speaking exercise


Get a Grounded, Richly Resonant Voice

To set free your inner voice try this voice training exercise from the Method School of Acting, which would have been practised by actors like Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino. The idea of this exercise is to develop a voice that is deeply grounded in the body, carrying with it a deep, powerful resonance. A grounded voice voice is rich and deep – that’s very different to a voice that resonates in the head, which is like a nerd voice.

Let Your Inner Voice Out – Voice Exercise:

  1. Sit in a chair and lean back so that your neck hangs at the back over the chair.
  2. Roll your neck, shoulders, waist and circle your legs.
  3. As you make the circlular undulating movements say ‘ahhh’ with your voice as deep down in your body as you can.
  4. Whenever you feel the energy build up and you want to release say ‘ha!’

You should continue the exercise for around 15 minutes.

The exercise will deeply relax you therefore it is good to energize yourself after with some body patting up and down your legs, waist and arms.

Show your Passion with your Voice

To be dynamic and charismatic people we need voices that show that we are engaged with life and that we communicate our desires to people. This means that we have energy and also a full range of expression in the voice. Benjamin’s dynamic voice training exercise shows you how you can bring passion to your voice like a Shakespearean actor.

Benjamin recommends using famous lines from Shakespeare because the characters are in extreme situations. This means that we can be dramatic and passionate when performing the lines. In his exercise we see how the same line can be read in a number of ways to show different feelings. With Benjamin’s instruction, I am shown how to bring dynamism to the line in different ways through experiment with tone of voice. We should then bring this dynamism to our everyday speech to make a dynamic impression.

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.

How to Deepen Your Voice (For Women)

If you are a woman with a high-pitched, breathy voice you may find that people do not take you seriously. By changing the way you breathe and doing deep voice exercises you can make your voice deeper over time.

It takes a lot of work and effort to change the pitch of your voice to make it deeper. It cannot happen straight away as there are mental and physical blocks preventing you from being able to talk differently. You do not at the moment feel comfortable taking charge in situations, which can be heard in your voice. It is only when you begin to feel differently about yourself and make an effort to face your blocks relating to personal power that you can change the way your voice sounds. You will find that as you deepen your voice over time, you also become more self-assertive and confident. This happens because the blocks you are dealing with are always perfectly mirrored in the mind and body. In other words, the way you speak is a perfect reflection of how you feel about yourself. If you want to get a deep voice, you must start to feel differently about yourself also.

By learning to breathe differently you can change the pitch of your voice. To get your deepest natural speaking voice requires that you shift from shallow breathing to deep breathing into your diaphragm. You cannot do this right away because your body does not how to do it. It is something that you learn to do slowly and surely. In the same way that most adults cannot do the splits – you must train yourself to do it gradually.

How to Do Deep Breathing

1. Start by sitting or standing with good posture, which means that your shoulders are back and down. Make an effort to hold your shoulders in this position as you do the breathing exercise.

2. Breathe deeply into your diaphragm. You know you are doing it right when you take a deep breath but your shoulders hardly move. All the work to breathe is happening much lower down in the body as the diaphragm expands and contracts – first by expanding down towards the belly as you inhale, then relaxing as air is exhaled. When you are doing this right you can feel a downwards/upwards movement that stretches you length ways along the body (in contrast to the inwards/outwards movement of the gut). For best results you should aim to do deep breathing into your diaphragm for 20 minutes each day, as if it were a meditation.