Voice training, or vocal training, is not only for professional singers. In fact, teachers, theatrical performers, customer service representatives, and public speakers may go through voice training. Through training, you develop your voice and your laryngeal muscles to achieve maximum intensity.
As a result, you can control your voice so you can sustain long breaths for long phrases, deliver words with much clarity, and deliver words with more personality and character.
Some people, especially signers, tend to see voice training as something artificial and will only rip off what’s unique about your voice, making you sound like a mediocre singer. But actually, voice training aims to develop your natural voice and restore its freedom and power, making you sound like your unique self.
What is voice training like?
The voice is like an instrument that you need to train and improve. When you learn to strengthen and coordinate your laryngeal muscles, you can get rid of constrictions and scale different syllables and resonance sound quality. There are many exercises that can improve your voice and produce maximum vocal output with minimum effort.
Best tips to train your voice
Whether you want to improve your singing voice or your speaking voice, you can use these techniques and warm-ups to improve your voice.
1. Determine what kind of voice you have
To improve your voice, you must become aware of your voice quality. In singing, there are six common vocal range types: Alto, Baritone, Bass, Mezzo-Soprano, Soprano, and Tenor. There are also different types of speaking voices. Some of the common speaking voice types are Breathy, Croaky, Gruff, Flat, Gravelly, Hoarse, Low Voice, Penetrating, Smoky, Throaty, and Wheezy.
2. Practice breathing exercises
Correct breathing is the foundation of a good voice. Singing or speaking with a lack of breath is tiring for your voice and can lead to poor speaking or singing volume. You can find out the correctness of your own breathing by observing your body when you inhale. Your shoulder is relaxed as your abdominal muscles are working with every breath. Here are breathing exercises to develop correct breathing and improve.
- Exhale all the air from your lungs. When all the air has been expelled from your lungs, you will automatically inhale. Inhale slowly from your diaphragm and not from your throat or your chest. Repeat this process for one minute.
- Try the 4-7-8 breathing. That’s breathing in for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.
- Take deep breaths before singing or speaking so that you don’t run out of air at the end of the sentence or line.
- Stand up with your shoulders back, chest forward, and feet width apart. Having good posture will help allow the air to pass from your lungs easily.
- Lie on your back flat on the floor with a book on your diaphragm. Concentrate on the movement of the book as you inhale and exhale. Repeat this exercise.
3. Record your voice and listen to it
People often confuse a natural voice with a familiar voice. This means that what you hear in your head when you speak or sing may sound different from what the people hear. A useful tool that you can use is an audio or voice recorder. Find a quiet place where you can turn your voice loose. You might be surprised at what your voice may sound like, but it is closer to what the audience hears. Practice your singing or speaking as you record it until the playback satisfies you.
4. Warm-up your voice before singing or speech
Just like any strenuous activity, you need to warm up to relax your muscles before performing physical activities. Warming up your voice can prevent your vocal cords from straining or injuring them. This allows stretching your vocal cords and clearing your throat. Remember that your speaking and singing voice use muscles. You can do humming exercises or practice with scales or different sounds to get your vocal cords ready for a speech or for singing.
5. Take care of your vocal health
You need to prioritize your vocal health. There are certain activities, foods, and drinks that you should avoid if you want to protect your vocal health.
- Avoid citrus fruits or juices, coffee, alcohol, milk, ice cream and other dairy products.
- Avoid cold drinks, including cold water.
- Get a long and good night’s sleep.
- Get yourself hydrated and drink at least half a gallon of water daily.
- Take vocal naps. If your voice is tired because you have been working out your voice a lot, it is more prone to injury. Take time to rest your voice, recuperate, and heal.
6. Take online courses
You will find a lot of free and useful online courses to train your voice. Here we have The Number One Public Speaking Success Factor: The Voice online course. You will learn how to use your voice in convincing and engaging people to generate a sense of authority and lead. Not only will this course teach you to engage your audience, but you will also learn how to find and practice your “natural norm” using your tone, volume, and pace.
Good audio can make your videos professional and engaging. Here are some of Skill Success’ online courses you can take: