The diaphragm is a respiratory muscle that contracts on inhalation. We can’t directly control how it behaves, but we can learn how it feels when activated. When you breathe in and out, your diaphragm, which is an involuntary muscle, will contract and expand.
What does it mean to speak from your diaphragm?
Speaking from the diaphragm is a concept that is used primarily in the practice of voice acting and public speaking. It requires you to activate your diaphragm while breathing and speaking. The objective is to train the individual to become mindful of their diaphragm and use it on purpose.
Training and utilizing your diaphragm improves the vocal capabilities of an actor performing but it’s very useful for public speakers and singers as well.
Inhale from the belly instead of the chest area
You’d think everyone would be familiar with how to breathe right properly? Or, at the very least, everybody believes that they do. But the truth is that the vast majority of people only use their upper chest and upper belly when they breathe.
The ability to focus, relax, and strengthen oneself by using diaphragmatic breathing is an asset for voice actors. When performing you should take a deep breath. By doing that you’ll slow down your pulse rate, remain in the present and create a more intimate and natural-sounding voice for the listener. Because of its incredible efficacy, it serves as the essential component of a successful performance.
How can I tell if I’m using the diaphragm properly?
When you’re breathing through the diaphragm, your tummy should move in and out, that way you’ll know that you’re activating your diaphragm. You may begin to use your upper chest muscles or your belly to get additional inhalation as you strive to take very deep breaths and fill your lungs more. But this is unnecessary, and if you raise your shoulders, you could be overdoing it and tensing yourself. Slower diaphragmatic breathing should be quite calming as your respiration becomes more effective.
Standing up makes it the most simple to breathe through your diaphragm. Straighten your spine, inhale through your nose, and inflate below your breast bone. Your stomach should appear to be inflating, but in reality, it’s just your diaphragm pushing lower. Only lift your stomach, not your chest. Pretty quickly, this becomes natural, comfortable and subconscious.
How to train oneself to Speak from the Diaphragm
You can practice speaking from the diaphragm with one of these methods:
- Talk in front of the mirror making sure your belly fills in when breathing in and your shoulders stay quite level
- Try tongue twisters to practice breathing while speaking fast. It’ll help you to learn to take effective breaths in difficult conditions.
- Practice belly breathing while reading aloud. Focus on the breathing part while reading, later it should become an involuntary habit.
How can I breathe and talk from the diaphragm simultaneously?
Speaking from the diaphragm is a bit of a misnomer. The diaphragm is the primary inhalation muscle, which is engaged during inhaling and resting during exhaling. As a result, you cannot directly speak from your diaphragm but you can utilize the extra air and resonance diaphragmatic breathing gives you to enhance your vocal capabilities. Therefore, speaking from the diaphragm means employing the diaphragm to maximize your performance.
Speaking from the diaphragm involves using a deeper breath. Some people breathe shallowly, which leaves them with insufficient air to talk loudly, pronounce a phrase, or speak appropriately for a voiceover. As a consequence, they strain the throat rather than engage their entire body to send air through vocal folds.