Things You'll Need
- A short practice script
Learning voice projection can enhance self-confidence as well as prepare you for a wide range of careers. In covering the basics of voice projection, this article will address how to avoid certain habits while simultaneously incorporating new techniques. Read on to learn how to teach voice projection.
Understand that many people associate voice projection with singing. While it is true that singing requires the proper application of voice projection, it is by no means the only area where these techniques are necessary. Some other areas where voice projection is a huge benefit include public speaking and lecturing, stage acting and teaching. Before you can effectively teach the proper basic techniques, you will want your student(s) recognize and correct bad techniques and habits which will hinder their efforts. Begin by having them examining their posture without changing it. Discuss the specific problems with their posture such as slumping, back and neck misalignment, head down or other factors. Then have them apply proper posture. They should be encouraged to be conscious of their posture throughout their day, and to apply new posture techniques while doing normal activities such as driving or having dinner.
After a short while of practicing correct posture, students can go on to include controlled breathing. Breathing can be both voluntary and involuntary. For the purpose of voice projection, students will learn to breath more from the diaphragm, the muscles beneath the ribcage, as well as the abdominal muscles. Practice tightening and releasing these muscles slowly, several times. Have each student practice tightening the muscles while speaking. Repeat the exercise after releasing the muscles. This exercise allows students to hear the difference in how their voice resonates when proper posture and breathing techniques are applied.
Just as important as technique, enunciation can make or break all efforts to learn voice projection. Many people tend to speak too quickly, too low, too loud, or are just plain lazy. Select a list of words that require clear, concise enunciation. Examples could include chiropractor, effervescent, complication and specificity. Start by having each student normally pronounce the words, followed by having each student apply posture and breathing techniques while exaggerating each syllable of a word. Continue to use this exercise with full sentences and then passages from poetry, a book or speech. Students can practice this exercise at home in front of a mirror to help them become more at ease with their new technique. Comparing how each reading sounds--normally and then with the techniques they have learned--will go a long way in helping students clearly hear the benefits of applied voice projection.
Repetition is the ultimate tool in teaching voice projection. It allows old habits and inhibitions to gradually fade away while instilling new and effective habits. With practical exercises in posture, controlled breathing and enunciation, students will have a practical, applicable foundation of voice projection techniques.
Create applicable exercises that students can easily practice in their normal routine. Add one technique at a time, rather than attempting to have students apply several principles from the beginning. Use your own voice to show clear distinctions of applied techniques.
While introducing breathing techniques, be sure students don't over-control breathing. Hyperventilation is no fun.
Carol Tilley-Williams has been a freelance writer and published author for 12 years. She was a guest editor for Poetworks Press, LLC, and also taught performing arts. Tilley-Williams attended Jefferson State Jr. College in Birmingham, Alabama, where she received the distinguished Ruby Carson Outstanding Student Award, wrote for the college newspaper, and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa.