Voice and Speech

Tips and Guidelines for Voice and Speech Optimisation

Background of Module

In Voice and Speech training we explore the refinement of all aspects of voice, speech and pronunciation development to elevate this important tool. In Voice training we extensively focus on the optimisation of breath control, releasing tension, articulation, projection, resonance, body integration and the shaping of sound. The next phase is applying these vocal elements to Speech. In speech training we focus on vocal modulation which can be described as the patterned distribution of pace, pitch, volume, stress, pause, phrasing and intonation. It adds variety to speech, which ensures better listener comprehension and effective delivery of important information. It is what makes your ideas sound Interesting and memorable.

Importance of Voice and Speech Optimisation

In this information driven world, we tend to rely so much on our content, facts, material or data, that we forget about who we are presenting it to – the human. This is where the body language, emotional prosody, tone of voice, and modulation comes into play. This suggests that your content, facts, material or data might be brilliant, but if you cannot convey that information in an interesting way, whether in a boardroom, interview, presentation, or even a team or staff meeting, then it will lose its effect completely and your ideas won’t get you anywhere. Therefore, in order to enhance your communicative impact power in a high-stakes presentation, negotiation, interview or meeting, it is imperative that you grasp the listeners attention and make yourself and the information memorable.

Guidelines for Voice and Speech Optimisation

  1. Do vocal exercises before important presentations, meeting or seminars:
  • Jaw message
  • Humming
  • Horse Lips
  • Y-buzz
  • Lip and tongue drill
  1. Use Modulation Keys

    Modulation can be described as the patterned distribution of pace, pitch, volume, stress, pause, phrasing and intonation to create a variation in your sound.
  1. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol before important presentations, meeting or seminars

    Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate vocal folds, which can cause tissue damage. Drink water to keep your body well hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeine. Your vocal cords vibrate very fast and having a proper water balance keeps them lubricated.
  1. Make sure your body is free from tension

    Stress can lead to forceful voice production, resulting in possible tissue damage. Relaxation techniques can improve your voice and allow you to speak more effectively and longer. Try stretching your shoulders, neck and facial muscles periodically; slow deep breaths also may help.
  1. Focus on body Integration

    The way we shape our body affects the way we sound. There are various aspects that influence the shape of our bodies namely:
  • Individual Habitual Patterns
  • Emotions
  • Tension
    When we think about our voices, we tend to only consider our vocal mechanism, disregarding the rest of the body. Your entire body is an instrument; the shape of your body will affect the way you sound. You want to make sure that your body is devoid of any characteristics that might hinder optimised commutation by making ensuring the following:
  • Standing hip-with apart
  • Unlocking Knees
  • Knees effortlessly resting on the 3-point weight distribution points under your feet
  • Hips resting on knees
  • Shoulders resting on hips
  1. Avoid Smoking

    Don’t smoke, or if you already do, quit. Smoking raises the risk of throat cancer tremendously, and inhaling smoke irritates the vocal cords.

  2. Avoid clearing your throat too often

    When you clear your throat, it’s like slamming your vocal folds together. Doing it too much can injure them and make you hoarse. Sipping water, swallowing or sucking on a cough drop may ease the irritation in the throat.

  3. Recognise when your voice is tired

    Allow yourself several ‘vocal naps’ every day, especially during periods of extended use.

  4. Spare your voice when you are sick

    Some medication leads to the dehydration of the vocal folds. Antihistamine reduces saliva and mucous production. If you are taking medication that dehydrates, drink lots of water and other fluids. When you are sick, spare your voice. Don’t talk when you are hoarse due to a cold or infection.

  5. Humidify your home and work areas

    Moisture is good for the voice.

Reflection statement: The embodiment of these elements will not only enhance your overall communicative impact power, but also increase better listener comprehension and effective delivery of important information.