When addressing an audience, there is nothing more embarrassing than opening your mouth to speak and the voice that comes out is high in pitch and shaking to boot! The shaking is known as a quiver and it can happen even when you’re not nervous. |
If your voice is quivering when you’re nervous, rest assured that you are not alone. It happens to a lot of people and it is the result of poor voice placement exacerbated by your nervousness.
A voice that quivers is caused by undue pressure on the vocal folds (cords) and, as I mentioned earlier, it may be more noticeable when you are nervous but this not always the case. Some people have a quiver in normal speech; and, it is especially common in the elderly voice.
There is hope and help to eliminate this problem.
1. Learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm. You may question the idea of breathing in this fashion but if you want to solve the problem, breathing correctly is your 1st priority. In addition, you will find that diaphragmatic breathing is the best means of controlling your nervousness in any form of public speaking. You don’t have to live with a voice that quivers. Once you let your ‘chest do your talking,’ not only will you eliminate the quiver but you will discover a richer, warmer, more mature-sounding voice that you will actually enjoy hearing on your answering machine!
2. Learn to power your voice from by means of your chest cavity. Presently, you are relying on your throat and vocal folds to do the majority of the work when speaking, especially when your voice is shaking. It is important to understand that your quiver is the result of loss of control of your voice. When you can successfully use your chest as your primary sounding board, the quiver will be gone immediately because you will gain total control over your sound. And it is permanent!
3. Discover the optimum pitch of your voice. In all likelihood, you will find that your optimum pitch will be deeper in pitch than the pitch of your habitual speaking voice. (That is why the truly great speaking voices are low in pitch, not high.) This last suggestion is only possible, however, if you are breathing with support and powering your sound by means of your chest cavity. You must be doing both and you must be doing both correctly.
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 Nancy's Voice Training site at Voice Dynamic and discover The Power of Your Voice or watch as she describes in more detail The Truth About Vocal Abuse.
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