How to Speak from a Stronger and More Powerful Voice
Free Lesson: Take a Journey Through Your Resonating Cavities
Note: The auditory file for this lesson provides instruction on how to successfully take the journey through your resonating cavities.
After this free lesson you will:
- Find your stronger voice
- Never sound nasal again
- Speak with better projection
*Check out the audio file at the end of the lesson
This course focuses on three main skills that are important for speech and voice improvement. First, how to speak in your optimal and more natural pitch range will be presented. When you learn to speak from your lower throat, you will be able to speak with richer and more vibrant tones. Next, you will learn about resonance, which is how to place your voice for pleasing vocal tones and naturally improved projection. For those of you who feel you speak with too much nasality or a thin vocal quality, you will learn to speak with a lower and richer voice. Learning how to speak from your natural pitch range and with good resonance, as well as breathe from your diaphragm, is the complete package for strong and vibrant communication skills that reflect confidence and leadership.
Your “Normal” Voice versus Your Best Voice
Many voice therapists describe two types of pitch, habitual and optimal. Habitual pitch is what you consider to be your “normal” tone of voice. It is the pitch you use automatically for talking. Voice is often correlated with personality. However, it may not necessarily be your best vocal quality. Optimal pitch is located in your lower throat, which produces your strongest and most powerful vocal tones. It’s pure physiology. When you speak from this area, your voice is stronger. Speaking in your optimal pitch range would be preferred for professional speech and voice since that is where the most vibrant and stronger tones are produced. A stronger and lower-pitch voice is correlated with the perception of leadership. For many people, there is a gap between their habitual and optimal voice placement.
If there is a significant gap between habitual and optimal pitch, it is most likely because of the fact that you find it easier and more comfortable speaking in your normal or habitual pitch range. This is the pitch level most people use automatically without ever thinking about it. Learning to speak from your optimal pitch level is an easy adjustment to make, and the benefits will significantly improve your voice quality as well as your personal and professional image.
Resonance: Placing Your Voice for Power and Projection
It is important to understand the concept of resonance to achieve your goals of creating a stronger and more powerful voice. Resonance is the amplification of speech sound waves that occurs in the cavities of your throat, mouth, and nose. To simplify, resonance has to do with where the speaker “places” their voice in their body.
To demonstrate resonance and culture, some foreign speakers place their voices in a location different from American English speakers. Individuals in some cultures, one example being people from France, place their speech higher in their nasal cavity, which creates some nasal resonance. Some cultures resonate more in the back of their throats, such as Russian speakers. The best way to describe American resonance is that it forms in the lower throat and center of the mouth cavity and it may feel as if you are speaking from your chest.
If you feel your voice is too high in pitch or sounds nasal, you may be placing your voice toward your nasal cavity. If you mumble or speak in a monotone style, your speech may not be loud or clear enough because of a lack of range of motion with the speech articulators. This section will teach you how to achieve better resonance, which is required for better articulation and diction with more natural projection.
Three Types of Resonance
Your vocal folds are in your lower throat, which is the region where your optimal or best pitch for voice is generated. Pharyngeal resonance is highly important for voice quality since proper voicing is produced in this area. The throat should be relaxed and free from tension. To speak with a voice that is rich and pure in tone quality, understanding pharyngeal resonance is very important. It may be helpful to think of speaking from your breastbone to simplify pharyngeal resonance.
This type of resonance places the voice in the mouth cavity. Any movement, large or small, with the lips, tongue, jaw, or wall of the throat will affect the resonance by shaping the sound waves. If you are not moving your mouth or speech articulators fully, you will not have full oral resonance or good natural projection.
The best professional speech resonates from the pharyngeal and oral cavities. Think of these two types of resonance working together, and it is easier to think of speaking from the chest area. Some voice coaches call it chest resonance, but that is not truly correct to describe where the sound waves are being produced. Sound waves do not come from the chest. They come from the lower throat and mouth. However, many people feel the vocal vibrations from the breastbone, so it makes it easier to think about chest resonance. Thinking about talking from your breastbone will help you to maintain optimal pitch and more powerful resonance. If your speech resonates from your nasal cavity or you don’t have complete follow-through with your speech articulators, you may not achieve the best oral resonance or overall voice quality and projection.
This type of resonance is when the voice sounds as if it were being projected through the nose, creating a tone quality that is nasal or high in pitch or sounds like “whining.” When the tone is placed too high toward the nasal cavity, the result is a nasal-sounding voice. A speaker’s voice can be between “two parallels,” where it is not 100 percent nasal but is above the pharyngeal and oral resonance range. This could be described as having some “nasality.” Many speakers fall into this category.
Placing your voice correctly in your lower throat and in the center of your mouth cavity is important for a rich, robust voice with natural projection and ideal voice quality. This can be achieved with good movement with your speech articulators, proper diaphragm breathing, voicing from your optimal pitch range, and thinking of your speech coming from your chest area.
Take a Journey through Your Resonating Cavities
Note: If this exercise is hard to understand, hear it demonstrated from your auditory file included with this free lesson.
This will be an opportunity for you to experience placing your voice in all three resonating cavities. To begin this journey, place your fingers on the bridge of your nose and the other hand on your breastbone. Next, make a strong nasal sound, then travel that sound down toward your lower throat. As you leave the nasal cavity, you will travel to your mouth/oral resonating cavity. When you arrive, you will no longer feel the vibrations in your nasal cavity because they are now placed in your oral cavity. As you continue your journey and travel down, you will then start to feel the vibrations on your breastbone because you are now resonating your voice in your pharyngeal cavity.
By the conclusion of this journey, you will have experienced placing your voice in all three resonating cavities. You can now see that you have full control of where you place your voice. If your voice is thin, high, or nasal, you can make the adjustment of speaking from your optimal pitch range and from the pharyngeal and oral cavities.
Thank you for considering this online course. I wish you great success your endeavors.
Liz Peterson M.A.,CCC-SLP