If you ever felt that your voice does not reach enough decibels and is prone to get drowned in noisy environments or even in normal conversations, this guide is for you.
Throughout this writing, we’ll be giving various advice for increasing your voice volume without having to strain your vocal cords. This will not only improve your voiceover abilities but your social skills may also get a boost as a result.
Use the Diaphragm
The diaphragm is a skeletal muscle that you may locate at the base of your chest beneath the lungs. This organ expands as you exhale and flattens as you inhale, creating a vacuum that sucks air into your lungs as you breathe.
For a very long time, vocal trainers have insisted on speaking or singing from the diaphragm. There’s a very compelling reason for this: It projects the voice far better than any other medium. In fact, when laughing out loud, the most utilized organ is the diaphragm, to the point where you can feel the contraction in your gut.
One way to ascertain whether or not the sound of the voice is coming from the diaphragm is by placing your hand below the chest and trying to detect any vibrations.
Breathing is an essential function in life, but it carries particular importance in voice rendering and voice projection. After all, the voice is, at its core, the outcome of the vibration of air particles.
Performing deep inhalations will enable you to store up more air and excite more air particles as you emit vocal sounds, effectively increasing the intensity.
Doing constant breathing exercises will allow you to attain better control over the airflow via the strengthening of the diaphragm (which, as disclosed earlier, is a muscle).
You can do the following exercises each day:
- Take a deep breath that fills your entire stomach
- Hold that breath you inhaled for about 4 or 5 seconds
- Release the built-up air slowly while imagining it springing from your belly button. This will eventually create a habit of expelling air from a wider area as you speak.
These exercises should be undertaken regularly, but they’re especially useful when you must do long presentations or undertake strenuous voiceover gigs.
Postural health is not only crucial in upkeeping our physical well-being, but it’s also elemental in many other everyday processes, such as speech.
Our posture sets the curvature of the canal wherein air travels throughout our bodies. If we remain hunched, air will take more time to get from and to the lungs and other organs involved in voice production. These organs (e.g., lungs, diaphragm, bronchi, etc.) will also get compressed, weakening their ability to take in or get the air out.
In short, you should always strive to retain an upright posture without trying to overdo it so as not to strain your muscles and bones unnecessarily. Doing this will elude those problems and your chest cavity will also open up, enabling more air to reach the lungs.
Stretching and “Creating Space”
Just as you would perform stretching exercises before moving on with workouts, try to get used to stretching exercises to “create space” for your voice chamber around your chest, focusing on the front of your body.
You may achieve this by pulling your arms back slowly and repeatedly, just as you would when waking up in the morning. You can likewise induce yawning to open up space around the throat, making the muscles around that area more flexible to boot and, hence, granting you a wider range.
Maintain a Lower Pitch
There is always the tendency to raise the pitch when attempting to talk louder. However, aim for a lower pitch as you raise the decibels. As you do this, the resulting voice has a lesser chance of annoying listeners. You’d have to force yourself to consciously do this, for it’s very easy to lose control over your pitch.
A lower-pitched voice is very positive as it attracts more attention from the audience than a higher-pitched voice. It also commands respect.
You can adjust your pitch by undertaking various warming-up exercises. Remember that the vocal cords can reach lower tones when they’re relaxed.
Some examples of methods for reducing tension in the vocal cords include:
- Performing throat massages: Massage your sternocleidomastoid muscles (the ones situated at each side of the neck) downwards with your fingers for at least 60 seconds. Then, raise your chin while mildly dragging down the skin in the chest area with the palm of your hand.
- Making soft glissandos with your voice from high to low pitch (such as when you yawn) without coloring the voice or intentionally using a “dark” tone.
- Maintaining good oral hygiene (this should never be overlooked.)
- Lastly, doing the breathing exercises that we exposed earlier.
A tense body will act as a barrier to sound (similar to a brick wall), whereas a relaxed body will vibrate along with the outgoing air and permit air vibrations to go through, eliciting a much more resonant voice.
Furthermore, a relaxed body will also help you place less tension on your vocal cords as your voice won’t have to cope with the setbacks of a rigid body. That way, you’ll also prevent vocal damage in the process.
Relaxation also engenders more confidence. Confidence and determination are instrumental in delivering a round and perfectly audible voice.
Improve your Articulation
A major culprit behind an inaudible voice is, on many occasions, not the voice itself, but how words are being articulated.
If you’re constantly tailing off at the middle of words or not pronouncing consonants or vowels correctly, you are not allowing the voice to go that extra mileage so that it can be heard to its fullest.
At times, it’s beneficial to slow down your speech, for that would undoubtedly at least create the impression of a louder voice as you make yourself more understandable to the listener.
Place Yourself in Situations in Which You Have to Raise Your Voice
You may find several environments that will not only encourage you to raise your voice but will compel you to do so. Places such as restaurants, clubs, sporting events, or similarly crowded areas are excellent places where you can put into practice your vocal skills.
In addition, a good practice is to stand or sit at least six feet away from the person you’re speaking with to force yourself to raise your voice.
You can also visualize that person at least three feet farther from where he/she is and talk as if trying to reach that distance. In that same vein, when speaking to an audience, you can imagine the conference room being 20-25% larger than it is and speak as if trying to reach the farthest end of that “imaginary” extra room.
Override your “Loudness Meter”
For people who are worried that their voice is too loud, oftentimes the opposite is the case and listeners struggle to understand or hear what they’re saying. People who are not used to raising their voices beyond what they deem a “comfortable range” will feel intimidated and overwhelmed when raising the bar.
However, as you adequate your ear to those levels, you’ll begin to feel more confident. You may always readjust your voice volume whenever it gets too loud. However, as much as possible, try to reach a voice as loud as possible within reasonable limits.
Try to aim for 20% louder each time whenever you think you’re getting loud. This is not an exact measure but you can establish a milestone that more or less reaches those values.
Keep Track of Your Decibels
You could use a phone or computer app to measure how loud your voice is relative to a “standard” speaking volume.
It’s ideal to do this as you follow all the other tips. Set a roadmap and take note of the results obtained so that you may keep an eye on how much you’ve progressed on your journey towards getting a louder voice.