16 Tips to Speak Louder (If You Have a Quiet Voice)
Scientifically reviewed by Viktor Sander B.Sc., B.A.
I have a quiet voice and it gets strained in loud environments, so there have been many times in my past where I’ve felt like the group can’t hear what I have to say.
I would have something witty , or interesting to contribute, but my voice wouldn’t carry enough volume to be heard. Other times it felt as though there was never a break in the conversation for me to interject my thoughts. Sometimes people would even talk over what I was saying when I would speak. Or they would ask me to repeat myself 2-3 times before finally acknowledging what I had said. Needless to say, this was disheartening and made socializing feel like a pain.
After feeling left out , I began to research how to make myself heard, and I’m happy to say I found some great tips that I have tried out in real life, and they have improved my social interactions immensely.
Here’s how to speak louder:
1. Address underlying nervousness
Ever noticed how, when you feel anxious around strangers, your voice gets softer? (And it only gets worse when someone says, “Speak up!” or worse, “Why are you so quiet?”)
This is our subconscious trying to help out:
Our brain picks up on nervosity -> Assumes we might be in danger -> Makes us take up less space to minimize the risk of danger. The only way to fight our subconscious is to bring it up to a conscious level. So what helped me was to tell myself: “I’m nervous, so my voice will be softer. I’m going to CONSCIOUSLY speak with a louder voice even though my body is telling me not to .” A therapist can also help you overcome and address underlying nervousness.
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Nervosity is a big topic. I recommend you to read my guide How to Not Get Nervous Talking to People .
2. Use your diaphragm
If your voice doesn’t carry, try what actors do – PROJECT. To project your voice you need to speak from your diaphragm. To really understand where you should be speaking from, let’s visually picture where, and what your diaphragm is.
Now close your eyes and imagine exactly where your diaphragm is. Place your hand below your chest, and above your abdomen. Yep. RIGHT there. That is exactly where you should be speaking from to have a louder voice.
3. Moderate the volume to not sound obnoxious
I wondered how I could project my soft voice without turning into one of those loudmouths I’ve always been annoyed by. The secret is to not over-do. Just because I tell you to project your voice doesn’t mean that I want you to speak your loudest all the time.
Our goal here is to be loud enough to be heard, but not louder.
When you practice speaking from your abdomen, try doing it at different volumes, so you can match what’s suitable for the situation.
4. Practice deep breathing
There are many ways to practice speaking louder. Often times, actors will partake in breathing exercises as this strengthens their diaphragm, and allows their voice to project loudly and really fill the theater up.
In fact, I have an exercise that I use to make my diaphragm stronger. This is an exercise you can do right now:
Take a deep breath. Imagine filling your entire stomach. Don’t stop breathing in until you feel completely full- Now, hold your breath inside. Count to 4 or 5, whichever is more comfortable for you. Now you can slowly release. As you breathe out, imagine the air is coming directly from your belly button. This will put you in the habit of practicing talking from an “expansive area” as voice coaches call it.
5. Use your voice in new ways
When you have some alone time, play around with your voice. You may feel a little silly, but these types of exercises are exactly how actors, public speakers, and speech therapists practice making their voices louder, and stronger.
The next time you have some alone time, sing the ABC’s. As you sing, try to increase in volume. As you get louder, practice going up and down octaves. Don’t be afraid to be silly, you are alone after all.
Disclaimer: This isn’t easy. People spend their entire careers on vocal development. Think of your voice as an instrument. You have to practice to see improvements.
6. Explore your voice
If you have time, and really want to focus on exploring your own voice, watch this Ted Talk. It’s less than 20 minutes long and incredibly helpful for those of us who want to improve our voices.
In this Ted Talk you will learn:
- How to make your voice sound FULL
- What makes someone vocally aware
- Positive vocal habits to engage in
7. Open up your body and breath
Now that we’ve gone over ways to train your voice in speaking louder, it’s time to focus on actually speaking up during your conversation.
It’s good to regularly practice with the exercises I’ve talked about so far. But you also need to think about your volume during your conversations so you can immediately feel better about your social interactions.
While you are having a conversation, try the following for automatic results.
- Hold an upright posture (This opens up the airways)
- Open your throat, imagine speaking from your belly
- Avoid shallow breaths (Breath down through your belly instead)
- Pronounce words with emphasis
Use these tips for immediate changes along with repeating breathing exercises, and playing around with your voice will result in long term change in the way you speak.
8. Lower your pitch slightly
If you’re like me, you’ll automatically get more high-pitched when you try to speak louder. You can counteract that by bringing down your pitch consciously . Too much, and it will sound odd, but try recording yourself and hear what different pitches sound like. As you know, the voice always sounds darker to you than it really is.
On top of that, a lower-pitched voice has another benefit: People tend to pay more attention to someone with a slightly lower-pitched voice.
9. Speak slower
Because my voice was too quiet for group conversations, I developed a bad habit of speaking too fast. It was as if I tried to say whatever I wanted to say before someone would come in and interrupt me.
Ironically, we tend to listen less to people who speak too fast.
Instead, take your time. It’s not about speaking as slow as you can. That will just come off as sleepy and low energy. But dare to add pauses and changing your pacing.
I learned a lot from paying attention to how socially savvy friends talked. Analyze people who are good at telling stories, and notice how they don’t stress to get out what they are trying to say!
10. Use a signal that you’re about to talk
How do you enter an ongoing group conversation if you have a quiet voice? You know that you’re not supposed to interrupt, so you wait for whoever talks to finish, and then, just as you’re about to say your thing, someone else starts talking.
The game-changer for me was using a subconscious signal. Just before I’m about to start talking, I raise my hand so that people react to the movement. At the same time, I breathe (The type of breath we take just before we’re about to start talking) loud enough for people to notice.
This is magic for someone with a naturally quiet voice: Everyone knows that you’re about to say something, and the risk is lower that someone will speak over you.
These are some frames from an actual dinner I hosted a while back. See how everyone looks at the guy in the red t-shirt on frame 1 who’s just done talking. In frame 2, I raised my hand and breathed in, which turned everyone’s heads toward me. In frame 3, you see how I have everyone’s attention as I start talking.
Here’s my full guide on how to join a group conversation .
11. Make eye contact with the right person
I was puzzled that sometimes when I talked, people talked right over me. It was like they didn’t even hear me. After a while, I realized my mistake: I looked away while taking, instead of looking the listeners in their eyes.
Here’s a trick to make sure that people listen to you: Make eye contact with the person you feel has the most influence over the group. That way, you’re subconsciously signaling that you are part of the conversation (even if you don’t say anything and even if you have a quiet voice).
By making eye contact with the most influential person, you are making yourself present in the group.
Whenever you’re talking, keep eye contact with the influential person and other listeners. Keeping eye contact like this “locks” people into your conversation and it’s harder to blatantly speak over you.
