The hum improves my singing voice

Training and understanding your voice: the ABC of the human voice

Whether in a professional or private environment - in addition to the appearance, the sound and the effect of your voice determine how you are perceived by other people in your environment. Voice often decides whether you are sympathetic or antipathetic.

According to a study by Professors Bil Mayrew and Mohan Venkatachalam, a dark voice is not only considered sexy, but also seems to have an impact on economic success. On average, a gentleman with a lower voice earns more than one with a higher voice. Strange but true!

In this free theme special you will find the most important points about the human voice. In this way, you not only find out what voice actually is and how it is created, but also what factors influence it and how you use your voice train and improve can.

Benefit from our many years of experience as a voice and rhetoric trainer and you will learn the Power of voice to use for yourself. Difficult presentations, speeches and conversations will be child's play in the future! We will show you how you can effectively train your voice with simple means.

1. What is voice and how does it worke?

The larynx is our vocal organ - the place where the voice is created. It consists of several cartilages connected by membranes, ligaments and many muscles. In the lower part of the larynx, at the entrance to the windpipe, ligaments and very fine muscle tissue stretch from the back to the front.

It is intertwined like a braid and forms the so-called vocal folds. The airflow from the lungs causes the vocal folds to vibrate. They act like a valve - close and open at breakneck speed. This leads to pressure fluctuations that move as sound waves - a sound is produced. With the help of Speech tools Jaw position, lips and tongue are used to form the individual sounds in the mouth, nose and throat.
So voice and speaking are initially nothing more than: sounding, slowed exhalation. The air we breathe provides the energy with which we form our voice. Breath is the “engine” of our voice.

2. Why does the voice decide on the first impression?

The following still applies: there is no chance for him first impression. Some people judge new acquaintances not only by their visual characteristics but also by their voice and thus test the other person directly for his "Coherence“: Melody, timbre, volume and emphasis, tempo and pauses - these are all key stimuli for our perception. They are processed in the brain at lightning speed and then categorized.

Voice is mood, it honestly shows our inner constitution, our actual state of health. As easy as it is to embody a “role” with your body language, as soon as you speak, your true mood is revealed. Our voice is ruthlessly honest and works from the inside out.

3.Why is a pleasant voice essential to convince?

Our voice is an important one Key factor for successful communication. Because a speech, a conversation is not carried by the word alone: ​​Tone, strength, modulation, speed are included.

You design the spoken word. In short: the melody under the words, the passion behind it, the person in front of it - all of this is only offered by the spoken word that is experienced.

You can find a very inspiring contribution from Quarks & Co on the subject of “The Power of the Voice” here:

4. What are the most important factors influencing the impact of the voice?

  • Speaking is nothing more than a sounding exhalation. Anyone who starts without breathing exercises is trying to build a house without having laid a foundation. You might say: “But we can breathe!” That is true in principle. But so should you Act economically when speaking. So that you can achieve the greatest success with less effort. As simple as it sounds: get to know your breath. Develop a good feeling for how you can let your breathing rhythm flow smoothly even in tense situations
  • Ever more clear we speak, the better we are understood, the more vocal power we can save.
  • volume and tempo
  • Own tone/ Indifference. Use the voice that is optimal for you, because then speaking will not be strenuous even over a long period of time. You can determine your own tone as follows: chewing gum and speaking at the same time, or reciting long sequences of words, such as numbers or days of the week. The best voice pitch is set automatically.
  • Melody guidance: Raise your voice, lower it and keep it in the optimal pitch.

Let's compare our voice to a business card. Because it is very closely related to our personality. We send signals to our fellow human beings with our voices: If we speak softly, rather weakly, nobody will suspect that this is a person with a lot of energy, extroverted and happy. On the other hand, no one who is shy and reserved suddenly becomes exuberant and loud.

An upright posture is the alpha and omega of our voice. This is the only way we can breathe freely and speak relaxed.
The state of tension in our muscles is closely related to posture. These should be balanced, i.e. neither over nor under tension, because this tension is transferred to our voice. If we take a very casual attitude, literally "let ourselves down", we will hardly be able to speak with a strong, stable and full voice. If, on the other hand, we are under a lot of tension (have bent the knees, tense arms or legs) our voice will sound rather hard and tinny or pressed.

Breathing is the “engine” for our voice. The air we breathe provides the energy with which we form our voice. When we exhale, the air from the lungs makes the vocal folds in the cabbage head vibrate. This is how our voice is created.
Try it: Breathe in and out a few times while watching yourself. What is moving? Where are the movements most intense?

You might say: “I can breathe!” Of course you can! However, breathing is possible in different ways. We can adjust our breathing so that we have a positive effect on our well-being and our voice.

