Your voice is your best tool in public speaking. Without your voice, you would not be able to deliver a single speech because you will never be heard. Your voice allows you to communicate to your audience, convey ideas and even solicit emotions and reactions because of your compelling speech.
Professional public speakers always take care of their voice much like singers, radio personalities and even phone operators. Their success in their respective industry is based on their ability to speak.
But public speaking is not just opening your mouth with a few gestures to convey emotions. Your voice should be pleasant to the ears of the audience so that they would be interested in listening on what you have to say. A 30-minute speech on productivity in an unpleasant voice will never entice any listeners.
Part of the improvement as a public speaker is improvement of your speaking voice. You have to slowly improve the quality of your voice as this will help you become an efficient speaker. A good sounding voice can easily attract audience and the message gets across faster.
Breathing Through the Chest
Breathing through your chest is probably the best trick that you could do to improve your voice. Almost everyone breathes through their throat which produces a relatively higher pitched voice. But when you breathe through your chest, you should be able to produce a lower and well-modulated voice.
But you do not just stop on breathing through your chest; the air that comes in and out of your mouth has to originate from your chest area. This actually takes a lot of practice since everyone is not accustomed to breathing in this method.
To have a clear idea of the difference of your voices when you speak through your chest, get a voice recorder or look for a way to record your voice. The difference is so distinct that you might hear two people speaking.
Improving the Voice Pitch
While practicing to maintain breathing through your chest, it is almost important to find your perfect voice pitch. The fitting voice pitch varies per speaker but they are usually the lower pitch of your natural speaking voice.
You do not have to get the lowest pitch possible in your voice – by merely modulating your voice when you breathe through your chest should be more than enough. Modulating while breathing through your chest is challenging so practice is very important until your targeted speaking voice will come out naturally.
A lower pitched voice is the better speaking voice in public speeches because lower pitched voices sound mature and with authority. A lower pitched voice is pleasant to the ears of the audience and this can only be achieved with the right breathing and modulation.
A lower pitched and well modulated voice is just part of an improved speaking voice. While you are trying to improve your sound, you should also improve how words come out of your mouth. Conveying ideas with a great sounding voice without proper articulation could be difficult since you could not be easily understood.
A good way to improve articulation is to practice word twisters. Find the ones that you think are very difficult and practice them with your mouth opening wide. Emphasize each vowel as that you can avoid phonemic problems later.
Voice Practices Before your Speech
Before you approach the podium or go up the stage, there are certain exercises you can do to help you modulate your voice and breathe through your chest:
• Loosen your body – Shake your arms and feet, move your head and twist your body a little bit to have a relaxed feeling when you stand up on stage.
• Stretch your face – Move your lips, yawn and twitch your face to various expressions.
• Hum a little bit – Humming should help you check your voice and your breathing.
During Your Speech
When you are finally on stage, relax. If you have enough practice, you should be able to control your voice naturally. Focus on the subject while checking your voice quality from time to time. Stand up straight so that breathing through your chest will be easier. It might be a little bit difficult at first but when you continue to breathe through your chest, you should be able to be at your best speaking voice.