12. Acknowledge the ongoing conversation
One way to insert yourself into the conversation is to go along with what is already being said. I make sure to comment on something that has already been a topic of interest. This takes the pressure off to say something extremely meaningful or interesting. And also, the group is more likely to listen to you, even if you have a quiet voice.
You can simply comment, or agree with what’s already happening. We all need to feel validated, so it’s likely you will be received well if you positively reinforce what is already being said. Once you use the power of positive reinforcement you become part of the conversation. At this point, where you already have their attention, you can speak your mind in a more opinionated way.
So here’s how I enter a group conversation to make sure that people listen:
“Liza, you mentioned before that whales are not risking extinction any more, that’s so good to hear! Do you know if that’s the case for the blue whale, too?”
Entering a conversation in this agreeing, acknowledging, probing way helps you make yourself heard, even if your voice is quiet.
13. Visualize yourself as someone people listen to
The most intimidating conversations happen when we view ourselves as an outsider to the social group we are with. It may be partly true, perhaps we are at a social gathering and only know 1-2 people. But it is a HUGE mistake to view yourself as an outsider to the conversation. Rather, think of yourself as NEW.
It took me a long time to realize almost everyone experiences a nervousness of sorts when interacting with new people. Those that come across confidently have often “faked it” until they made it.
A key component in “faking it” is to visualize yourself as part of the conversation.
If you have the mindset that you don’t belong, you will externally communicate that through your body language, so even when you DO work up the nerve to say something, people aren’t going to pay attention because it seems like you don’t want to be part of the conversation.
Instead of writing yourself off, replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, if you commonly think to yourself, “Why am I here, no one cares who I am or what I have to say. ” Think like this instead, “I don’t know many people here, yet, but I will after the night is done.”
Put a positive, but realistic twist on your expectations for the evening. You’ll be surprised how this affects your conversations.
On your way to your next social interaction, visualize yourself as vividly as you can as a socially savvy, popular person who can make yourself heard.
14. Move to the middle of the group
Because I have a naturally quiet voice, it used to feel the safest to be on the outskirt of the group, but that’s the last place to be heard.
Even if you are speaking, it’s going to be hard for others to hear you, and this is where you will get into everyone asking you to repeat what you just said, or worse ignoring what you said because you’re too far away.
Move your body literally towards the center of the conversation. This is an easy way to automatically be part of the conversation. People will notice the movement, so act naturally, and genuinely interested in what is happening. Once they make eye contact with you it’s time to insert your thoughts into the conversation.
Here’s my trick to reposition without coming off as odd: Wait to reposition until you are talking. That’ll make your move look natural.
15. Talk with your body and use hand gestures
If your voice is naturally quiet, be bold with your body. Use your arms, hands, fingers, to make gestures to emphasize the words you are saying. Confidence is exerted through body movements, so move!
Think of your body like an exclamation point. It can bring excitement to the words you speak, and spark interest in those around you. By using gestures to emphasize what you say, you draw attention to yourself, and people will want to listen up and hear exactly what you have to say.
It’s important not to go overboard with this tip. It’s an easy one to overdo, you’ll need to experiment and practice to find a good, natural balance.
16. Don’t overcorrect
After reading and digesting these tips, make sure you don’t take any of them too far. Nothing is more annoying in a group conversation than that one person who insists on making some loud comment about every single thing that is said. Typically those comments have little substance and detract from the conversation flow.
It’s okay to make mistakes, we all do, all the time. Just make sure you try to learn from your mistakes. Try to find a balance where you make yourself heard without being annoying or taking all the attention.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
David Morin is the founder of SocialSelf. He's been writing about social skills since 2012. Follow on Twitter or read more .
How To Speak Fluently (If Your Words Don’t Come Out Right)
How To Stop Mumbling And Start Speaking More Clearly
How to Fix a Monotone Voice
How to Be Comfortable With Silence in a Conversation
“Others will be bored with what I have to say”
thanks. You gave some great advice. I will start breathing then speaking. And I like the idea of lowering my pitch a bit.
Thank you! Very helpful and easy to implement. A tip…practice first with close friends or family. Courage above all and not being afraid to take risks, because social interaction is one of the most important things in a person’s daily life.
Helped a lot, thanks.
Thank you so much for this. With i got idea of where I’m going wrong.
Why do some people think that people who speak softly do so to purposely annoy everyone. I talk soft because I have a soft voice, not because I’m afraid. It gets much worse if I am tired or not feeling up to par. It is extremely hurtful to be mocked and bullied because you don’t have a super voice.
I have a quiet voice and want a solution for that. Hoping it will work. Thank you
Thankyou so much your article helps specially those tips about breathing exercise and using our dipharm. Hope this will work ????
Finally found someone that pinpointed my issue, and has gone through what I’m going through, and not only that gave solutions. So grateful for this article.
You have changed my life for the better… Thank you!
I recently got a job as a cook, the kitchen is very loud and when calling up orders nobody hears me, I tried basically yelling as loud as I could but I just get a big cringe feeling afterwards because I sound high piched and obnoxious when I yell, the article helps alot with this thank you!
Your article meets my needs of how to use ny voice and body language. It is really helping. Thanks
Just make sure you try to larn from your mistakes. :’D
Was very helpful.. Thanks
Since Covid hit, I’ve been living full-time with a family member who’s hearing impaired, and my voice is fast and quiet and at a pitch their hearing aids don’t pick up well. It’s… not been a fun time for either of us. Found your article about a week ago, though, and since then I’ve been trying to learn how to talk through my diaphragm. It’s still a work in progress, but since I started practicing, they only ask me to repeat myself once or twice a day now instead of after every sentence 😀 I’m only sad I didn’t find this earlier, it feels like I wasted years of opportunities from not knowing how to talk in a way that people don’t hate listening to. Thank you for this, though!
Nicely described and explained
Really helpful advice especially about the physical signals and an intake of breath to have people take notice before we speak. Great – thanks!
This is the best thing I will read and learned from today. Thanks for sharing this with the world. I was so compelled that I had to share with my friends. Great piece. It was JUST on point!
My Voice Is Too Too Low
I went to a seminar where the speaker had an effective tactic to refocus attention. He would raise the volume of his voice for the first word or phrase, then drop it back to normal speaking tone and carry on. Often he would pair this with a bit of a pause after the volume shock for everyone to recover from the snap to their attention and settle in to listening.
The problem with low speaking is usually physiological and better serve by speech therapy than learning to be confident. If you feel you need to speak louder and do so without doing it correctly, you will hurt your throat/vocal/esophagus which is essentially what produces your voice.
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Unlock Your Voice Potential: How to Improve Your Voice Projection
It’s one thing to recognize the power of your voice, but quite another to learn how to unlock its potential so it can be heard—loud and clear—in any room.
As a master of the spoken word, understanding how to project your voice can be instrumental in communicating your message effectively.