Many people breathe in the upper part of the lungs: the chest dilates a lot and the shoulders rise. Breathing is rather shallow and fast. You have to breathe again frequently. Only some of the lungs are ventilated, we take in less oxygen, which can make us dull and sleepy. We also cramp the neck area from the shoulder movements. Unnecessary tension makes the voice sound hard, strained, pressed.

It's different when we breathe in the stomach and flanks: We breathe more energy-saving and can use the exhaled air coordinate betterto act on our voice. The breaths are deeper, bring more oxygen, tensions are released. This is exactly what happens in situations in which we relax, e.g. when we are resting or while sleeping. The body breathes for us in a way that is good for us.

5. What are the most important characteristics of a pleasant and convincing voice?

monotonous, squeaky, mumbling, high, indistinct, nasal, warm, thin and flat, shaky - how exactly would you describe your voice?

What exactly is perceived as pleasant is of course very subjective. Still, it can be said that deep, warm voices are more likely to be heard than high-pitched voices. The following factors can be used to distinguish between different voices.

naturalness

Lots of people speak not in your natural speaking pitch. Women often tend to speak too high and it is not uncommon for men to lower their voices.

Both of these make the voice very tired and can lead to hoarseness or even voice problems. It loses strength and sound. The listeners are also affected, because who can listen carefully and long to an unpleasant-sounding voice?

In our natural speaking voice - the Indifference - however, we manage to speak persistently and develop a lively sound with ease.

resonance

The voice that is formed in the larynx is initially nothing more than a noise (primary tone). As with the radio, a loudspeaker is needed to amplify the sound.

If another body sounds, another cavity resonates, we speak of resonance. This amplifies a tone and enriches it with additional frequencies. It becomes stronger and more “sustainable”, goes further. In addition to the chest, the main resonance spaces are in particular the nose, throat, mouth and paranasal sinuses.

However, a tone can only be optimally amplified here if the cavities are well formed. This is achieved through certain settings of the Articulation tools (Lips, tongue, jaw) and a widening of the pharynx.

articulation

Articulation (Latin "articulare" = to structure, to speak clearly) is the formation of the individual speech sounds, the pronunciation. Tools for this are: lips, jaw, tongue and mouth, nose and throat.

The sound that is produced in the larynx by the vibration of the vocal folds is initially a primary sound. Concretized speech sounds are formed with the help of these speaking tools. Which sound is produced depends on where and how it is formed and which speaking tool (here: organ) is involved.
The better we articulate, express it clearly, the better we will be understood. We also save vocal power thanks to the better intelligibility.

Try it: Speak to a group - sitting a little further away - in the quietest possible voice. As quietly as possible and as neatly articulated as necessary. Your audience will understand you if you pay attention to your pronunciation and speak clearly.
It is important to keep pronouncing it clearly until the end of the word - do not swallow the endings or “snuggle into oneself” - the endings in particular are often swallowed in everyday life. But be careful: Please do not “speak up” excessively. If you greet your colleagues in the office in the morning unprepared with a clear “GOOD MORNING, everyone together”, then it looks more artificial than natural.
It is good for your speaking tools to stretch and loosen them as often as you can. You will see: you will speak clearly, as if by yourself.

Melody & liveliness

How we pronounce something, in what pitch, at what volume, at what speed - that determines who Liveliness of our language. Spoken the same sentence in different ways can mean completely different things.

For example the statement: “Today the sun is shining.”. There are many ways to say these four words: happy, sad, angry, ironic ...
Our speech melody has an immense influence on the effect of the way we speak. You probably know that too: People who cannot finish their thoughts because they fail to set a point. Who always keep their voice high instead of “speaking to the point”.

The audience can easily get the feeling that the speaker still has something to say, something is yet to come. And unfortunately with the speaker too. Many get lost in trivialities, lose the thread of thought because they keep talking. The voice is upstairs. That means I have to say something else.

Why don't you score: At the end of the sentence unit, lower your voice. And speak to the point.

6. What is bothering my voice and what can I do about it?

That is very uncomfortable: you speak up in front of an audience - and you lose your voice! Or you sound cramped, too quiet or shrill. So you hardly make yourself heard. But how do you get a sonorous voice? The most important: relax!
The voice originates in the larynx. The breath makes the vocal cords vibrate and sound, the throat, nose and mouth shape the sounds. If the muscles involved are tense, the voice is distorted.

Relaxation exercise

Please yawn vigorously with your lips closed. This widens the throat, pharynx and nose.
By the way, posture also plays a role. Sitting and standing upright gives the voice more volume and allows the breath to flow better, namely deep into the stomach instead of flat into the chest. Do not take too much breath before speaking, it sounds easy breathless. And just try to cover up violent feelings. That really gets the lump down your throat. Because mood and voice belong together. Fear can make her tremble or overturn with joy.

One last tip For those who speak a lot and for a long time: Oil your vocal cords, preferably by drinking lukewarm water, and if you are hoarse do not speak a word, as whispering is even more strenuous on your voice than normal speaking.

