One reason that people contact me is that they find that their voice doesn’t project, or that if they do project it, that their voice becomes hoarse or strained. One of the reasons for this is that people equate projecting with being louder. I find that this isn’t helpful, as when we think ‘loud’, we tend to push our voice and our body, using excess effort. This results in closing the space within our body and throat.
Instead, we need to focus on space and openness, and allowing the sound to come out. How to do this? Here are five tips:
1) Tune into your body: Become aware of how you are standing or sitting. Imagine your body like a tree. Your feet are connected to the ground, and from the waist upwards you rise up tall. As you tune into your body, you may notice areas of tension…just observe them, don’t try to stop them.
2) Don’t push the sound out with your body: Sometimes people feel that they need to use their body to get the sound to project. This is often seen in thrusting the neck forwards or pushing the upper body forwards. Often this is something that people do without realising.
3) Visualise space: Visualisation is very effective when working on the voice. Picture a vast open space, be it a scene from nature, or a high vaulted ceiling in a building. The idea of spaciousness is useful both in terms of space within your body, but also the voice projecting within a large space.
4) Open your mouth more: As you speak, let you jaw drop and open your mouth more. This helps to bring the sound more forward in your mouth, and so helps it to carry.
5) Enjoy what you are saying: Notice how you say words, and allow time to say them. Being playful helps your body, mind and voice to become more in sync, and this helps your voice to be more flexible and engaging…and to project with ease.