If you find yourself tensing up, mumbling through your presentations or sinking into the background during a meetings; there's plenty you can do to achieve a stronger and more confident voice.
Voice Coach Ingrid Gray, who graduated from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with an MA in Voice studies, runs a popular workshop in our programme — combining physical stretches, vocal warm ups and expert guidance that can be built into our every day routine to strengthen our vocal confidence.
Here are five tips from Ingrid, for building that vocal confidence, wherever you are.
1. Take control of your breathing. Take time to engage your breathing from the stomach and not the chest, making for a deeper, more engaged breathing pattern that leaves you feeling calm. Breathe in through your nose and as you breathe out through your mouth make an “s” sound and time your exhale for better control and understanding of your breathing.
2. Maintain strong posture for a strong presence. When sitting or standing, place your feet hip-width apart for a stance that will give you good balance and a welcoming and engaging energy. This will centre your body and ground you to the floor, allowing you to speak comfortably with a strong presence that signals to your brain that you are feeling confident.
3. Release the tension in your body. Feeling tense? This will show in your voice. By gently massaging the muscles in your face and body, your voice and energy will ensure that you are physically ready to speak. Swing your arms, stretch your ribs and gently pat down your body to loosen and warm your muscles and you will instantly notice a difference to your vocal ability.
4. Relax and warm up your vocal chords. Work simple, repetitive exercises into your daily routine and before speaking. Practice your resonance by quietly humming as you gently pummel your chest in true Tarzan style. You can even invest in a bone prop (or alternatively place your thumb knuckle between your teeth) and practice speaking to open up the muscles in your face for a fuller voice. By stretching your tongue and face, you will be able to articulate and annunciate clearer than ever.
5. Sip don't glug water. Drinking water moments before speaking isn’t enough to combat a dry mouth. Be sure to sip water throughout the day to thoroughly hydrate, as it takes around four hours to properly feel the benefit.
Interested in building your vocal confidence capability? Find our next session with Ingrid Gray on 4th September 2019 here.
There's more on Can
Can is our digital platform, with a fresh wealth of resources and courses to support learning and performance. Login here.