We all have different voices with different tones, so learning how to amplify and refine our voices can be challenging. Despite this, there’s still hope—with the right strategies and strategies, you can improve your voice projection and make the most of your voice’s power.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how to use vocal exercises and other methods to unlock your voice potential and make way for exciting opportunities. So, ready to learn how to own the room with your voice? Read on!
Practicing proper breathing technique is essential for strong vocal projection. Additionally, practice speaking loudly with clear enunciation while stretching and strengthening your vocal cords may also help improve voice projection.
How to Project Your Voice
Projecting your voice is an important skill to possess both in professional and personal life. It allows you to communicate with clarity, strength, and confidence. Here are a few key tips on how to do it: 1. Stand up straight and tall while speaking. This isn’t just good posture but also supportive posture – in other words, standing up straight will encourage your vocal cords to move. 2. Open up your mouth when speaking by widening the inside of your mouth and relaxing the jaw muscles. Create a clear pathway for the air to pass through so that you can project your voice fully and powerfully. 3. Use diaphragmatic breathing when projecting your voice by taking deep breaths into the stomach while speaking. This encourages your lungs to fill up with air which helps add energy and strength to the voice when it’s released from your mouth. 4. Speak with subtle variety by changing intonations and emphasizing words by adding volume and clarity with each syllable. By using articulation , it will give your speech more energy and impact which resonates more deeply with listeners rather than monotone speech delivery. 5. Relax - this can be easier said than done but tension can have a negative effect on sound waves produced by the vocal cords, making it less audible when it reaches the back of the room or outer ear of those who are hearing you speaking. Overall, there isn’t one definitive answer on how to project your voice – different people use different approaches because what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. However using some of these tips should go a long way in helping you project your voice effectively and confidently in any situation. Now let's take the next step towards unlocking your potential at projecting your voice: discovering how to connect with your breath.
Connect With Your Breath
Breath is an integral part of voice projection and vocal production. Without the proper use of breath, you will never really be able to unlock your true voice potential.
Though you may think making a loud sound with your voice is all about straining and putting extra pressure on vocal cords, in reality, it’s quite the opposite. Breath is what gives your words power, resonance and clarity. It’s important to develop a good breathing technique. The focus should be on diaphragmatic breathing—breathing from your abdomen, rather than just your chest.
Diaphragm breathing helps promote full, deep breaths that allow for more oxygen exchange. This extra oxygen can help you sustain notes, reach greater pitch ranges and project more powerfully and consistently throughout your performance. The debate between whether or not diaphragmatic breathing is necessary for effective vocal projection has been ongoing for many years. Some say that it’s essential to achieving powerful vocal projection while others feel that effective volume can be achieved without abdominal breath.
This could be argued both ways but in the end it comes down to personal preference as some people prefer to employ various breathing techniques for different purposes like increasing endurance or developing particular resonant qualities of the voice. No matter which approach to breath you take though, it’s important to actively think about how you are using breath during engagement with language activities such as speaking or singing in order to support optimal voice quality.
Now that you have connected with your breath, let's move on to a section about opening your body to resonate!
Open Your Body to Resonate
Having a powerful voice that resonates with audiences starts with developing the right vocal technique. To open your body to resonate properly and amplify your voice, you must learn to use breath, posture, placement, and projection. Breath is essential for vocal production and can affect how loud and clear your voice sounds. You must practice breathing from your diaphragm in order to take slow breaths and project your voice easily during speaking engagements .
Your posture will help open your chest cavity and allow for optimal vibration of sound when speaking. Stand or sit up straighter when you speak - this will naturally relax your torso and create space for the air from the breathing exercises to vibrate throughout your entire chest. Placement is also key for vocal projection. Many people make the mistake of mumbling their words or speaking too quickly, resulting in an unclear or muffled sound.
Make sure to find a balance between staying relaxed yet still providing enough energy behind each phrase without rushing through it. Speak as though you are talking directly to listeners, even if they are far away – roll syllables on the tongue instead of mumbling consonants. Projection of sound is one of the most important components of having a powerful voice; without it, the volume and clarity of what you say can be diminished significantly. Use facial expressions such as raising your brows or flicking your tongue when speaking to emphasize certain points and create volume with your words.
Additionally, practice speaking into a recording device and listen for any soft spots or static so that you can fix them before speaking publicly. When mastered correctly, these four principles of vocal projection: breath, posture, placement, and projection - can drastically improve the impact of one’s voice during public presentations.
With the knowledge of how best to open up your body to resonate properly and amplify your voice, comes confidence in speaking with projection - which will be discussed further in the next section.
Confidence in Speaking With Projection
Having confidence in speaking with projection is essential to unlocking your voice potential. Speaking confidently will allow you to use the techniques that will be discussed later in order to improve your vocal projection. Without a confident mindset and the proper techniques, it can be hard to even try to make improvements in the way you speak. One example of how your level of confidence affects your vocal projection is that when you’re feeling confident, your breathing patterns are likely to be more controlled and calm, which then allows for more consistent speech patterns.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling anxious or nervous while speaking , it often causes tension in the muscles in the throat that can restrict airflow and limit your ability to project be heard clearly. It's also important not to think too much into what you're saying while speaking. Some people may have an overactive internal speech monitor going on inside their head while they talk. This type of self-talk can be distracting and detrimental. It tends to cause undue stress on their vocal folds that can hinder their ability to pronounce words naturally and clearly. In summary, having a high level of confidence when speaking with projection is key for success in improving one's vocal ability. If this state of confidence is absent, even the most expertly applied vocal techniques may fail.
With that being said, let's move onto how we can strengthen our vocal muscles, which will be discussed in the next section.
Strengthen Vocal Muscles
Having the ability to speak loudly and confidently is an important skill for anyone , whether speaking in a group of people or projecting one’s work across an office. To achieve strong voice projection, vocal muscles must be strengthened in order to increase volume output and sustain this power over time. One of the ways to do so is by singing and engaging in other vocal exercises; for example, trying a shadow technique in which you stand facing someone else and mimic their facial expressions and mouth movements as they read aloud a script or passage.
This type of practice stimulates breathing patterns, how the tongue moves inside the mouth, and helps build strength through greater vocal flexibility. Yogic glottal compression is another exercise used to increase vocal strength. During this practice, one inhales deeply while holding their breath until there is a need to exhale; then, clenching both sides of your throat together makes a harsh “whooshing” sound as air escapes. This may sound odd at first, but it strengthens the throat muscles around the vocal cords which increases vocal production. Lastly, having proper posture to make sure your vocals will have space for projection can help fill out your sound. Besides being good for spine health, keeping your chest open allows for more air flow exchange from your lungs when speaking.
Additionally, avoid closing off your head and neck by relaxing any tightness in these areas – tension creates a block that impairs resonance and even speech clarity over time. When used consistently alongside regular voice warm-ups and addressing any general lifestyle habits that could be working against you (like not getting enough sleep), these strategies can help boost vocal production significantly.
