The Sound of Your Voice is Carried on Your Breath

Did you know you can breathe “wrong?” If not, don’t worry – most people don’t even think about it. When you speak and sing, you should be taking deep belly breaths. Check out this less than 2-minute video for more details.:

Deep belly breathing while vocalizing can be counter-intuitive for many of us, because we’re unwittingly accustomed to clenching our abdomens, especially when we’re in a situation that makes us nervous…like public speaking or singing can.

Try this exercise – head into your bedroom or bathroom, wherever you have a large mirror – and take a deep breath. Does your belly expand when you inhale? Do your shoulders go up? Ideally, when vocalizing, your belly should be relaxed and expand when you inhale while your shoulders and chest remain relatively stable and movement-free.

If this sounds, or feels, confusing – know you’re not alone! I’ve worked with people from 9-16 year-old students to attorneys to professional speakers/trainers who find deep, relaxed belly breathing baffling at first. It took a while for it to become second nature for me, too.

The good news: incorporating healthy and effective vocal technique is like learning a sport. All it takes is repetition, time and patience while the process becomes ingrained in muscle memory. Then, your body simply knows what to do – and you don’t even have to think about it anymore! Very good news, indeed.

Mother’s Day is coming up May 12th. Do any mothers in your life love to cook?  You can order COMFORT FOOD FROM THE HEARTLAND: Recipes from a South Dakota Farmer’s Daughter here: The cookbook is a benefit for Salem Friends of Felines, where I adopted the most awesome cat, Lady Jane, in 2007. Lady is 15 now.

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

I came away with a much better understanding of how to do, and effectively use, belly breathing to speak confidently, efficiently and effectively. -Caroline M.

Laura is a skilled teacher and observer of her students. -Anita E.

Supportive, fun, safe…and immediately applicable tools and skills. -Barbara M.

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)