Dilly shows you how to look and feel confident and ensure that your voice is free and expressive.
Summary of tips:
- Don’t strain any other part of your body
- Epecially those parts around where your voice is produced
- Think about how you can balance your body and voice
- Imagine you have a string running through your body and out of your head
- Stretch to your full capacity without clamping your throat
When you’re using your voice, it’s very important that you’re not straining any of the part of your body, particularly those bits of the body around where your voice is being produced.
Now all voice is, is air coming from the bottom of the lungs, up the wind pipe, to the larynx, the adam’s apple, is the larynx. Simply put, pieces of cartilage put together inside which lie the vocal folds, or vocal cords as they are more commonly known.
Now air coming from the bottom of the lungs pushing against those vocal folds causes them to vibrate and that vibrating air – in your chest, your throat, your nose, your mouth and so on becomes sound which we then shape and send out. And that’s speaking.
Now, when we get nervous particularly, there are certain parts of the body that can get quite tense – shoulders for example – so it’s very important (you can hear as soon as I’m tense, see my shoulders are affecting my voice) and a useful thing to do is to think about well how do I get the voice and the body balanced.
The easiest way to do that is this: I’ll move back a little bit so Diane who is holding the camera will get a better shot. Now what I’m doing is trying to get a balanced position and what I’m doing is I’m imagining I’ve got my ears balancing over my shoulders, over my hips, over my knees, over my feet. So that my feet are a little closer together than the hips and are taking the main weight of the body.
Now what’s happening up in this area [throat] is rather important because I want to make sure this area is nice and free so I don’t strain my voice. So what I can also do is imagine I’ve got a string running up through the spine, up through the neck and out through the top of my head – this is from the Alexander Technique for those of you who have come across that. And the string is pulling me up slightly on the balls of my feet and as I look at over the horizon, my head’s balancing perfectly. Then I allow my heels back down to the ground leaving the head just looking out over the horizon.
That’s given me a good stretch particularly around this area [torso] because I don’t want to slump the ribcage if I want to breath well for speaking but on the other hand, the back of the neck is stretching, the front of the neck softening – that means I’m stretching to my full capacity so I’m looking nice and confident but at the same time, I’m not putting any kind of clamp or strain on my throat; in fact the reverse: I’m opening up to allow me to speak freely and easily.