Have you ever had to use a lot of efforts to project your voice in order to be heard? Have you had to shout for a bigger audience or in a noisy environment, which made you lose your voice the next day? If so, you are not projecting your voice. Voice projection should never be hard work. The effort you need to speak is as much as you need to make a sigh.
The major reason that you use too much effort is that you solely rely on your vocal folds to do all the work. This will strain your vocal folds and your voice will not last long. It also makes your listeners feel very tense.
Our voice originates from the vibration of the vocal folds when the air passes through. Vocal folds, also known as vocal cords, they are two pieces of very delicate membrane lying in your voice box. The sound made by the vibration of the vocal folds is very small, you could barely hear it. To make it audible, you need the amplifiers in your body to amplify the sound. There are 5 major amplifiers, also known as resonating cavities, and they are your voice box, your throat, your nose, your mouth, and your chest.
In one word, vocal folds are the primary voice source, the air that comes with your breath and makes the vibration happen is the fuel and the resonating cavities are the amplifier. To project your voice properly, you must make them coordinate with each other.
As a start, try the following 3 steps.
First, relax yourself so that your vocal folds are not tense and your breath can flow.
Then, breathe in deeply before you speak and speak as you breathe out. Always remember, all speaking happens on the breath out. Do not hold your breath while you speak, otherwise you will feel and sound tense. This is critical in projecting effortlessly. Just like we sigh, we breathe in and then we sigh as we breathe out. Nobody holds their breath when they sigh because sighing is a relief. It’s the same when you speak. Speaking is meant to be a relief of yourself, your thoughts and your emotions. So breathe in and then speak while you breathe out.
Last, learn to engage all your 5 amplifiers. Take a deep breath in and try speaking as if it was from your belly while you breathe out.
When you master the 3 steps, you’ll find projecting your voice is never hard work. In fact, you’ll enjoy it when you speak as it’s a way of relaxation and relief.