Voice relaxation is essential for good speaking, especially when doing vocal exercises. Many people “talk in their throat,” meaning they hold their vocal tones too far back. When your vocal tones are too far back in your throat, your jaw muscles tense up and your voice sounds harsh and squeezed. You cannot produce a fine, resonant, pleasing tone when your throat muscles are pinched, tense, or strained.
Tight muscles combined with inadequate breath support causes disagreeable tones. A tone that sounds thin, nasal, high-pitched, and lacking in resonance. Nervousness also causes throat tightness, which is a common occurrence for inexperienced public speakers. If tightness is present during ordinary conversation, it is usually because of carelessness or if the speaker is not aware of how to relax their voice.
Here is a six-step method for relaxing your voice. If you do these simple exercises several times daily for a few minutes each time, you will soon notice a difference. Your voice will sound richer and more colorful.
- While standing or sitting comfortably, place your hands lightly on your throat muscles and speaks in a normal tone. Note the tenseness of the throat muscles and the tightness of your jaw.
- Yawn. Open your mouth wide. Finish the yawn with an easy “ho-hum,” prolonging the “hum” for several seconds. Drop your jaw as far as it will go without stress. Waggle the jaw from side to side and continue humming with your lips closed and jaw loose.
- Repeat the yawning and humming. Notice how your throat muscles have loosened and become relaxed see how comfortable your throat feels with the strain removed.
- To retain a feeling of ease and looseness, say the following words: hang, harm, lane, main, lone, loom. Open your mouth wide, dropping your jaw loosely. Exaggerate your lip and jaw movements. When your throat feels tired, stop and yawn again.
- Lightly knead the throat muscles with your fingers to eliminate tightness.
- Slowly repeat the following sounds: nah, nay, nee, no, noo. Drop your jaw and relax your throat. Prolong the sounds, giving each equal length.
Practice these methods of voice relaxation and you will develop a tone that is richer and more colorful.
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