The voice enables us to engage, excite, enthuse, calm or persuade. NIDA’s Corporate Performance team has worked with people from many different industries to help them learn how to make the most out of the best communication tool they have – their voice.
Course Manager and NIDA Graduate, Lyn Lee has worked extensively with coaches at the Australian Institute of Sport to show them just how important voice work can be in any situation.
“The coaches were working in difficult environments and their voices were suffering. The swimming coaches were projecting in the cavernous swimming centre, the coaches working with canoeists had to run up and down beside the waterway, and the rowing coaches had to shout across the water.
“There was a need to warm up and to produce their voices correctly to avoid damage. Among the techniques we devised, we offered short warm-up exercises as well as looking at breathing patterns and techniques to increase breath capacity. We also gave them exercises to ease tension, increase projection and reinforced the need for awareness of the messages their body was sending.”
Lyn’s work with the sports coaches was great in helping them communicate better through some really simple techniques.
Here is a three minute warm-up you can try to make the most of your voice, whether you’re performing on stage, sitting around the meeting table or just want to make yourself heard.
Three minute power warm up
Minute 1: shake out tension and create energy
- spinal roll, shoulder roll, head and neck roll
Open the channel
- Jaw: “Ouch bounce power”, “The coach is the power in the athletes hour”
- Lips: “Why are you walking when the weather’s so wild?”
- Tongue and soft palate: “Goo-gah, gee-gah, gay-gay, gauy-gah, goh-gah”
Minute 2: fuel the voice and create calm
Breath and projection
- Side yoga stretch – stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend to the right side reaching your left arm above your head, and repeat to the other side
- Diaphragm pant – inhale down into the diaphragm and further into the belly, filling up this area of the body like a balloon to support the voice. Holding your hand on your diaphragm, pant, and feel the in and out movement.
- Throw a ball – pretend to throw a ball as you say ‘s, z, m, ah’ and numbers 1-10. Use the throwing action to help project each sound
- Hum on an ‘m’ sound to make the lips vibrate and tingle.
Minute 3: build articulation and clarity
- “p, b, t, d, k, g”
- “oo, oh, or, ah, ey, ee”
- “Be bold, be brave, be brave, be bold”
- “Courage and confidence connect continuously”
- “Arthur’s father drives a Jaguar”
- “Unique New York, New York’s unique”
All views expressed are authors own.
About this author: Lyn Lee, Course Manager & Training Consultant, NIDA Corporate
Want to know more? Give her a call today on 1300 650 357