Build Your Vocal Platform 1, 2, 3 …

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Have you ever noticed a speaker or yourself becoming breathy while giving a presentation. There is a simple exercise to building a strong vocal platform.

Here is a way to assure that you will have the breath you need when you need it. Stand, yes stand, in the middle of a room. Any room will do. Start by breathing from your diaphragm.
Now take a breath, raise your arm and point your finger to the left corner of the room. Slowly start counting with a strong voice, 1, 2, moving your finger from left to right 3, 4,5. You should now be pointing to the right corner of the room you are facing. Lower your arm and breathe. Did you feel any stress in your lungs or throat? If so, you need to practice this a couple more times. If not, let’s start over.

Repeat the count in a slow, strong voice pointing left to right 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and now turn and continue counting 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Rest your arm and breathe. How do your lung and throat feel now. Were you able to complete it with one breath? If so, great, what you just did is about 10 words.

Let’s test our vocal platform a little further. Repeat and now go from 1 to 15 using three walls as you turn with the objective to do it with one breath. And, yes, when you have this down, you will advance: 1 to 20 using all four walls on one breath and strong voice. Practice until you can do it slowly and with one breath with no distress in lungs or throat. Your mind will tell you how much breath you need for what you are saying, all you need to do is train it so it will not let you down when needed.

Ready, start counting, arm up, take a breath 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, turn, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, turn, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, turn, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Lower arm, relax and breathe. How do you feel now?

Build Your Vocal Platform – It Starts With the Diaphragm

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Having a strong vocal platform is an essential ingredient for speakers. Whether you are speaking for 10 minutes or all day, developing a strong speaking platform will make your voice more engaging, and not to mention you will still have one at the end of the day.

We all breathe, however, many of us do not breathe correctly. Practicing the correct way to breathe can be the difference between having a voice for the duration of your talk, or ending up with a painful throat and a tired voice.

The first key is breathing from the diaphragm.   To test this, stand up! Shoulders back chest out, head straight. Now place your hand on your belly take a deep breath and notice if the breath is raising your hand or if your shoulders are rising. If your shoulders are rising your breath is shallow and you vocal platform will not hold up. Practice breathing from the diaphragm and you will have a strong and more lasting voice.

If you are having trouble breathing from your diaphragm, lie down and place your hand on your belly and take a deep breath. You will feel that you are breathing from the diaphragm. Your hand will rise and fall. Ever wonder why a baby can cry for long periods of time. It is breathing  from the diaphragm, or so I was told.