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From the desk of Steve Lowell, Master Speaker and Mentor to those who speak in public.

Just Before Show Time

Loosen Up Your Voice

You know that singers do it, right? You should do it too. Even if you canít sing a note, you should loosen up your vocal chords before you speak. Itís very simple. Just take some time alone in your car, in your hotel room or outside somewhere, and practice singing the, ďdo-re-miĒ scale.

Why should you do this? Because speaking is just like singing, when you speak, you donít maintain a constant pitch, volume, pace or tone. Your voice varies in order to apply emphasis as you speak. When your vocal chords are exercised, they loosen up and are free to express a variety of pitches and tones.

But thereís also a benefit thatís a little less obvious. Your vocal chords also help control your breathing, because they can close up and stop air from passing through.

When we get nervous, our muscles tense up. Our vocal chords are muscles, so they tense up as well, not only making speech more difficult, but making breathing more difficult.

All I do is my ďdo-re-miĒ scale a few times in different pitches and at different volumes. I donít force anything, or push my voice hard; I just apply a normal amount of volume and effort to get the vocal chords in motion. This helps me breathe, and helps my words flow more fluidly.

So, whatís the lesson? Loosen up those vocal chords before you speak, and youíll breathe easier as well as speak better.

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