How to project the voice? This is the commonly asked question by my clients; they often want to know how they can project their voice without yelling. How they can speak loud and clear so that people can listen to them. One day, I was listening to a young speaker conducting a microphone check for a presentation before a large meeting.
People at the back of the room kept saying, “Project!” and “Louder, please.” We were already having trouble hearing the speaker, even before the room was full of people, but their approach wasn’t working.
Frankly, I wasn’t surprised. Just telling someone to yell doesn’t solve the problem of projection. Similarly, just speaking louder doesn’t create a powerful voice.
Before we move ahead with this interesting topic lets understand that why we should project the voice instead of yelling?
Yelling uses vocal cords, which can get damaged if overused. Projection uses breath from the diaphragm and uses air to create the volume you want.
Many people come and ask me how do I know that I am yelling or projecting the voice?
If your diaphragm is not doing the work of creating volume, your vocal cords are – something has to do the work. If you keep yelling, your throat will start to feel sore. The projection has a depth to the sound. It tends to have a slightly deeper pitch and a rounder, more complex sound. Yelling sounds flat with a higher pitch.
So how to project the voice?
Project the voice is the skill & you have to develop it by using the following steps
Learning Breathing Properly:
As I have already discussed this in my previous blog that voice is nothing but the air which passes through your vocal cords and creates a voice or sound. The way you breathe affects the way your voice comes out. After all, air flowing over your vocal cords is the reason you have a voice at all.
If you breathe shallowly, you will quickly run out of the air, and then your throat muscles tense up to try to squeeze the sound out. Your voice will sound strained and lack carrying power. It’s hard on your vocal cords, too.
When you take the time to fill your lungs, it’s as if your voice is riding on a supportive cushion of air, and your throat muscles can stay relaxed. Your voice will carry better and have a richer, more pleasing sound.
Most people only fill the top of their lungs when they breathe, but in fact, your lungs are larger at the bottom than at the top. To get a good breath, you need to fill your lungs all the way to the bottom. Ask any musician who plays trumpet, tuba or any other wind instrument and they will tell you that your waist and abdomen must move outward as you inhale and back in as you exhale. Your chest stays quiet.
If you’ve never done this before, imagine that you are filling your lungs from the bottom up, as if it were water instead of air. Place your hands on your abdomen. You should be able to feel and see your abdomen push out when you breathe properly. Keep your hands there to feel it deflate as you speak
To develop the correct breathing techniques, you have to do few exercises. For that, you can see the following videos and help yourself.
Keep good breathing posture:
In order to breathe for projection, you need to be standing totally erect, without slouching in order to let the most air in as you breathe. The only thing that should be moving is your stomach as you inhale and exhale.
If your shoulders and chest rise when you inhale, you are breathing using only your lungs, which prevents proper projection.
Your body weight should be balanced on both the legs, your nee should be relaxed while standing so that your body will also get relaxed and can project the voice.
Work on enunciating:
In order for a word to be properly pronounced and enunciated, it must be accurately formed, completed, and supported by your breathing. Now that you know how to breathe correctly, are you clearly pronouncing each syllable in each word? Most of us don’t practice proper enunciation in casual conversation, but it is crucial for voice projection.
Pay attention to how you pronounce words ending in ‘ing’ like driving, drinking, or working. Say them out loud. Did you pronounce them as ‘driv-in’, ‘drink-in’, and ‘work-in’? Failing to enunciate the last syllable of the word causes you to mumble which inhibits voice projection.
Become A Good Listener:
I always say to my clients that you have to become a good listener to become a good speaker. Because unless and until you don’t listen to others properly, you won’t be able to learn new things. Listen skills are really important because it lets you know new words and how to pronounce it.
I always recommend my clients to watch a documentary or any video with good voice over so that they can learn how to pronounce and words correctly. You can also learn how to frame the catchy sentences if you often listen to professional voiceover or storytelling.
Talk with Mirror:
This is one of the best ways to know about your body posture, are you putting your hands on month, how wide are you opening your mouth while speaking. These all things really matters a lot when we talk about voice projection and talking with mirror will let you know your mistake and you can improve on it.
This also helps you to develop the confidence for public speaking as you will be practicing watching yourself talking with mirror. You can see your body language and posture so that you improve it and can gain confidence.
The next time someone tells you to “project” or to “speak up,” remember that projecting your voice is much more than just making it louder.
- Project your voice by allowing it to shine with your personality, and having confidence that you have something unique to say.
- You project your voice with a passion for your message by setting a clear intention.
- You project your voice by developing a resonant sound that is supported by your whole body through air and energy.
When you do all these things, you will be heard.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog & now you know how to project the voice. You can also read how to get resonance in your voice to know more about the voice improvement.