5 Steps for a Fantastic Voice Speaking is a journey of discovery, a great voice has an audience listening and actively participating with you.

A great voice is our‘number 1 communication tool ’it assists you to get your message across and is crucial to your success as a speaker.

Enjoy and play with these exercises, the greatest value lies in the doing, the daily practice - not in thinking. You cannot think your way to a great voice. The way you sound is a physical muscular thing. It is achieved in your body not your mind. We must discover the fantastic voice that lies hidden in our body and we have loads of time being able to practice because we spend so much o four time talking.

Realise that your voice can work for you or against you.
I believe half a speakers time needs to be spent on content and the other half on the humanness of the presenter through voice and presentation.
Your voice determines if you are heard and it adds colour to your presentation.

Your voice is your personal verbal fingerprint, we use it to convince, persuade, and coerce. Agreat voice shows warmth, sincerity and carries great resonance

If you can capture an audience with your voice you have got them for good. From what the audience hears in your voice, they will make strong judgments about you instantly, they decide whether you know what you are talking about, if you care about what you are saying, and whether they should listen. It determines not only if you will be heard, your voice gives colour and meaning to your words and working on a subliminal level it coveys subtle messages about you as a person. A warm friendly and resonant tone is absolutely essential when it comes to moving an audience to believe you or take an action. To warm your voice start early, not when you are introduced.If you find these questions hard to answer we need to be honest with yourself and set a few guidelines for change if progress is to be made.

Start by evaluating other people’s voices

 Say e.g. Richard Burton’s voice. What voices don’t you like–e.g. harsh, high pitched, grating.
Science has shown that a lower tone can be heard and listened to for much longer periods of time than a higher tone. Open a reference library in your mind of good and bad voices. Then you can gauge and appraise your own voice and start to appreciate how influential the voice can be.

Answer this quick quiz–
1.What is your impression of how you sound today?
2.What do you like about your voice?
3.What do you dislike about your voice?
4.Have you thought about these questions before?

Step 1 - Lip bubble breath

Try saying‘P’,‘P,“P’–this exercise even makes you a better kisser. It can be done anywhere. It is important that your mouth area be relaxed and ready for action.
Lightly blow air through the lips and let them flap as loosely as possible. Like a horse when they are relaxing and cooling off. If you are doing it correctly you will feel your lips vibrating and tingling.
Also imagine you are blowing bubbles in the air. The feeling is one of flexibility like rubber and the cheeks should go flexible as well
Now start using your breath, make sure the breath starts in the right place in the tummy muscles, around where your belly button is. Imagine blowing up a balloon.And you can locate them straight away. Practice so you can feel it.–ahha! so that is where it is. Now continue to blow air through the lips always starting in the tummy muscles and add some sound from your vocal cords. Like a child does on an imaginary motor bike. Do it!
This relaxes the important area around the lips. Take deep breaths from down around your lower abdomen, continue by raising and lowering the pitch. Do it - until you feel the upper nose area start to tingle or itch.If it does it that means you are doing it right.

Step 2 - From an orange to a P

Yawn and let any old sound come out. Let the reverberation fall out as it sounds.Sport and karate know how powerful this is as they do a move or vocalise a sound it relieves tension as we release physically we release vocally. Mind and body together is a beautiful combination
.If you have trouble starting a yawn drawn down from the roof of your mouth i.e.the hard palate.
Keep it simple–expand the yawn by sliding into a surprised look. Lift the eyebrows, open the mouth as wide as possible poke the tongue out. Hold for 5 secs don’t overstretch the jaw. This is the‘orange’in the step.
Hold and immediately release and go into the opposite position to all the facial muscles go tight. Pull them in to be pursed and make a P.
Pull in the eye sockets and tiny muscles around the mouth and nose, hold for 5 -10 secs. This is the‘P’of the title.
Hence from an orange to a P. From big to small.
Repeat over for 1 min. get that surprised look imagine someone has given you a million dollars.
Then go the other way, hold and release. Keep going from an orange to a P–as well as making your face feel alive. It is like a massage and great for diminishing wrinkles.
Isometric exercise work on keeping the buttocks firm so this way, you incorporate both and you can keep you body and face firm.

Step 3 - Finding Your Natural Tone

How can we be so sure we are speaking from the front of our face? Start with where sound is formed in the face. To find your natural tone–relax and go‘um hum! ’With a rising inflection. Like if I asked–you like these simple steps don’t you - and you went um hum!.
Try that at a lower tone, a mid tone and a higher tone. We are interested in talking from the middle sound. Most men speak too low and women to high.
Find the middle part of the sound that is where the hypnotic part is–it is from there that you can seduce an audience.
Now extend this sound to become a hum. This is a very safe way to improve your voice. If you have a sore throat or a tired voice or a cold - humming will automatically warm up your voice. Continue humming trying different intensities finding both loud and soft and hum a simple tune
Start humming and find the middle range. Hum‘Happy Birthday’- everyone knows that. Try to sound as musical as possible
Feel the vibration at the front of your face.
Now block off your ears and you will hear an amazing resonance inside your head. Try again and put your fingers over your ears blocking off the sound. That is where the resonance like the speaker in a hi-fi system.
Also find your tone, bend at the waist and drop your head between your knees and repeat your name and address. You will find your voice goes straight to the part of your face where sound is formed.

Step 4 -  Tongue rattle

Slightly open the mouth and let the jaw just drop.
Check to see if your tongue is flat, rested and in sync with your breathing.
Like you did with the lip bubble, gently push some air through the mouth and at the same time gently curve the tip of the tongue up behind the row of back teeth and make a sound which will come out like a vibration. It may be a little difficult at first keep practicing.
Now try cleaning the teeth with the tongue both top and bottom, outer and inner run the tongue all around up and down. Feels goods huh?
Next try saying ‘red leather, yellow leather’. An old tongue twister which helps with flexibility, now say it with precision getting faster and faster.
Now throw in the tongue rattle again

Step 5 - Affirmation

‘I Love the sound of my voice ’Begin by tightening the abdominal muscles to support your breath
If you are in the car push your hands against the steering wheel, if at your desk push against the front of it.
Many are scared to use those deep tummy muscles as are they are the source of deep emotion, we think they come from the heart or the head. They actually start deep down in the tummy.
While pushing slowly let the breath hiss out, this is necessary for quality of breath, or take a balloon and do the ‘whoo whoo’ to blow it up, or a tissue and have a sneeze. It is the same muscles, the ones you need to do these simple tasks as the ones needed for a good quality breath.
Say the words out loud–‘I love the sound of my voice’
Repeat this affirmation out loud as you take a deep breath, tighten those tummy muscle and say‘
Repeat to yourself especially before you get up to speak &as often as you like.
Now try saying it and putting the emphasis on a different word each timeSay in different ways–e.g. with enthusiasm, authority, seductive, whisper, shout.

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About the Author

As The Presentation Coach, Gerald has over 20 remarkable years as a professional speaker, engaging audiences with humour, controversy and plenty of ideas. Gerald has spoken to a wide variety of groups, including business, medical, academic, association, professional and corporate audiences. He’s an engaging, thought provoking speaker and storyteller. Gerald is energetic and professional. He knows how to motivate the the crowd, Quality isn’t expensive..it’s priceless!

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