What’s the secret of all great communicators? It’s all in the delivery. Here’s how to enhance, tone, and take care of your speaking voice.
1. Slow Down
One of the most important things you can do to improve the clarity of your message is to slow down. People tend to speak quickly when they’re nervous or unsure of what they’re saying. Speaking slower not only improves how well your audience comprehends what you’re saying, but it also makes you sound more confident and in control. A good benchmark is to speak slow enough that, if you were reciting a phone number, the person listening to you would be able to write it down.
If you breathe shallowly in your chest instead of deeply into your abdomen, your voice will sound weaker and possibly jittery. It can be tough to remember to breathe deeply when you’re nervous or stressed, but taking full-relaxed breaths will improve the depth of your voice and can help you sound more confident.
3. Watch Your Posture
The way you sit or stand could affect your speech. Standing or sitting straight allows you to breathe properly and gives your voice greater strength and clarity.
Keeping yourself well-hydrated also helps the quality of your voice. If you’re drinking coffee, soda, and wine throughout the day instead of water, your vocal folds might not have the moisture they need to make your voice sound the best it can be.
5. Avoid Yelling
Love cheering on your team at the top of your lungs? Yelling can strain your voice and make it difficult for you to speak. In the worst cases, yelling can lead to vocal nodules, or calluses on your vocal folds.
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