7.How can I prepare my voice for a presentation or speech at short notice?

Before a marathon, a swimming competition, a bike race ... it is essential for athletes to warm up their muscles. Stretching and loosening exercises are a matter of course.

A "Warm up" program also takes care of when speaking optimal conditions. After all, around 100 muscles are involved in this complicated process.

The speech muscles are activated and made flexible through relaxation exercises. This makes it easier for us to speak clearly and within our natural speaking vocal range.
Voice exercise for preparation:

yawning

You can have your first one early in the morning Voice exercise start. You are probably already doing it without realizing it as an exercise: yawning!

Do it even more intensely from morning on: stretch and stretch yourself in all directions and let your voice out loud when you yawn! In this way you expand and activate many regions that ensure an optimal vocal sound. You also bring oxygen into your body and that gives you new energy. Many facial muscles are involved in speech. Especially in the mouth and cheek region.

Facial massage

Do something good for your face! Massage it with light pressure and smooth the cheeks. Now tighten all the muscles in your face and pull your face together as if you had bitten into a sour lemon. Count to three and solve again.

Then you can make a “long face”: stroke your face with your hands. Start at the forehead and slowly pull your hands over your eyes, nose, cheeks and mouth, towards your chin. Now tilt your head slightly forward and shake it from side to side while giving your voice at the same time. Just take the clay with you that literally falls out of your mouth. Lips and cheeks are slack, the jaw is slightly open.

Activation of the tongue and lip

And it continues with two very important ones "Speaking tools": Lips and tongue. Box with your tongue under light pressure in the cheeks (also in the space between the lips and jaw). This is how you activate your tongue muscles and stretch the inside of your mouth. Pluck the lower lip with your index finger and accompany this movement with your voice.
And now the upper lip! Then place your index finger between your lips and take turns lifting them off. You can also take your voice with you.

Vocal cord gymnastics

Pull your voice up or down. Test what your voice can do! In the case of higher notes, our vocal folds are very tense and long, in lower positions they are rather short and relaxed. These differences in pitch are at the same time a stretching and loosening of the vocal folds - so gymnastics.

Fluttering lips

Finally, let your lips flutter once. Loosely close the lips and blow air through them so that they vibrate, "flutter". It sounds like a horse snorting air out of its mouth.

8. How can I maintain and train my voice over the long term?

For the voice to be right, we should treat it well. Above all, this includes supplying the areas around the larynx with fluid and thus keeping it supple. So: Drink, drink, drink!

Consume low-irritant drinks, preferably water, herbal teas, and mild juices. It is better to balance coffee and black tea in moderation and with water. If you are not offered a drink during a presentation, swallowing or brushing your tongue under a little pressure behind the upper incisors also helps.

If that is not enough, you can bite the tip of your tongue (easily!) With your teeth. This stimulates the saliva and thus “oils” the speech tools. This is also ensured by sweets or pastilles. We recommend: Sage, Irish moss or Emser salt.The best are candies, pastilles without menthol (dries out the mucous membranes).

If your voice is too busy, you have one "Lump in throat feel it, it's best to get through it Coughing, yawning, swallowing, and buzzing against it. Clearing throat, on the other hand, irritates the fine tissue of the vocal folds. They are beaten up with strong pressure, which briefly loosens the mucus that makes for the covered voice. However, it quickly re-forms and occupies the voice more strongly than before. So you are achieving exactly the opposite of what you intend to do.

Give your voice a "Warm up program“With loosening and relaxation exercises: loosen your jaw, tongue and lips, hum and hum!

Move around the fresh air! Badly ventilated and overheated rooms irritate our mucous membranes. The same is true of smoking: although it initially creates a deep and hoarse voice, it leaves permanent damage.

If you have a cold save your voice: It is best not to speak at all or only in a low voice. But you should never whisper! That puts even more strain on your voice. When whispering, the vocal folds do not close completely. A small gap remains through which the air from the lungs flows with strong pressure. This can lead to dehydration and inflammation of the sensitive vocal folds. Any voice problems are prolonged or become chronic.

9.What does professional voice training with a rhetoric trainer offer me?

If you want to know what and how to get one pleasant voice come or what and how you can invest in your sound, our professional voice and speech training offers assistance.
Goodbye to mediocrity.
Many participants see voice training as part of their personal development. Others attend the voice training because the scratching in the throat has become permanent and symptoms such as hoarseness occur or the voice fails completely when nervous.
The audience is spoiled, small mistakes or weaknesses are seldom tolerated. The voice not only has to be healthy and resilient, it should also sound good and that Cast a spell on listeners. In return, a pleasant sound can have a positive effect on the mood in the audience, because the speaker is rated as competent and personable. We maintain and shape relationships through speaking. The voice is something very individual and a part of the personality.

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