Do you remember the first time you heard yourself on a recording? I do. The memory is seared into my mind. I was shocked. In fact, I was sure it was the fault of Sony and not of me!

When I was in graduate school a few years later, my singing professor showed me where my optimum speaking voice was. Deeper in pitch and richer than that which I had been using out of habit, it sounded more mature than my habitual voice. I knew immediately that I would use my resonant voice from that moment on. What is interesting is that that voice made me sound more mature than I was. It also got me the jobs I wanted when I moved to New York City two years later.

What was I doing differently when I spoke with my ‘real’ or optimum voice?

    1. I started breathing with the support of my diaphragm. I had learned this technique in college during my singing lessons and subconsciously started breathing in that manner in order to support my speaking voice.

    2. I used my chest to power my sound which is only possible if your diaphragm is involved in respiration.

Essentially, your 'real' or optimum voice will resonate in your mid-torso region in which your rib cage expands, allowing for the vibration of the voice in the chest cavity. If you are not breathing with support (99% of the population is not), then it is impossible for the chest to be used in this manner.

Those who are making use of their chest cavity as their primary sounding board have voices that are deeper in pitch and fuller and richer in quality. Those voices are reminiscent of the likes of Sean Connery, George Clooney, Cher, Kathleen Turner and James Earl Jones. These actors are breathing with support and speaking with their ‘chest’ voice. That is why they sound as good as they do.

The secret to good voice training is in the breathing. There are many voice coaches who will work on the voice you already have and never mention your diaphragm. Then, there are a few who will show you the voice you don't know you have. That is the type of training you should be seeking.

You do not have to live with what you hear on recording equipment. If the image you project is important to you, do not forget your voice because what you hear on your answering machine is exactly how everyone else recognizes you. What is that voice saying about you?

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels provides private, group and corporate training throughout the United States and Canada as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement and presentation skills. Visit Voice Dynamic and voice your opinion in her new blog.

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