Has your voice ever failed you when you wanted it to sound a specific way? Or you may have been asked to prepare a speech, and you’re nervous about giving it. Don’t worry. In this article, I will describe and walk you through professionally training your voice to fit your career path.
Voice training combines a variety of methods and exercises that can assist individuals in improving their vocal abilities. To be great at whatever you have chosen to do, whether it’s acting, singing, or public speaking, vocal training is an amazing tool that you should consider.
That being said, let’s get right into the discussion by defining voice training and providing advice on how to sound professional in any career path you decide.
Table of Contents
What is Voice Training and Why is it Important?
Voice training is a process that involves the improvement of one’s inherent vocal characteristics, including pitch, resonance, intonation, and speech patterns. It is frequently employed to help people achieve a desired vocal quality or to help them hone their voice for specific purposes, such as acting, singing, or public speaking.
Voice training offers many benefits, but first and foremost, it improves your confidence and enhances your capacity to communicate effectively. Your voice is the main tool at your disposal. By employing these techniques, you can captivate the attention of your audience and leave a lasting impact.
The ability to communicate your ideas in an engaging and intriguing way is another advantage of having a well-trained voice. Whether you’re giving a speech, acting on stage, or just having informal conversations, a well-trained voice can enhance your vocal projection and control, reducing the chance of vocal injury by preventing vocal strain and tiredness. Additionally, deliberate training enhances its general health and increases its lifespan, allowing you to maintain a strong, clear voice throughout your lifetime.
Common Voice Training Techniques
Every discipline, whether acting, singing, or public speaking, has its techniques. The beauty of voice training, however, is that you can adjust and personalise it.
The catch for anyone interested in pursuing a singing career could be mastering breath control and being open to learning new song interpretations. The voice training approach for public speakers aims at improving their confidence and ability to adjust their tone to engage their audience successfully. Actors are not left out either; the techniques can improve their vocal expressiveness and versatility, allowing them to perform different roles convincingly.
The following are two popular yet crucial voice training exercises to improve your voice.
Developing proper breathing techniques
Have you ever wondered about the secret to having a strong and controlled voice? It’s proper breathing. Proper breathing requires you to inhale deeply, allowing your diaphragm to expand fully—a technique known as diaphragmatic breathing. As you exhale, your abdominal muscles contract to support air movement. Using this method, you can avoid straining your vocal cords and get the breath support you need to vocalize for extended periods.
The first step toward learning good breathing techniques is to choose a comfortable and relaxed position. Next, stand or sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed and your chest open. Breathe deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand. Then, as you exhale through your mouth, gently engage your abdominal muscles to control the airflow. Repeat this breathing exercise regularly to improve your breath control and support.
Vocal warm-up exercises
Just like studying before an exam helps you achieve better grades, vocal warm-up exercises are essential in preparing your voice for a performance or practice. These exercises assist in loosening up the vocal cords, improving blood circulation to the vocal apparatus, and improving general vocal flexibility.
Lip trills, for example, are a great warm-up exercise. To perform this exercise, relax your lips and make a buzzing sound by blowing air through them. While you’re doing it, focus on maintaining a consistent and controlled trill by gradually moving up and down your vocal range.
Humming is another effective warm-up exercise. To explore your vocal range, begin by humming softly, feeling the vibrations spread throughout your head and face as you gradually progress from low to high pitches. You may also integrate scales or sirens into your warm-up routine, but be careful to start slowly and gradually raise the intensity to avoid straining your voice.
Another incredible warm-up exercise you can perform to strengthen your vocal cords and increase the range of your voice is vocal fry. Vocal fry is achieved by relaxing the vocal cords and producing a low, creaky sound. Begin by producing a low-pitched hum and gradually lower the pitch until you achieve a creaking sound. Regularly practice this exercise to build vocal cord strength and control.
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Careers that Thrive on Voices
You may have watched an advertisement video on TV featuring a voice in the background. That’s a voice actor talking. Expert narrators provide voices for various media, such as animations, video games, audiobooks, and commercials.
Every singer understands their voice is their most important instrument. Singers perform in various musical genres, including pop, opera, and classical music.
Broadcasting and radio hosting
Should you wish to pursue a profession as a podcaster, radio host, or announcer, you should be aware that public speakers depend on their voices to captivate and educate their listeners.
Many have completed specialised training and obtained certifications to assist people with speech difficulties. They are called speech therapists. Speech therapists assist people in overcoming speech impairments and improving their capacity for communication.
Tips for Maintaining Vocal Health
Maintaining vocal health is crucial for long-term success in voice training. Here are some essential tips to maintain the best possible condition for your voice:
Read also: Healthy Lifestyle Habits for Nigerians
- Drink water: To keep your vocal cords hydrated and lubricated, drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Avoid vocal strain: Maintaining vocal health requires that you refrain from excessive shouting, screaming, or using your voice excessively without proper rest.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption: Some substances can make you feel good, but consuming too much of them can be bad for your health. These substances can dehydrate your entire body, including your vocal cords.
- Practice good vocal hygiene: Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, as these can cause harm to your vocal cords.
- Use proper amplification: To ease the strain on your voice when speaking or performing in large spaces, use microphones or other amplification equipment.
Voice training is a transformative journey that allows individuals to unlock their full vocal potential. Expanding your vocal range requires consistent practice and gradual progression. While self-study and practice can yield significant improvements, seeking professional voice coaching can take your skills to new heights. A voice coach or trainer can provide personalised guidance, identify areas for improvement, and offer specialized exercises and techniques to address your specific needs.
Remember, each person’s voice is unique, and the goal of vocal training is to develop a voice that feels authentic and comfortable for the individual. If you adhere to the tips and recommendations in this article, you’re very close to sounding just like you have always desired.
Do you have any experience working with voice? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section, or even better, join our Whatsapp community to be a part of us.
Edited by Halimat Chisom.
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