Most students taking singing lessons have aspirations of getting up on stage, whether that be for a recital, audition, or maybe just to survive karaoke night. However, voice lessons can be especially valuable for public speakers, as well.
Just as the vocalist practices breath control, inflections and dynamics, public speakers can also benefit from vocal exercises. Singing or voice lessons can also help a ton with your stage presence and confidence! You may not think about warming up before speaking in front of groups, but it can make a huge difference in your delivery, clarity, volume and vocal strength, if you know just what to focus on.
Breathing exercises in particular are a great thing to practice, as they can help with your vocal control (as well as ease stress!). Here are some steps to follow to check your breathing:
- Get into a comfortable position, whether this is standing, sitting or lying down. Place of your hands on your chest, and the other on your abdomen.
- As you take a deep breath, focus on where your hands are: the hand on your abdomen should rise higher than the one on your chest, which occurs when your diaphragm pulls airs into your lungs.
- Exhale through your mouth, and then inhale again through your nose, this time holding it for as long as you are able to comfortably.
- Exhale again slowly through your mouth. Contract your abdominal muscles one final time to expel any remaining air.
- Repeat this exercise a few more times, focusing on each inhale and exhale.
As you get comfortable with the exercise, you can practice without the aid of your hands. Once you get used to this style of natural breathing, you’ll have better breath and voice control, which helps with all aspects of speaking and singing.
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Photo by Tess Mayer.