When I first started my business, my primary goal was to teach others how to improve the sound of their speaking voice. What I learned in those early years was that my techniques for voice training were resulting in a host of benefits which had nothing to do with the voice or presentation skills.
I had clients telling me that they were sleeping better at night; one woman was able to get rid of a tension headache simply by doing a few of the exercises I had provided when driving to and from work.
What is the secret resulting in these benefits? In order to improve the sound of the speaking voice – or as I prefer – to discover your ‘real’ voice, you must first learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm. Anything else is a waste of time because your ‘real’ voice must be powered by your chest cavity. That can only occur if you are breathing with support.
The majority of the population is not only renowned for being lazy or shallow breathers but they are also not using the chest to power the voice. Instead most people rely on their other 4 resonators: the throat, voice box, mouth and nose.
What you will discover with supported breathing is an improvement in the quality of your life. You will find that you handle stress better. Some people fall asleep faster at night; others no longer yell at their children (they project which is truly a blessing – kids don’t listen if you yell at them); and, you may find your blood pressure dropping.
People who are involved in sports, athletics, aerobics or any other physical activity will discover that they have more endurance and greater control again by breathing with support. It certainly is an absolute for yoga! At first you will do this consciously; but, once it is a habit, you won’t have to think about it again. A professional golfer, who came to me for work in presentation skills, found that breathing with support when she addresses the ball has improved her drive — in Patty’s case, her income is directly related to how well she hits the ball. What a wonderful benefit for this woman, a professional golfer, who had only wanted to feel more relaxed in public speaking!
Rod, a lawyer and a long distance runner, found that when he concentrated on breathing while jogging, he was able to run 15 minutes longer, although his leg muscles were not prepared for that extra mileage! There is no doubt that if you apply diaphragmatic breathing to any sport in which you participate, you will notice an improvement in strength, endurance, speed and control.
The ‘unvoiced’ benefits of good voice training can change your life in ways you never imagined. What you will gain through deep supported breathing is the ability to control your voice as well as your nervousness in public speaking. It’s a fabulous feeling; it’s a relaxed feeling; it’s a strength; and, if you do it correctly, it will give you a tool that you have never before experienced.
The Voice Lady, Nancy Daniels, offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It! the only video training on voice improvement. If you would like to work with me personally and are unable to attend a workshop, I offer Skype sessions. Call or email me for more information.