By taking these steps to strengthen adjacent muscles needed for successful voice projection, you will now be ready to explore how one can communicate without raising their tones too high with our next section on projecting voice without shouting.
Projecting Voice Without Shouting
Projecting voice without shouting can seem like an impossible task. Some may argue that one cannot project without yelling, while others suggest an increased vocal volume is possible if done correctly.
Regardless of the viewpoint, it is important to know how to project the voice in a powerful way without having to yell. The key to projecting without shouting is to practice and strengthen vocal control. Strengthening the diaphragm will help project sound with greater efficacy. This can be accomplished through activities such as breathing exercises and speaking drills.
An effective breathing exercise is to place one's hands on the stomach while inhaling deeply and slowly through the nose. This should cause your stomach to expand and contract with each breath, which will force your lungs to work harder. In addition, engaging in speaking drills can help you better control your vocal range by targeting specific frequencies or tones in your vocalisation technique.
For instance, try counting from 1-10 repeatedly at a higher pitch than normal speaking range. Not only will you begin strengthening your diaphragm but you will also gain better control of your pitch as you practice different tones and ranges with every exhalation of air. No matter what viewpoint is taken, it is important to recognize that vocal projection can be achieved without having to raise one's voice unduly; practice and some knowledge of basic techniques are all that are needed for success in this endeavor.
With these tips in mind, the next step is learning techniques for making sound louder - a crucial topic for any aspiring speaker or singer looking for their voices to be heard outside of their own minds!
Techniques for Making Sound Louder
When it comes to improving one's voice projection, the ability to make sound louder is paramount. Learning techniques to make sound louder can help individuals feel more confident and successful in vocal performances of all types.
Fortunately, there are several techniques that can be used to make one’s voice louder with practice and dedication. One technique is to improve breath control. Taking deep breaths prior to speaking and then using the entire quota of breath while speaking will ensure maximum volume in the spoken word.
Additionally, using diaphragmatic breathing exercises - such as those often used by actors - can further help individuals release air properly when delivering a verbal performance. Speaking with a clear diction is another technique that can dramatically improve voice projection in terms of volume. Speaking clearly will not only result in increased volume, but it will also ensure that your message is heard clearly by your intended audience.
This involves vocalizing each word at an appropriate level and avoiding mumbling or slurring syllables together. It is also important to speak from the abdominal area rather than allowing words to “pop” from the mouth—this forces air through the mouth for an optimized loudness when speaking.
Furthermore, shouting isn’t necessarily the best way of increasing the power of one’s voice projection; instead, learning how to use natural resonance will allow you to project your voice powerfully without damaging or straining your vocal cords. Finally, it is important not only to use facial expression and body language as part of vocal performances - these components can also impact overall loudness when speaking or singing.
Using these tools effectively will create an entirety where greater volume can be achieved without having to shout or strain the throat unnecessarily - leading to improved vocal projection without sacrificing comfort and ease of delivery in the process. Leading into the next section on “The Ideal Range of Voice Projection," people must learn how to optimize their voices' natural loudness capabilities through the results-producing techniques mentioned above before they can obtain proper pitch variation in their vocal performances.
- Studies have indicated that the use of proper vocal projection technique can increase vocal volume and make it easier to manage fatigue during extended periods of speaking.
- Proper vocal projection technique has been found to reduce both laryngeal tension and risk of vocal damage by decreasing peak sound pressure levels..
The Ideal Range of Voice Projection
The ideal range of voice projection is a contentious question in the world of public speaking. Some believe that amplified volume can reflect decisiveness, while others caution that louder voices can come across as aggressive and even domineering.
To strike a balance between these two expectations, many suggest that the optimum range for a speaker’s volume fall between loud enough to be heard yet soft enough to retain overall control. On one hand, an audience should easily be able to hear the speaker regardless of where they are seated. Achieving loudness allows an individual to reach their entire audience and captivate their attention with various emotional tones. Moreover, it ensures a powerful presence during key points of speeches or presentations. Conversely, some argue that the louder a speaker gets, the more difficult it becomes for listeners to maintain focus on what is being said. If a voice is too loud, it distracts from its message and can appear overwhelming or intimidating.
The presence of amplification devices may also complicate matters; amplifiers must be calibrated correctly and can work as double-edged swords if used poorly. In conclusion, using one’s voice to its full potential requires striking the right balance between being heard without being obtrusive. Practicing a wide range of pitches and volumes is necessary for finding one’s ideal range of voice projection.
With this in mind, let us move on to highlight methods for perfecting the art of vocal projection through practice in the next section.
Practicing Voice Projection
Voice projection—the ability to be heard clearly, yet comfortably, in any environment—requires practice and effort, but can be learned by anyone. To improve your voice projection, start by having an understanding of the basics of vocal technique.
Utilizing breath control, resonance, diction, and pitch can all have a major impact on whether your voice is louder or quieter. When practicing voice projection, focus on making sure your breaths are even and deep. Taking several large inhales and exhales can help you ensure that you always keep an even flow of air when speaking.
Additionally, pay attention to the placement of your vocal resonance by directing the sound from your throat up into the nasal cavity area. This will allow for a richer tone to carry throughout the room more easily. Diction is also important for both clarity and volume. Pay close attention to enunciation so that every word and syllable comes out with absolute clarity as you speak. If you are speaking too quickly or mumbling unsure words, you will be less understandable and come across as soft-spoken.
In addition to finding and maintaining rhythm when speaking, pay attention to pitch as well, as it can add lot of color to the vocal performance. Varying the pitch not only makes conversation much more interesting but also allows you to reach a wider range of volumes without straining or shouting. Finally, practice projecting your voice in real life settings such as speaking in front groups of people. Find a space which allows sound to reverberate off walls and ceilings which can help increase the loudness of your voice naturally easier than if you were speaking in a dead room with no reverberation at all.
With enough practice, improving the volume and strength of your voice should become second nature in no time. Now that we understand the fundamentals for how practicing voice projection can help us unlock our true vocal potentials, let's look into how we can apply these takeaways towards everyday scenarios with our next section about "Takeaways On Using Voice Projection".
Takeaways On Using Voice Projection
Having good voice projection is essential for effective communication. It is especially important for those in professions that rely heavily on public speaking or working with large groups, such as teachers , politicians, or business professionals. The most important takeaway is to practice and be aware of the volume of your speaking voice . There are many strategies and techniques to improve one’s vocal control and projection. At the heart of it all is knowing oneself and finding what works best for each individual. This can take time, but it will be worth it in the end. The goal is to find a balance between conscious effort and natural efficiency to ensure an optimal end result. The most important thing to remember when using voice projection is that there should be a limit to how loud one speaks. Speaking too loudly can not only make one sound unprofessional, but also create an unpleasant listening experience for everyone else around them. Find a level of speech that is neither too loud nor too soft and practice having consistent volume control. When speaking, it’s important to remember the importance of breath control, enunciation, and pauses . Deep breathing keeps the vocal cords well oxygenated which helps maintain a consistent tone and pitch. Clear enunciation increases clarity at both low and high volumes while pauses can help draw attention from the audience and emphasize certain points throughout the speech. Finally, adding vocal variety by changing one’s inflection and rate can greatly enhance communication efforts. Through mastering these things in tandem with correct posture, a speaker can maximize their effectiveness when using voice projection.
