In this 3rd of 4 Voice Placement episodes, we’re going to drop the speaking voice down from the middle ‘mask voice’ and higher ‘head voice’ to the deeper ‘chest voice’. Confidence and authority are usually associated with lower voices. That’s why a lot of speakers prefer speaking from the chest voice area to take advantage of it’s strength, resonance, pitch, and tone.
The following are 4 ways different style speakers can use their chest voice:
1. Higher voice: Start speaking from your lowest relaxed voice placement and lift the words up briefly and back down.
2. Middle voice: Speak and gesture with the hands at waist level or below to keep the pitch lower in the chest.
3. Weaker voice: Plant the heels of the feet in the ground, bend the knees slightly, and tighten the lower buttock and thigh muscles.
4. Ultra Deep voice: Begin speaking at a higher voice pitch and dip down briefly into the lowest tones before returning to the slightly higher voice.
Practice along with this Real Talking Tips video, audio podcast, blog, my Elaine Clark app – Activate Your Voice, my best selling books, There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is and Voice-Overs for Podcasting, and continue adding variety to your speaking voice in my Elaine Clark app, Adding Melody To Your Voice!
Click the video to watch or select the audio podcast by clicking start or selecting your favorite audio player in the icon below.
40: CHEST VOICE WARM-UPS and SPEAKING TECHNIQUES
Real Talking Tips 40 is the 3rd of 4 Voice Placement episodes. So far, we explored the mask and head voices in Real Talking Tips 38 and 39. Now we’re going to drop the voice lower into the rich and warm sounding chest voice. Well, that’s not completely true. If the chest voice lacks breath support it can sound gravelly and raspy. One way to tell if you’re speaking in the CHEST VOICE is to put your hand on the chest when you speak to feel if it vibrates or resonates in that area.
Lower voices exude confidence. That’s why a lot of speakers prefer speaking from the chest voice. But if that chest placement isn’t natural, it can also sound phony or pushed. As with the other two voice placements, you can speak with a more supported voice when you breathe from the bottom up. Of course, be sure to relax your throat to allow your vocal cords to vibrate at a lower frequency and produce that deep chest voice.
If your voice has more nasal resonance, speak on the breath so it lowers the resonance from the nose to the mouth and chest area. You can do that the same way I demonstrated a couple episodes ago by letting a little bit of air out before speaking.
#3 Voice Placement: Use Your ‘Chest Voice’ to Sound Authoritative and Confident.
The chest voice is usually associated with confidence and authority. One reason why people who speak with a questioning uptalk inflection may not be taken as seriously as the downward inflected chest voice speaker. So if uptalk is on your Weaknesses list from Episode 1, pay close attention to the following Real Talking Tips.
1. Keep your chin up, stand tall, and speak confidently from your deep authoritative chest voice.
2. To lock the chest voice into position, keep your movements and gestures below waist level. From that position, you can scoop your hands up as you connect with the breath that started in the lower part of the body. You can increase the power of the chest voice by tightening muscles in the lower half of the body, while keeping the throat relaxed and open.
3. Improve the lower vibration resonance. We’ll use the same NG and ONG resonating sounds from the last episode and my Elaine Clark Activate Your Voice app. Curve the sound down so it sounds like this: NGGGGGGG. ONGGGGGGG. Add to that by saying the word, PONG. Force the ONG sound lower as you say the word PONG.
4. Since the voice is like a rubber band, a speaker’s range can be stretched. Say the higher pitched word PING and the lower pitched word PONG. Remember to hold onto the NG in Ping and ONG of Pong as you voice those two words and ending resonant sounds.
5. You can also use that same 5-word m-buzz series again to lower the pitch. Chew the words and hold onto the ‘m’ resonance as you drop a note lower when you say each word.
Hum. Numb. Drum. Strum. Crumb.
6. To lower the resonance and voice pitch, say the same word series again dropping each word down a musical note. Repeat the series starting one note lower. Continue that musical drop until you are unable to go any deeper.
7. You can do that same exercise with other words and sounds. Example:
OH NO… Oh No… oh no….oh…no.
And OH YES, it’s time now for you to practice using your chest voice!
4 Tips for Speaking in a Lower Chest Voice.
There are all types of speakers and voice qualities. The following are a few ways to speak from the ‘Chest Voice’.
1. If you have a naturally higher voice, you can still use your chest voice. Start speaking from your lowest relaxed voice placement and lift the words up and then back down to that lower foundational starting sound.
“With a higher voice, I can still start low and lift the voice higher and then back down to that same starting note.”
2. Plant the feet and heels firmly in the ground, stomp them a few times to get connected to the earth, stand tall, raise the chin so it’s straight and level, and bend the knees slightly to give your voice and movements buoyancy. Speak and gesture with the hands at waist level or below.
“I will speak and gesture in a professional manner, with my body relaxed, hands below the waist, and my speaking notes confined to the chest voice area.”
3. To add intensity and authority, remain in the grounded position and tighten the buttock and thigh muscles. If you gesture, engage the arm muscles and continue to keep the throat muscles relaxed.
“I now am adding more intensity to my chest voice by engaging the muscles in the lower half of my body.”
4. For people with extremely deep and resonant voices, it’s possible to lighten some of the resonance and raise the pitch. Start speaking at a higher voice location and dip down briefly into the lowest tones before returning to that higher voice position.
“Start speaking with a higher pitched voice, relax it down into the lowest chest voice before raising it again to that higher starting pitch location.”
So now we’ve covered the mask, head, and chest voice. Join me next time in Real Talking Tips Episode 41 for the fourth Voice Placement lesson as we combine all three of these speech location techniques.
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