lower. You can also do this with each of the letters of the alphabet.
- Repeat tongue twisters like:
- Red leather, yellow leather.
- She sells seashells by the seashore.
- Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Practice reading aloud.In order to work on pronunciation, pace and volume, it is a good idea to practice reading aloud.
- Pick a passage from a book or magazine, or better yet, find a transcript of a famous speech (such as one by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and read it aloud to yourself.
- Remember to stand up straight, breathe deeply and open your mouth fully when you speak. Stand in front of a mirror if it helps.
- Keep practicing until you are happy with what you hear. Then try to employ the same techniques as part of your everyday speech.
.Even though most people don't like listening to the sound of their own voices, it's a good idea to record yourself speaking.
- This can help you to pick up on any faults that you wouldn't normally pick up on, such as mispronunciations and speed or pitch problems.
- Nowadays, most phones will have a recording option that you can use to listen to yourself. You could also use a video camera (which could be helpful to check your posture, eye contact and mouth movement).
See a voice coach.If you're really worried about improving your speaking voice - for something like a debate, speech or presentation - then it might be a good idea to book an appointment with a voice coach. They can identify your individual speech issues and help you to correct them.
- A voice coach is also a good idea if you have a native or very colloquial accent that you're trying to minimize or eliminate. Getting rid of an accent is a difficult thing to do, so seeing a professional can really help.
- If seeing a voice coach seems a little extreme, then consider practising in front of a particularly articulate friend or family member. They may be able to pick up on any issues and give you some helpful pointers. This will also help you to feel more confident about speaking in front of others.
Smile as you speak.People will judge you and the content of your speech more favorably if you use an open, friendly, encouraging tone (as opposed to an aggressive, sarcastic or bored one).
- A good way to make your tone more friendly and warm is to smile while you speak. Not a crazed grin, mind you, but even a slight upturn of the corners of your mouth can make the sound of your voice more appealing - even over the phone.
- Of course, smiling isn't always appropriate, especially if you're discussing a serious issue. But just remember that inserting emotion into your voice (whatever emotion it may be) can do wonders.
Part 2 Quiz
If you have an accent you are trying to minimize, consider:
QuestionCan I use any drink or food to help my voice?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUsually, lemon honey tea helps. Water is always useful for helping your voice.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I improve my voice so that adults will take me seriously?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry using a larger vocabulary of words, words that are more rare to hear coming from someone younger. Speak in a lower pitched tone, as high pitched voices tend to be treated as less mature and can be considered annoying by some. Speak slowly and clearly, don't jumble your words together.Thanks!
QuestionHow about speaking softly? Is this considered "perfect"?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSpeaking softly can be ideal for some personalities, suggesting that you're a kind and sweet person. If this is the style of voice that suits you, then yes, it's perfect too.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I stop stumbling over words?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry speaking slower and taking deep breaths. You are probably speaking too fast, or even thinking too fast, making your tongue disconnected from your brain.Thanks!
QuestionIs it normal to hate the way my voice sounds when speaking or singing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. This is a common problem. It is important to address this issue as it can make you shy about public speaking or affect your self-esteem.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I loosen up if yI'm literally mortified of people hearing my voice?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPractice all the above steps, with a voice recorder until you start to enjoy listening to your recorded voice. Once you're happy with what you hear, you will feel more confident having people listen to you.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I smile and speak without looking ridiculous?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerKeep it simple and small. Soft and subtle smiles are the best choice because they look natural even when you are nervous. You don't need to smile the whole time, especially when you're talking about something serious.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I stop myself from stammering?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStopping your stammering can be very difficult, but there are a few things you can do. To start, think through what you want to say completely before saying it. Don't start speaking until you've thought out everything you intend to say. Find someone who is willing to be a conversational partner for you and practice speaking to them daily; this could help you become more comfortable with speaking quickly. wikiHow also has some articles that might help you, like [[How to Stop Stammering].Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I am not able to speak properly?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSee a voice coach. If you are unable to do that, try watching videos of people talking online and copy how they speak. Try saying one syllable at a time. Once you've perfected that, put every syllable together and perfect that. Do this with every word you have trouble pronouncing. Record yourself speaking and see how it measures up against the speakers you've been copying.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do if I forget my speech?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStay calm, look confident, and make up the whole thing by saying the summary of what the speech was about with a few "big" words thrown in. Tell a story you know well and relate it back to the theme of the speech. At least the crowd will have been entertained.Thanks!
- If possible, perform these exercises in a closed room without carpet so that you can hear yourself better.
- Try different singing exercises, as it is a great way to learn proper breathing and vocal technique.
- Make sure you develop good posture, as it is essential to a good voice.
- When your vocal cords create sound, you should feel vibration in your chest, back, neck and head. This vibration will create resonance and give your voice a full, delicious sound. This is what you are trying to achieve, so spend a lot of time on relaxing these areas.
- Your jaw and lips are the most important parts to relax because they form your resonating chamber, like the sound hole in a guitar. If your mouth is too closed, you must exert more effort to achieve the same volume. Having your jaw and lips relaxed and free-moving will make your voice sound more natural and less strained or muffled.
- Don't stress if you're still not satisfied with your voice. Some of the most recognizable voices range from high to low and everything in between.
- Try to speak loudly. If you don't speak in a high enough volume, you might not be heard. It could also help you to improve your speaking voice so people can heard you more clearly.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed when you are speaking. It will give you a softer tone and make you more approachable.
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