The most common problems for public speakers are vocal defects. The most common vocal defects are breathiness, throatiness, and nasality.
If you practice the following exercises will remedy these defects.
Problem: This is caused by allowing breath to escape un- or non-vocalized.
Solution: The remedy lies in applying to the vocal cords just the quantity of breath required to produce a given tone.
- Inhale deeply. Exhale on singing ah. Apply the air very gently to the vocal cords, hold back the unused breath and aim to increase the purity of tone.
- Count from one to ten in a loud whisper, inhaling after each number. Repeat with half breath and half voice. Repeat with pure tone. Project into the distance.
- Practice the following in pure, clear-cut voice: hup, he, ha, haw, hah,
- Ho, hoo.
Problem: This defect arises from smallness of throat or rigidity.
Solution: Relax all throat muscles and practice exercises for depressing the root of the tongue, raising the soft palate and lowering the larynx.
- Practice the various tongue exercises, keeping the lips perfectly still.
- Sing oo-oh-ah in well-projected voice. Sing le, la, law, lah, lo, loo.
Problem: Vocal current is allowed to escape through the nostrils, a nasal tone is produced.
Solution: To avoid this, the soft palate must be well raised and the tone projected directly towards the lips.
- With soft palate raised sing ah and oh in pure projected tone.
- With the thumb and first finger gently close the nostrils and pronounce
- several times with the utmost nasality:
- “0 ‘precious hours.”
- Keep the nostrils closed and try to repeat with a pure tone.
- Repeat with nostrils open.
Problem: To secure purity of voice, no particle of breath must be allowed to escape unvocalized.
Solution: Try to consistently “feeding” the breath very gently to the vocal cords and increasing the volume only after long practice.
Control the expiration that is the least possible amount of air sufficient to cause vibration is poured with continuous effect upon the vocal organs.
- Repeat with rising slide and with falling slide, aim ing at great clearness.
- Practice various musical scales.
- Repeat with bright and with sad vibrations.
- Repeat with rising, falling, and circumflex inflection.
- Commence a humming tone as before, allow the lower jaw to drop gently, “focus” the voice on the lips and maintain as much facial resonance as possible.
- Yawn e, a, aw, ah, o, oo,
- Count very deliberately one to fifty, inhaling after each number.
- Toss the sounds e, a, aw, ah, oh, oo.
- Practice shock of the glottis in gup, ge, ga, gaw, gah, go, goo.
- Sing le, la, law, lah, lo, loo, singly and in combination.
- Sing oo in gentle, smooth voice, avoiding unnecessary muscular effort.
- Repeat with o.
- Pronounce e, a, aw, ah, 6, do, prolonging each ten or more seconds.
- Sing ah, with mouth well opened, aiming at purity, depth and smoothness. Sustain and repeat on various pitches.
- Repeat in hup, he, ha, haw, hah, ho, hoo.
- Repeat with oo-o-ah.
- With mouth closed hum a mental maw. The vibration should be felt on the lips and in the facial resonators.
- Count to fifty, ten to each breath.
- Gradually change singing o to ah, maintaining a uniform quality throughout.
- Repeat last two exercises in loud whisper.
- Repeat in very low pitch.
- Project by slight waves of sound woo-woo-woo-woo.