Exercising Your Voice – Part 2
Following on from the previous post where I gave you some exercises to help you maintain a strong speaking voice, this time I am going to concentrate on what you can do to get your voice ready on the day of your presentation.
These are simple “warm up” exercisse just like we are supposed to do for the muscles in the rest of our bodies when we attempt any physical exercises such as swimming or running. I know there are those who contend that “warming up” does not help the muscles but in the case of your voice, it really does need to be loosened up and made ready for a presentation.
This is particularly important to help with your nerves. If, as in my case, your voice tends to vibrate more when you are nervous, following the “warm up” exercises before you step out to speak will ensure a much smoother presentation voice wise.
So let’s get started.
- Sit upright and place one hand on the stomach and the other hand behind the back. Just imagine two hands on top of each other but separated by your body. Take a deep breath then exhale quickly without making any sound. Any noise during the exhalation process is an indicator of tension in your voice cords. Breathe in again with the hands still in place. Then exhale again but this time, say the first letter of the alphabet. Repeat this exercise with all the alphabet until the letter Z. As the exercise progresses with each letter, your voice should get louder and stronger while you are still breathing normally.
- Hum your favorite tune.
- Pretend you’re chewing or eating a soft piece of cake using your upper and lower jaw muscles. Chew slowly and gently to loosen your jaw.
- Swish your tongue around your mouth. Tension sometimes mounts in the back of your tongue and this exercise will loosen and relax it.
If you learn best by watching someone then I can recommend the following TED presentation. The exercises used in this presentation are very useful in the 10 minutes before you step up to speak. They start at the 7:44 mark (the whole presentation is worth watching though!)