Though some may take more effort than others to master, even small improvements can make a huge difference in how listeners react to their words. Overall, proper use of voice projection plays an essential role in any form of successful communication. Being aware of one’s own vocal capabilities and taking advantage of different techniques can help speakers unlock their full potential when delivering speeches or presentations in any setting.
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
How can i improve my voice projection.
Improving voice projection can be achieved by focusing on strengthening your vocal muscles, improving your breathing technique and experimenting with your intonation. Strengthening your vocal muscles is key to projecting your voice further. This can be done through vocal exercises such as humming, lip trills, or sirens. Abdominal breathing is also key to proper voice projection; focus on taking a deep breath and then slowly exhale while you speak.
Additionally, experiment with different tones in your speaking – try higher pitches for softer messages and lower pitches for more intense ones. Finally, try to imagine you are talking to a larger crowd when practicing and engaging with people, even if you are alone. This will help you learn how to project your voice more effectively.
Are there any tools or techniques that can help with voice projection?
Yes, there are tools and techniques that can help with voice projection. Firstly, speaking loudly and more confidently will help you to project your voice enough for your audience to hear.
Practicing your speech ahead of time, imagining that you have a microphone, and standing in the right posture can all make a difference in the power of your voice. Additionally, using a megaphone or a microphone can substantially increase volume and allow you to reach larger audiences or fill bigger spaces.
Finally, training your vocal muscles using resonance exercise and vocal warm-ups may help you develop strong and effective projection of your voice.
What are the benefits of voice projection?
The benefits of voice projection are numerous and include improved communication, increased confidence, better leadership skills, and a stronger presence. Improved Communication : By being able to project your voice effectively, you are able to communicate more clearly and with greater power. This allows you to express yourself more fully and make a greater impact on the people around you. Increased Confidence: Voice projection can help you feel more confident about the messages you are conveying since it allows your voice to carry further and be heard by more people. With increased confidence, you can become an effective communicator who is respected and admired. Better Leadership Skills: By using strong projection skills, you can develop better leadership skills that allow you to inspire and motivate people. Your voice can come alive when used as a tool for captivating an audience and sending out powerful messages. Stronger Presence: With developed voice projection skills, you can create a stronger presence in any situation. Whether it’s at work, school, or social gatherings, your voice will always be clear and consistent, ensuring that people remember what was said. Overall, having good voice projection skills can have a positive effect on all areas of life: communications skills , leadership skills, and self-confidence will all be bolstered with proper craftsmanship.
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How to Project Your Voice when You're Singing
Last Updated: September 18, 2023 Approved
This article was co-authored by Amy Chapman, MA . Amy Chapman MA, CCC-SLP is a vocal therapist and singing voice specialist. Amy is a licensed and board certified speech & language pathologist who has dedicated her career to helping professionals improve and optimize their voice. Amy has lectured on voice optimization, speech, vocal health, and voice rehabilitation at universities across California, including UCLA, USC, Chapman University, Cal Poly Pomona, CSUF, CSULA. Amy is trained in Lee Silverman Voice Therapy, Estill, LMRVT, and is a part of the American Speech and Hearing Association. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 86,735 times.
Learning how to project your voice when you sing actually makes singing easier. It’s also better for your voice, and it can make your singing sound more beautiful. The best part? It’s not hard to learn! You'll notice a difference just by making simple changes to the way you sing and doing some basic vocal exercises, and below we'll walk you through how to get started.
Projecting Power to Your Voice
- A great way to perfect your posture is to imagine you’re a marionette puppet on stage and that a string is holding you upright by the top of your head by a puppet master.  X Research source Your posture will be perfect but in a much more relaxed way.
- Maintain straight posture, but do it in a way that it doesn’t place too much tension onto your body. You want your focus to be on singing, not on how uncomfortable your body feels in that position.  X Research source
- Support your voice through breath control. Pull breath from your diaphragm and abdomen muscles by breathing slowly and deeply into your belly. Regulate the amount of breath you use by releasing the breath in a controlled way versus exhaling quickly with force.
- While you sing, imagine that your mouth is a resonator guitar. Unlike typical acoustic guitars where the sound comes from the top of the guitar, sound leaves the resonator guitar through the bridge to the resonator, one or more of the spun metal cones.  X Research source A resonator uses vibrations to project along the guitar’s mouth. Replicate that effect and pull your singing voice to the areas around your mouth where you feel the sound vibrating to project while you sing.
- Find this by practicing humming exercises. Hum at the end of “mmm” sounds. This will help you feel vibrations and resonance in your face near your mouth and nasal area.  X Research source
- Don’t pay attention to how you hear yourself in your head, instead focus on this area to learn where your voice will come from. This creates less force when you sing.
- Place your focus on the back of the auditorium or the room to help the sound of your voice carry by giving its range a focal point.  X Research source
- Pick a person or an object in the crowd to help center your focus even further. Having someone in the audience to sing to is a helpful tactic in honing your focus. Choosing a tangible object as a focal point while you sing is equally effective.  X Research source
Preventing Vocal Strain
- Although vocal rest can be done before performances to rest the voice and remedy vocals that have been over-practiced, vocal rest is also useful after performances as well.  X Research source
- Put yourself on vocal rest at least one full day per week, especially if you perform regularly and/or sing aggressively.  X Research source
- If you have laryngitis, you should put yourself on vocal rest for a few days so you have time to heal.
- Warm ups should gradually build in intensity. Start gently and build slowly to volumes, efforts, and ranges of higher intensity.  X Research source
- When the voice is warmed up, start with less vocally challenging songs to sing. That way you give your voice time to continue to warm up and stretch before moving on to more vocally demanding material.  X Research source
Keeping Your Voice Healthy for Projecting
- Drinking herb tea with lemon or honey daily can help maintain your vocal capabilities.
- Dry throat can also be prevented with the help of sleeping with a vaporizer or humidifier that adds moisture in the air.
- A tight throat is similar to the way your muscles constrict when you swallow. A loose, relaxed throat is how your throat feels when you yawn. Notice how even if you project a loud sound in that instance, it does not strain your vocals whatsoever. That’s the place you need to sing with.
- Practice vocal warm ups in front of the mirror to monitor and observe throat movements when you sing certain notes, especially with higher notes.
