There is no doubt about it. You’ve got one: a richer, deeper speaking voice. It is merely a matter of finding it. In order to find it, however, you must learn to breathe correctly.
Of course now you’re asking, “I’m breathing wrong?” If you are typical of the majority of the population, then the answer is “Yes.” And I can prove it.
Try the following exercise.
- Stand in front of a mirror without your shirt or blouse and take a really deep breath. Watch yourself as you do this. Did your shoulders go up? Did you suck in the mid-torso area of your body? If so, then you are a shallow or lazy breather. Relax. You’re not alone. 99% of the population breathes in this manner.
The problem with shallow breathing is that it is not natural. Breathing deeply with the support of your diaphragm is. Your dog is doing it correctly as well as your cat. All mammals breathe with support; and, as a child you did too. Sometime during your early development, however, you resorted to upper chest breathing.
Because this type of breathing is produced high in your chest area, it usually results in a voice that is higher in pitch as well. (Pitch refers to the highness or lowness of sound – not the volume which is the loudness or softness of sound.)
When you learn how to use your chest as your primary sounding board instead of pushing your voice from your other 4 resonators (throat, voice box, mouth and nasal cavities), your pitch will most likely be lower. It may be a slight drop or it could be several whole steps.
The beauty of using your chest to power your sound is that your voice will be warmer in quality and have greater depth and breadth. Voices which do not make use of the chest cavity do not display the above characteristics. They may sound harsh, throaty, wimpy, nasal, whiny, whispery, too young, too old. The list goes on and on.
Learn to breathe correctly. Capitalize on your chest cavity as your primary sounding board and discover the voice that was meant to be.
Watch this brief clip of my Lab, Boucher, breathing. This is from the Voicing It Videos. Note that Bouch is doing it right!