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A Tip From Broadcast Voice Handbook

Book Cover for Broadcast Voice HandbookLast week’s post was about developing a commanding voice by increasing vocal projection (see post below this one). This week I’m going to give you one of my favorite exercises from my book, BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK.

Sometimes clients ask me what I consider to be the most beneficial vocal exercise, and I always go for this one. It’s a simple exercise to build breath support, but the pay-off can be big!

This is the perfect exercise to follow last week’s post because you can’t have good projection without a strong and steady stream of air creating the vocal fold vibration and, thus, the sound.  So if you want to do an exercise daily that will produce great results, try this one:

Put one hand on your abdominal area just below your waistband.  Now take a deep inhalation, pushing your hand out and away from your spine as you inhale.  Sustain the following vowel sound at a conversational volume as you exhale and your hand slowly moves back toward the spine:

“ah” as in spa

Time how long you can make this vowel sound.  Stop vocalization when the sound begins to waver or sound weak.  At first, your times may be in the ten to fifteen second range.  Try to build your control of exhalation by adding a few seconds each time until you can sustain a vowel for twenty to thirty seconds on one exhalation.  Keep a record of your progress.

BTW, BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK is 390 pages long, so if you’d like to have more exercises on breathing or any other aspect of voice, check out the Bookstore page to download your own copy.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • shaun April 25, 2012, 4:50 am

    Thanks for this, I’ve been looking to develop my voice but haven’t found any. Useful informaation until now. You’ve put me on the right track.

  • Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. April 25, 2012, 2:49 pm

    Shaun–Thanks for your comment. I keep putting up blog posts in hopes of finding readers just like you! I hope you continue to read and profit from them. –Ann

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