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
- If you don’t care for drinking water, consume fruits with a lot of water like melons, cucumbers or grapes. Try to drink water at varying temperatures to find the temperature you prefer. Consider adding flavored mixes into your water to make them more enjoyable. Thanks Helpful 14 Not Helpful 0
- If you feel any sort of strain, hydrate yourself with water, drink hot tea, and place yourself on vocal rest to give your vocal cords time to remedy themselves. Thanks Helpful 15 Not Helpful 1
- Don't eat chocolate before you sing, as this makes it harder to hit those high and low notes. Thanks Helpful 9 Not Helpful 0
- Avoid vocal misuse with actions like screaming, hollering, yelling, throat clearing, talking loudly, whispering, and singing with vocal warm ups. Thanks Helpful 13 Not Helpful 2
- Don’t consume dairy before you sing, it coats your chords and makes you strain to sing. This will cause your attempts at projecting to fail and your cords potential damage. Thanks Helpful 12 Not Helpful 2
- If you have mold or mildew allergies, do not use vaporizers or humidifiers because they increase moisture in the environment. Thanks Helpful 8 Not Helpful 2
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://www.penguinsonthinice.com/Voice%20Projection%20Tips.pdf
- ↑ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resonator_guitar
- ↑ https://www.musicclout.com/contents/article-343-how-to-prevent-vocal-cord-damage.aspx
- ↑ https://www.uu.edu/dept/music/library/safety/VocalHealthInformation.pdf
- ↑ http://www.singingforaliving.com/articles/pro-secrets/
- ↑ http://thesingingvoice.com/tips/singers
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Speak Up! A Guide to Voice Projection
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.
- Speech Pauses
- Filler Words (um, ah)
- Speaking Rate
- Vocal Volume
- Vocal Projection
- Vocal Strength Exercises
The Three Key Components of a Powerful Sound
The key components of a powerful sound are:
- passion, and
- strong vocal physique.
The first two components are achieved by being yourself and by being clear about your intention. The third, through awareness and practice.
Personality is “you” and the unique gifts you share with your audience. Personality is the unique imprint your thought leaves on your voice, making it distinguishable from other voices and revealing things about your particular experiences and perspective. You cannot escape the revelatory nature of your voice. The essence of who you are is in your voice for all to hear.
If you want to be heard, it’s vital that you celebrate your authentic self. In a New York Times interview Ursula Burns, the impressive new head of Xerox Corporation, wisely remarked, “I can’t try to say it in somebody else’s voice. I have to say it in my voice.”
Passion is the power of intention aligned with content and personality. We have already covered personality, so what about intention and content?
Content is simply what you have to say. It’s your message, your words, your ideas manifested in spoken form. Intention, on the other hand, is what you have in mind to do or bring about. It is why you are speaking in the first place, why you are standing in front of an audience, what you hope to accomplish. When intention, content and personality align, we have passion. And when there is passion, powerful things happen.
When a speaker is passionate, they seem authentic and genuine. For that reason, actors are trained to pour intent in their lines and speak with passion. We are so tuned in to this aspect of voices that babies as young as six months old can discern intention in voices. I have written about this subject in my blog.
If your intention is unclear, if it conflicts with your message or even with the reason people think you are there, your vocal power will diminish and you’ll lose your audience.
3. Strong Vocal Physique
“ Speaking louder doesn’t create a powerful voice. ”
Strong vocal physique is the ability to produce a vibrantly resonant sound and to have a good command of breathing technique.
Because sound travels on air, resonance and air are intimately connected in the voice. In an earlier Six Minutes article, I focus on good breathing technique for speaking . This is important because air itself makes the voice work. As you exhale, air moves from your lungs through your trachea (or windpipe). It then passes between your vocal folds (also called arytenoids and vocal cords) and brings those muscles together. As they vibrate, sound happens. You use your throat, tongue, lips, and jaw to shape the sound into words.
Now, if someone tells you to speak up, there is a good chance you will use more air as you increase your volume. That’s an improvement. But speaking more loudly may just come across as yelling — and you also risk straining your voice. It is more correct to suggest that you stand up straight, take a big breath, and use more air to carry the sound as you speak up, but that is a very long set of instructions for even the best of sound men! Better that you know what “project” means so you do it right.
Developing Resonance through Awareness and Practice
Resonance is the reverberation or repetition of sound in the environment in which it was created. When someone speaks, resonance is created in the body as well as in the surrounding area. The resonance in the body can be felt by the speaker. The two extremes of resonance are “head voice,” which is where high sounds resonate, and “chest voice,” which is where low sounds resonate.
However, most sounds the human voice makes can also resonate in the mask, or the front of the face. A voice with plenty of mask resonance is strong, and clear, no matter how loud or soft. A voice with good mask resonance is pleasant to listen to and flexible, allowing for rich vocal variety.
Mask resonance is a combination of nasal and mouth resonance. The sound you are looking for will produce a pronounced vibration in the front of your face.
Try it now. Say “Mmmmm.” See if you can feel the buzzy sensation in the front of your face. (I’ve had a lot of fun doing this on radio interviews.) That’s mask resonance. Another way to produce it is to simply say “Mmm-hmm,” like an enthusiastic “yes.” Now say, “Mmm-hmm one. Mmm-hmm two. Mmm-hmm three.” Can you feel that sensation carry over into the words “one,” “two,” and “three?”
Use mask resonance at the beginning of a sentence and try to keep that sensation in the words that follow. For example, say “Mmmmmm. It’s great to see you.”
Did you feel the resonance in the mask as you spoke “It’s great to see you,” or did it fade away?
Try it again. This does require some practice. Spend 20 minutes a day working with this, and add it to your awareness as you practice your presentations.
Don’t be afraid of nasal resonance, but know that you need a good combination of mouth and nose, which is why the focus is in the front of the face, not just the nose. If a voice sounds too nasal, it is as bad as one that has no mask resonance. Eventually, you will learn to use mask resonance all the time. As a bonus, according to Swedish researchers , mask resonance is also good for your health.
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.
- You 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 passion for your message by setting a clear intention.
- And you project your voice by developing a resonant sound that is supported with your whole body through air and energy.
When you do these three things, you will be heard .
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Great article Kate, and blows a hole right through the over-simplistic training approaches that are often used on “presentation skills courses” and the like. If it was as easy as “speaking up”, no-one would have an issue with it for long!
Great stuff, thanks.
Great points in this article.
Shouting doesn’t get it, does it?
Your verbiage about Passion hits the Bull’s Eye of getting an audience to connect and receive your message.
Great Post – Thanks!
Loved every bit of the article. I had bad vocal projection years ago and improved by following Rogers , recently my voice has been affected by speaking slowly as my work requires to affecting my vocal cords. Your exercise will be beneficial to me. Thanks once again Kate!
Interesting article Kate. From a practical side of doing a sound check, its often a case that the speaker does not have the microphone close enough to their mouth. You often see people drop a hand-held microphone down while they are speaking or do not have a lecturn-attached microphone adjusted to their height.
While you are working on your above three tips, make sure you have the microphone closer to your mouth but avoid blowing / breathing directly into it while speaking.
