Don’t you just hate it? The voice you know in your head sounds fabulous and then you hear yourself on your voicemail and suddenly you are subjected to a whiny, nasal sound that is unrecognizable. You may also find it embarrassing, appalling, or disgusting. Whatever your reaction, what you hear on recording equipment is true. What you hear in your head is the lie. |
Excessive nasality results in too much sound being sent up through the nose. There are certain sounds in English which most definitely should vibrate to some degree in the nose. Those sounds are the n, m, and ng sounds: any word which has one or more of those sounds (called nasals) will vibrate to some degree, such as the words rain, finger, no.
The problem we find with excessive nasality is that there are a number of other sounds travelling up through the nasal passages which don’t belong there. If your nose vibrates excessively on your nasals or with other non-nasal sounds, such as the long e (he) or the long a (hay), you can practice a simple exercise to begin enunciating those sounds along the floor of your mouth instead of in your nose.
The 1st thing you need to do is to notice the difference between a jaw which is tight and one which is relaxed. Close your mouth, clench your teeth tightly and feel the knot in your jaw with your fingertips right below your ears. This is a tight jaw. Now open your mouth, unclench your teeth and drop your jaw. You should notice that the ‘knot’ has disappeared. This is the position of a relaxed jaw.
Next try this exercise: Tighten your jaw and say the words Many dancers rang many rings, sending them up through your nose in an exaggerated manner. Yes, it will sound silly. Then relax your jaw and say those same words again along the floor of your mouth. This will only work if your jaw is relaxed.
Did you notice a difference? Your homework is to practice saying something in the exaggerated nasal position and then in the relaxed mouth position, back and forth, over and over again so that you can train your inner ear to recognize the difference.
Another method of eliminating your nasality is by means of voice training because you will not only eliminate your nasality but you will also discover a richer, deeper sound in the process.
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. If you would like to hear the difference in a nasal versus non-nasal voice, watch Katie's dramatic Before & After Video at Voice Dynamic.
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