The way each of us speaks is naturally unique. From the way we pronounce certain words, to the pitch in our voice, to the tone and inflections, it all comes down to our own personal style and how we practice our voice to speak or sing.
However, in business situations, an awkward pitch or tone can influence how your message is received.
This is why it’s crucial to practice our speaking skills, including the quality of your voice.
Here are ten techniques you can use to practice and improve your voice before delivering a talk or speech
1. Practice singing over music that you love
Practice singing along to music you love.
Sing along with the melody. Start by picking a favorite song that you know well, and then sing its melody along with the actual song as it plays in your headphones.
Sing softly at first, until you get used to being on the pitch and in time with the music. And remember: vocalists make mistakes all the time! It’s natural to go off-key occasionally, even if you’re a professional singer.
Don’t be afraid of sounding bad or messing up; this is how we learn!
2. Practice breathing techniques
Breathing is the foundation of singing and it takes a lot of practice to get right. There are many different breathing techniques.
It’s important to experiment and find what works best for you. Some things to keep in mind:
- Breathe in and out through your nose as much as you can.
- Breathe deeply and slowly into your abdomen, not your chest.
- The more relaxed you are, the better off you’ll be. If you’re tense, take deep breaths until you feel loose enough to sing.
3. Look for a voice coach who can help you develop your voice.
- Finding a voice coach is a good first step in dealing with your vocal issues.
- It’s important to find a voice coach that is well-versed in the field of voice development and can help you with your particular vocal issues. You should check credentials and make sure that they have successfully helped others overcome their vocal issues before you commit.
- A word-of-mouth recommendation from someone who has been helped by this particular coach is worth its weight in gold, so if you know anyone who has benefited from working with a coach, it would be worth asking them for advice on where to go next.
4. Pick a karaoke song and learn it.
There are tons of singing tutorials on the web, but I think it’s important to first pick a song that you can sing well.
Learning more about singing and finding songs that you love and know well are integral parts of karaoke success.
For our chosen song, we recommend using The Karaoke Channel’s karaoke track for “Call Me Maybe.” The original recording is so catchy that your friends will be begging you to sing it.
Thankfully, this service has many other great tracks to choose from, including tracks by Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift.
5. Screams – starting with a low pitch, pitch up as high as you can while screaming.
- Make sure you won’t disturb others or hurt yourself. Before practicing your screams, make sure you’re in a place where no one will be disturbed by your screaming (i.e., not in a library). You must also make sure that there is enough room for you to move around without hurting yourself while screaming.
- Start with a low pitch and then gradually work your way up
6. Teach yourself how to breathe properly so you don’t run out of breath while speaking.
In order to speak correctly, you need to breathe correctly. And by correctly, I mean that you need to breathe deep into your diaphragm with long exhales. This will allow you to enunciate words properly and speak clearly.
Here’s how you can work on your breathing technique:
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Breathe from your diaphragm or stomach when singing or speaking. (The stomach should expand during inhalation.)
- Practice breath control by holding one note for as long as possible without running out of air (singing the first verse of “Happy Birthday” is a good exercise).
7. Practice good posture when speaking because this will give your voice resonance and make it stronger.
Practice good posture when speaking because this will give your voice resonance and make it stronger.
Stand up straight, keep a slight arch in the middle of your back (this is natural for most people), don’t hunch your shoulders, and hold your head high. Be careful not to look down at the floor, or up at the ceiling or the wall behind you. Don’t look at your feet! It’s important that you can meet people’s eyes when speaking to them.
8. Be Confident In Your Voice
If you’re not sure how to sing, or if you’re just beginning, then it might be hard to be confident in your voice.
But that’s where I want to start with you today! I want you to commit yourself completely to the idea that you are a wonderful singer.
Remember: The way your brain thinks about things will influence the way your body reacts and responds.
If you don’t believe in yourself or have faith in your abilities, then it’s difficult for the brain to send positive signals and messages that encourage good vocal function.
So be confident in your voice! Believe that you can do it. Commit yourself fully to every practice session; this is exactly what successful singers do! You need to enjoy the experience too – which is why we’ll cover some simple techniques next.
9. Read aloud for half an hour every day.
One of the best ways to improve your voice and diction is to read aloud every day. Reading aloud helps you develop a better sense of pacing since it forces you to slow down when reading new words and practice pronunciation.
Reading aloud also improves your articulation, which will make it easier to understand in public speaking situations.
Another benefit is that reading for half an hour every day can be fun. You can read out loud with a friend or family member, or choose something from your personal list of “to-read” items—from newspapers to novels.
10. Join a choir if you want to strengthen your choral singing skills.
One of the most effective ways to improve your voice is to join a choir. Whether it’s a school, church or community choir, singing alongside other singers can help you improve your breath support and better blend into the group. And if you are a soloist, joining a choir can help to ease some of the pressure that comes from being alone on stage.
Learning to sing in harmony with others is great training for any singer. It will also help you develop your sense of rhythm and learn how to listen carefully and follow instructions quickly. Plus, it’s fun!
11. Tongue trills – moving your tongue up and down very quickly in an exaggerated way helps relax the vocal cords
When practicing, you should try to avoid the tendency to over-exaggerating the movement. The use of a vowel-like “tee” or “toy” is helpful to make sure that your tongue is moving up and down in a manner that will allow proper airflow.
Practice it by yourself with a mirror, so you can see if any area of your body is too tense to do this exercise.
Use an unforced breath for all your practicing and continue until you feel some scratchiness in your throat (if you feel any pain, please stop).
If done correctly, this exercise helps relax the vocal cords due to the up-down movement.
12. Be consistent in practicing your speaking skills and they’ll improve!
Be consistent in practicing your speaking skills, and they’ll improve.
Practice using your voice every day.
Practice speaking in front of others.
Practice speaking loudly.
Practice speaking slowly.
Practice speaking clearly.
Read aloud whenever you can to practice improving your articulation, intonation, pitch, and tone of voice.
Maintain good posture while you speak so that you can maximize the strength and clarity of your voice (and avoid lots of health problems down the road).
Learn how to use proper breathing techniques while you speak so that you always have strong breath support while talking, which will allow you to talk longer without getting tired or losing vocal volume or quality.
Speak with emotion when appropriate – not just when acting! You should incorporate emotional intelligence into all areas of your life, including the way you talk about yourself and others around you, especially if it’s something important to them, like their work or hobbies or interests in general.
As you can see, there are many different voice-related tips that can be implemented by anyone.
Practice them until you become more naturally aware of your voice and learn how to use it more persuasively.
This will tremendously improve your potential for success as a leader and will leave a lasting impression on those around you.
How do your Practice?