Warwick John Fahy Author, The One Minute Presenter
I totally agree with this. Good voice projection is vital in delivering a good speech. Aside from this you also have to be prepared. Confidence springs from preparation.
One of the ways that I learned vocal projection was by dictating my speeches. You can use any dictation software and if your accuracy rate is low then you know that you are mumbling. It was a roundabout way to improving my projection.
Hi Kate, Your article resonated with me. When I coach my clients about projecting their voices, I also refer to very similar analogies and techniques. Thank you! Kelly
I’m part of a ministry and frequently speak but struggle to project my voice. This is the first time I’ve read something so simple that actually helps! I could totally feel the difference when I did the exercise and spoke from the mask. Wow! Thank you!
One of the reasons I really don’t like to go to a lot of plays anymore, is that the actors raise their voices so loud in some scenes that it’s just obnoxious and a burden to the ears. Why the need to yell lines so loudly, even in intense scenes, where everyone can more than hear you? Just saw “Amadeus” in Asheville and the actors yelled so loud in certain scenes that my nervous system was affected.
I’m a singer, sound engineers love me because I’ve got so much power they don’t have to turn me up, which means they don’t have to fight feedback.
My favorite technique for loosening my body in order to create body resonance is yoga’s “warrior pose”. Done right, it stretches the psoas muscles, the stomach, and the throat.
Can you please send me videos with respect to this pose or type of yoga that makes voice powerful?
As a public speaking trainer, I like this list of suggestions Kate. With regard to communicating passion – it can be useful to actually visualise speaking from the heart. Similarly we can increase our power if we imagine speaking from the gut. If anyone is interested in more detail on this I wrote a blog piece about this here: http://presencetraining.co.uk/where-do-you-speak-from-using-your-body-public-speaking/
Hi, I’m a speaking coach in NZ. I really enjoyed reading this. It put what I teach in lovely simple terms. I’ve just started my website and learning about ‘blogging’ Great site.
Best suggestions I have ever had for the mumbling I have been accused of all my life. Thanks
WOW, this is so amazing. I could feel every bit of the sensation. I am a very passionate actor by passion but engineer and science student all my life by compulsion. ( A lousy one) But Finally I decided to audition for USC next year in Feb for the MFA ACTING, and I did theater, in India very briefly and couple short films. So I do have an audience experience. But singing, rapping and acting is all about the voice. And as I prepare to do THE JOKER( HEATH STRICTLY) AND CAPT JACK SPARROW( MR.DEPP RESPECTEDLY) Voice is all I care about, as the reverberations and resonance, come only through, the crisp, rich deep voice. I hope I nail it and get selected. This will be a dream come true for me, if I do. I somehow, happened to suck at everything else, But this is different. This I am PASSIONATE ABOUT! AND I EMPHASIZE ON PASSION, I AM SO HAPPY YOU DID TOO. THAT IS THE ROOT OF ANYTHING EXCELLENT IN THIS UNIVERSE. So Voice is something that I needed to train, Thanks so much, Do help me with more tips, to make my VOICE SOUND POWERFUL, RICH, CLEAR AND CRISP!
Much Love, Dorein.
Hope I win.
Voice hoarse for more 10 weeks 1st time this year Im teaching gr 3 now Gr 6 in last 6 minths was difficult for me Thanks so much for this valuable info for me Today I spime in stacf meeting and was so embarrassed when my voice failed me Thanks a million times Thank you very much Xxxxx Rosy Cape Town SA
HOW CAN I KEEP THE RESONANCE. WHAT SHOULD ID DO. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP
Great article with a lot many practical ideas derived from sound theoretical knowledge which one can use for making his/her voice, speech or presentation attractive.
I just hugged you many times, Kate. Thank You!
How to Project Your Voice when Speaking https://t.co/4Xxe3JlMP6 by @6minutes — @nataliaybravo Dec 21st, 2015
The content of a speech is really only half the battle. Preparation in delivery is key. https://t.co/cv4k173Jez — @UofTPS Jan 10th, 2016
Speak Up! A Guide to Voice Projection | https://t.co/Q56kvzGB8g @6minutes #publicspeaking https://t.co/l1hhLJHt7G — GoReact (@GoReact) Feb 21st, 2016
Here is a Guide to Voice #Projection https://t.co/zPSzOS84dO — Prezentt (@Prezentt) Mar 14th, 2016
Speak Up! A Guide to Voice Projection https://t.co/CTvNfohryh by @6minutes — @steel_jo Apr 7th, 2016
https://t.co/CgswgVPEoS — @sagustin Apr 15th, 2016
Speak Up! A Guide to Voice Projection https://t.co/SFKRIrOBCD by @6minutes — @coach_slick Nov 18th, 2016
Actor Advice: “Speak Up! A Guide to Voice Projection” #actorslife #actor https://t.co/d1sbUb4Fpi — @dhunte Mar 29th, 2017
Qualities of voice are very hard to pin down but this oldie-but-goodie has lots of good tips. I hope it helps you. https://t.co/MxMkV0Wz5t — @Dawncjcj Jul 20th, 2018
“Speaking louder doesn’t create a powerful voice.” – @k8peters Our Executive VoiceWorks course focuses on vocal dev… https://t.co/6P8qSLtctm — @voiceworks_sa Sep 19th, 2018
8 Blog Links
Kate's Voice » 10 Ways to Love Your Voice! — Apr 12th, 2010
Weekly links roundup by Communications from DMN — May 14th, 2010
Weekly links roundup by Communications from DMN — Jun 4th, 2010
Kate's Voice » How to Create a Voice with “Executive Presence” — May 11th, 2011
Vocal Tip: Developing Vocal Resonance (The Pencil Tip) | Northrop Grumman Toastmasters Club 212 — Nov 11th, 2011
How To Introduce A Speaker — Dec 8th, 2011
Kate's Voice » How to create a strong voice, Part 1: Resonate! — Jul 8th, 2013
Kate's Voice » How to create a strong voice, Part 2, Envision — Jul 8th, 2013
- Majora Carter (TED, 2006) Energy, Passion, Speaking Rate
- Hans Rosling (TED, 2006) 6 Techniques to Present Data
- J.A. Gamache (Toastmasters, 2007) Gestures, Prop, Writing
- Steve Jobs (Stanford, 2005) Figures of speech, rule of three
- Al Gore (TED, 2006) Humor, audience interaction
- Dick Hardt (OSCON, 2005) Lessig Method of Presentation
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The Harvard Gazette
Why are you yelling, new thinking on aspirin and colorectal cancer needs dose of nuance, expert says, health & medicine.
Better to let anger out or hold it in? Neither one, says an expert.
Here’s what’s behind all of that noise
By Steve Calechman Harvard Health Blog Contributor
Date October 25, 2021 November 8, 2023
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You’ve been trying to get your point across, but it’s not getting through. It’s getting you frustrated, maybe a little offended, so you go for a different approach.
