Breathe In and Speak Out!

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on July 17, 2012

In this post I want to share a great exercise a fellow voice specialist, Dara Whitehead Allen, M.S., CCC-SLP of the Austin Voice Institute passed on to me. See what you think!

“Air to the voice is like gas is to the car.  Air is what makes the voice go!  To build your ability to manage air well on the exhalation, hold up a finger in front of your mouth.  Imagine that this finger is a small birthday candle with a flame.  Utilizing abdominal/thoracic breathing, take in a breath through your mouth (if you’re unclear on this type of breathing, watch this video).  Exhale a small puff of air – just enough to make the imaginary flame flicker.  Without pause (very important) say the number one.  There should be no delay between the exhalation of your breath and the number.  It should be a continuous flow.  Try it again.  REMEMBER TO BLOW OUT FIRST!!!!!!  Many people forget this very important step!!  You are not doing the exercise correctly if you forget to blow the air out first and feel it on your finger.

When you are ready, count to 3, then to 5 or as high as 7 numbers at a time.  (/1-2-3 / 4-5-6 / 7-8-9 / etc. The / indicates a breath mark.) Most people need to inhale at approximately every 7 words.  However, this can vary for dramatic reasons and to convey a particular message.  The main thing to remember is to breathe BEFORE you run out of air!!!!!”

Hope you found Dara’s exercise helpful.  Want more voice information?  Check out my new offering below:

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