Voice Training Exercises to Do at Home
Developing your voice is practical and physical work in which change is achieved as a result of regular practice. It’s not possible to improve your voice merely by reading about how the voice works – you actually need to do the work and experiment for yourself.
One of the best ways to get to know your voice better is to start recording yourself, either on camera or just your voice recorded on to your phone. The point of recording yourself is so that you can listen again and again to the way you sound. Over time you become really familiar with your voice, which allows you to observe the aspects of your speech that you would like to improve.
Whenever you listen or watch one of your recorded speech performances, you should aim to give yourself constructive feedback. It’s a waste of energy to be self-critical about what you hear or see. It’s a much better use of your energy to focus on the improvements that you can see that you’re making. This is what helps you to stay motivated and enthusiastic about doing voice work.
People with communication blocks who have always struggled with issues related to speech and communication (such as shyness) will benefit greatly from recording themselves. This is because when you see or hear yourself in a recorded speech performance you may have an important realisation about the way you express yourself. You might find that you are not as expressive as you had previously thought. You may realise that you’re not the animated person that you considered yourself to be; you see instead that your expression is contained and dull. Having this important realisation helps you to push against your barriers of self-expression to become more open and connected in the way that you speak and relate to others.
Recording yourself is also good for the development of your speaking voice as it allows you to experiment with your voice in a way that may not be possible in your everyday life. It’s a good idea to keep your voice work fun and interesting because it will help you maintain interest in what you are doing. One of the ways to do this is to experiment with your voice by being more theatrical as you record yourself. This means that you don’t speak in your normal voice: you speak in your best ‘actor’ voice as you do your recordings.
When you are pleased with a speech performance that you have recorded, you can then go a step further by sharing your performance with others. This can be done by publishing your recording as a podcast or even as a video on your own YouTube channel. You can also do it by signing up to be a volunteer reader at Librivox. Sharing your voice work with others in these ways really helps to bring a sense of purpose to what you are doing as it is a way for you to share your self-expression with others.