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3 Steps for Normalizing Your Volume Whether You Speak Too Loudly or Too Softly
Nancy Daniels, Voice Coach
When I first began teaching voice improvement many years ago, I was unaware that once you began using your chest to power or amplify the voice, your volume would normalize on its own. It was quite an ‘ear-opening’ discovery for me because so many other voice teachers or coaches were providing exercises specifically designed for increasing volume or decreasing it.
What is fascinating about the correct approach to voice training or voice improvement is that in addition to normalizing your volume, proper voice placement will correct many of the other problems you may be experiencing without additional work. If you feel your voice sounds wimpy, strident, hoarse, gravelly, whispery, high-pitched, whiny, childlike, or quivering (just to name a few!), those ‘qualities’ will simply disappear.
Let’s say, for example, that your voice is child-like and soft. When you find your ‘real’ voice, you will suddenly discover that you sound mature – not too old, not too young. Your voice will be ageless in quality and your volume will increase all by itself.
If you have been speaking too loudly, on the other hand, your voice will decrease in volume to what is considered a normal level of sound once you allow your chest to power your voice. Bear in mind, your habitual voice is being pushed from your throat and voice box, as well as by your mouth cavity and possibly your nasal passages, all of which can create a strident sound especially when speaking in a loud voice. By changing the placement of your voice, the loudness, the edges, the stridency will be gone because your voice will be resonating in your chest. Others who resonate in their chest include the likes of George Clooney, Kate Beckinsale, Kathleen Turner, and, of course, James Earl Jones.
It is truly amazing to see how one process alone – using your chest to power and amplify your voice – can bring about the same results for both the loud voice and the one that is soft. If you are serious about working on the volume of your voice, you will need to do three things:
1. learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm;
2. discover the optimum pitch of your speaking voice – which is probably deeper than that of your habitual voice; and,
3. use your chest cavity to power your sound.
Being too loud or too soft in speaking is a learned habit that can be ‘unbroken’ simply by discovering your ‘real’ voice. In the process, you will sound more mature, have the ability to increase your volume without excessive strain on your throat, and be able to get your message across the first time you say it!
International Speaker and Voice Specialist, Nancy Daniels, has been involved in voice training since 1977. A graduate of Gettysburg College with a BA in music, she discovered the techniques for improving the sound of the speaking voice while in graduate school at American University in Washington, D.C.
In addition to her guest speaking engagements, Nancy offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice training and public speaking skills throughout the United States and Canada. For those are unable to work with her directly, there is Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. For more information on voice training, future workshops, and Voicing It!, visit her Voice Dynamic website. http://www.voicedynamic.com
Nancy Daniels Having taught 1,000\'s of people how to find their \'real\' voice for more than 25 years, I can\'t imagine a job more gratifying! To witness the increase in their self-confidence is incredibly rewarding.