When I show my clients how to find their 'real' voice, the first order of business is to make sure that their jaw is relaxed. This is important because if the jaw is clenched, you will not be able to make the change. Whereas tension in the neck and shoulder regions is much more common in woman - probably about 95% - a tight jaw can be found equally among men and women. |
Recently, a man with whom I have been working, had been experiencing difficulty finding his real voice. As a voiceover artist, he uses a variety of different voices for the various roles he undertakes, not only for speaking parts but for singing telegrams as well. After a few days of great strain on his throat and vocal folds, he decided to go back to my DVD training; and, it finally dawned on him that his jaw was practically immobile when he spoke.
As soon as he worked on relaxing his jaw, he was immediately able to settle on his real voice and it was 2 whole steps deeper than his habitual voice. As I explain to my clients, it is like the cogs of a gear suddenly falling into place when you find your real voice. It sounds right; it feels right; it is right.
If you frequently experience tension, tightness or soreness in your jaw, it is not going to change until you work on some techniques to relax those muscles. Tension in that area can result not only in a tight voice but often in excessive nasality, neither of which is recommended if you are interested in improving your sound and feeling more relaxed in the process.
Below is excellent exercise for releasing the tension in your jaw.
Place your hands on the hinge of your jaw (down and in front of your ears) with your teeth tightly clenched. You should feel the tension and the tightness. With your hands still on your jaw, open your mouth (teeth and lips open) thereby dropping your jaw. Feel the knot at the hinge disappear. Every time you speak, your jaw should be in this dropped or open position. Repeat this until your jaw feels relaxed.
You don't have to live with a tight jaw. Learn to relax it and you may discover the rest of your body relaxing in the process. Then discover your 'real' voice, the one you were meant to have - the one that is just waiting to come out!
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic or watch Nancy in a brief video as she describes The Power of Your Voice.
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