Now, concert-level volume has its place, like for saying, “There’s a bear behind you” or “Power line down.” But the big question is, how often do those situations come up? The answer is, rarely.
Next question: How often do you reach that intensity? “Too often” is that answer. You know that it doesn’t work. It never feels good. It never makes the situation better. You would just like to stop doing it.
It’s good to have that desire, but you need more to make it happen. What helps is to play detective to uncover your triggers, then set reasonable expectations, because underlying the yelling is stress, something that isn’t disappearing. The question, as Antonia Chronopoulos, clinical psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, asks, is “How do you regulate yourself in a tense situation?”
Start with the basics
Before you can stop, it helps to understand why we yell in the first place.
We could be in a debate and feel like we’re not being heard. We take it as an insult, get frustrated, and the brain’s limbic system sees it as a threat and sets off the fight-or-flight response.
Our blood pressure rises, breathing becomes shallow, and muscles tense up. Since our history factors in, we can start making assumptions. Adrenaline makes everything go faster, and our attention narrows. “When we’re in survival mode, we’re not thinking about creative solutions as effectively,” she says. “The prime directive is to defend, escape, or fight.”
It’s also not a solo act. We’re yelling at someone, and our attempt to control the situation triggers that person, setting off the aforementioned emotional and physiological reactions, and possibly creating a shoutfest (which is anything but festive).
And there’s one more part, which gets overlooked: the flight element. If we decide to not yell and end up holding anger in, the same process is still taking place: the tense muscles, shallow breathing, narrow focus. We might not be making a lot of noise, but we’re far from calm or looking to improve the situation. “It’s almost like a freeze response,” Chronopoulos says.
The goal is to find the middle ground: not fighting, not flighting, and where you can be more in tune with the other person.
This is an excerpt from an article that appears on the Harvard Health Publishing website.
To read the full story
Steve Calechman is a contributing editor for Men’s Health, a writer for MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program, and his work has appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, Greentech Media, Fatherly, and BabyCenter.
“It would be a mistake to jump to the automatic conclusion that [aspirin is] not going to be beneficial. It’s still worth discussing with your doctor and for the scientific community to pursue further research,” says Andrew Chan, director of cancer epidemiology at the Mass. General Cancer Center.
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Project Your Voice
How to project your voice without yelling.
How to Project Your Voice for Improv, Acting & Public Speaking!
Discover more from The Armadillo Lab
The importance and art of projecting your voice on stage and how improv helps with that plus a real world tale to clarify..
THE ARMADILLO LAB
Improv Tips & Talking Points
TO BE HEARD: You’ve got an improv performance coming up and you’re concerned about the audience being able to hear your performance. It’s a natural concern for new improvisers, actors or public speakers. Those with experience just smile. The solution is simple-voice projection! When speaking in front of a live audience you need to project your voice. It comes naturally to some but most performers have to learn how to use voice projection effectively. Projecting your voice is not yelling nor speaking in a barely audible mellow tone either. Yeah, you can save that hipster mumble for the upcoming Oscar winning film performance you’re hoping to snag in the future.
Two of my improv classes at Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida are preparing for a showcase ***performance. A couple students asked if we would have microphones… The short answer is yes but the longer explanation is that as a performer you shouldn’t need them. You should be able to project naturally, especially in a room designed to amplify performers voices.
PROJECTING FOR THE AUDIENCE: When you are performing on stage you should first and foremost not face your backside to the audience and second you should work to be heard, to project! That’s because audiences want to hear and see what you are doing rather than guess. Projecting has to do with speaking loud enough to be heard at least six rows in but not yelling nor straining your voice.
THE STAGE WHISPER: When you whisper on stage you don’t really whisper you just give the impression that you’re whispering. It’s called a stage whisper. The Stage Whisper is a loud whisper that gives the effect of a whisper but is designed for all to hear. “I see you’ve found Fido’s treats. When I said snacks were in the kitchen I didn’t mean dog biscuits, though they are filled with vitamins and are quite crunchy and tasty with a cold beer.” You give the effect of pretending to whisper loudly but you are actually speaking.
There are different volume settings you should have in your brain. For example, on camera requires you to quieter tones and when speaking to be heard in the theater use a louder voice. There’s also a difference between yelling and speaking in your stage voice though for some maybe not much. There are those who are abnormally quiet and those who announce everything to the world thinking they’re speaking softly. They have their dial pinned on ten. Learning how to use your voice for improv or acting or any public speaking is part of the craft of being an artist.
THE MOB BOSS: I once went to a professional boxing match at the Forum in Los Angeles to meet with a pro boxer who was also a blues guitarist that had appeared on some major label recordings. My friend and I were thinking about managing him musically. It was an evening of exhibition Boxing rounds so there were a few boxers in the green room area with their handlers and close friends. The air smelled of sweat, Tiger Balm and Ben Gay. A mobster appeared at our table flanked by two lieutenants. It was like a 40’s gangster flick but in real life. The mobster leaned in laser focused and addressed the fighter, ignoring everyone else at the table… “Hey Kid…” His voice cut through the room without him having to raise it. The boxer replied “Yes, Mr So and So” in a respectful tone. “Are you ready to sign with me?” There was a pause. “You should sign with me…Think about it.” The mobsters voice had reached its mark. The Kid agreed to think about it. It was evident the heavyweight was slightly uncomfortable.
The mobster knew how to project at just the right volume and with a tone that reached across the table personally to the fighter who heard every word. In another world I might have asked the mob boss about his improv training but he didn’t seem to have a sense of humor and I wasn’t willing to trade my digits or my life for a laugh. His voice was controlled and broadcast clear and concisely cutting through the din of the room. And he did so without having to raise it in any way. Voice control was part of his persona. On the improv stage how you say something carries meaning. Listening between the lines is an art.
If you’re reading this you’re probably an improviser. You may be attracted to improv because it is fun and/or relieves tension. Maybe improv helps you be more creative or is helpful for business strategy meetings. Maybe you’re just hoping to improve your public speaking. Every class is an opportunity to work on projecting as well as to get creative. Improv is all about creativity. See you on stage.
***IMPROV STUDENT SHOWCASE: Monday November 27th for Adult Comedy Improv and Adult Improv Foundations classes on ABDO New River Stage at Broward Center for the Performing Arts 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale Florida. Doors at 7pm, Show at 7:30pm. Cost is FREE. Paid parking in the garage on Fifth Ave.
Drop-in Classes South Florida still on hold due to venue issues. So close to the Holidays we will resume drop in classes in January… Stay tuned!
Greg’s book LIFE IMPROVISED: LISTENING BETWEEN THE LINES by Greg Philippi It’s available on Amazon. Check it out! https://a.co/d/19zNT6y This holiday season give the gift of improv! Buy a friend a copy or treat yourself and take your improv to the next level.
See you on the big screen or in the popcorn line or maybe I’ll just meet you here between these pages next week! Best, Greg
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