Never Sound Nasal Again. Speak with a Stronger Voice

Never Sound Nasal Again. Speak with a Stronger Voice

Never Sound Nasal Again: Understand The Three Different Types of Resonance for A Stronger and More Powerful Voice.

The idea of resonance seems abstract to most people, but it can easily be explained. It is important to understand the concept of resonance to achieve your goals of a stronger and more powerful voice and less nasal resonance for a stronger and more powerful voice.  Resonance is the amplification of speech sound waves that occurs in the cavities of your throat, mouth and nose. To simplify, resonance has to do with where the voice is “placed” in the body by the speaker.

To demonstrate resonance and culture, some foreign speakers place their voices in a location different from that of American-born speakers. Individuals in some cultures, such as France, place their speech higher in their nasal cavity, creating some nasal resonance. Some cultures resonate more in the back of their throats, such as Russian speakers.  The best way to describe American resonance is that it resonates in the lower throat and center of the mouth cavity. It may feel as if you are speaking from your chest. For the purpose of improving your voice image, learning how to place your voice in the center of your mouth cavity is the goal.

If you feel your voice is too high in pitch or sounds nasal, you may be placing your voice toward your nasal cavity. If you mumble or speak in a monotone, your speech may not be loud or clear enough due to a lack of range of motion with the speech articulators. This article will teach you how to achieve better resonance, which is required for a strong and powerful voice.

There Are Three Types of Resonance

 Pharyngeal Resonance

Your vocal folds are in your lower throat, which is the region where your optimal pitch is generated. Pharyngeal resonance is highly important for voice quality since proper voicing is produced in this area. The throat should be relaxed and free from tension. To speak with a voice that is rich and pure in tone quality, understanding pharyngeal resonance is very important. It may be helpful to think of speaking from your chest to simplify this abstract idea.

Oral Resonance

This type of resonance places the voice in the mouth cavity. Any movement, large or small, with the lips, cheeks, tongue, jaw or wall of the throat will affect the resonance by shaping the sound waves. If you are not moving your speech articulators fully, such as the case from mumbling or speaking in a monotone style, you will not have full oral resonance.

 

The best professional speech resonates from the pharyngeal and oral cavities. Think of these two types of resonance as working together, and it is easier to think of speaking from the chest area. Some voice experts call it chest resonance, but that is not truly correct to describe where the sound waves are being produced. Thinking about talking from your chest will help you to maintain optimal pitch and more powerful resonance. If your speech resonates from your nasal cavity or you don’t have complete follow-through with your speech articulators, you may not achieve the best oral resonance or overall voice quality.

 Nasal Resonance

This type of resonance is when the voice sounds as if it were being projected through the nose, creating a tone quality that is nasal or high in pitch or sounds like “whining.” When the tone is placed too high in these cavities, the result is a nasal-sounding voice. A speaker can be between “two parallels,” where it is not 100% nasal but is above the pharyngeal and oral resonance range. This could be described as having some “nasality.” Many speakers fall into this category.

Placing your voice correctly in your pharyngeal and oral cavities is important for a rich, robust voice with natural projection and ideal voice quality. This can be achieved with good movement with your speech articulators, proper diaphragm breathing, voicing from your optimal pitch range, and thinking of your speech coming from your chest area.

Homework: Experiment with the different types of resonance. Intentionally place your voice in the nasal cavity. Place your voice in your lower throat. Understand how you can choose where your voice is placed. When at work, try to determine the voice placement of your colleagues. This will help you to better understand resonance and achieve your voice goal.

 



Speech and Voice - Elizabeth Peterson


Elizabeth Peterson, Denver’s leading speech therapist and executive speech coach for over 22 years and is the author of Accent Reduction 101, Third Edition 2017 and Speak Like a Broadcaster & Lead Like a CEO, Third Edition 2017 . Learn More

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Elizabeth Peterson M.A., CCC-SLP Speech Therapist

Speech Therapist & Executive Speech Coach for over 22 years
Licensed speech therapist in the State of Colorado
Certified with the American Speech Language Hearing Association
CSHA, Colorado Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationASHA, American Speech-Language Hearing Association