05 Feb Strategies for Fnding your best Voice Range-To Improve your Pubic Speaking Skills
for the Most Effective Public Speaking
(Excerpt from: How to Speak like a Broadcaster and Lead like a CEO)
Elizabeth Peterson M.A.CCC-SLP
In our last blog post I talked about the strategy of “Sigh on Down” for a quick way to find where your stronger vocal pitch range is placed. This will help to improve your public speaking skills. I recommend doing that first. Here are more approaches on how to find your optimal pitch range. Technology or apps are not necessary to learn this. I find people are successful when they do this independently with their own body. Listed below are some approaches to position you to speak from your optimal pitch range.
Say “uh-huh.” Move the pitch down the speech stairs when you say it. To find your optimal range, be certain to produce the “uh” from the midrange of your voice and then produce the “huh” at a lower range. Do this three times to get a sense of this voice placement—uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh. Think about where your midrange voice is located. If you say “uh-huh” in too high of a pitch, as if you were saying yes or agreeing with someone, then you will be above your stronger or optimal pitch range. You will notice that your voice will be thinner and higher. When you are saying the word “uh-huh” from the midrange of your voice, you are producing your optimal pitch range, and it comes from your lower throat. This is where your best voice will be and you will be a more dynamic public speaker
It is important to begin voicing at your midrange. The “uh” is the upper limit for optimal pitch, and the “huh” is the lower limit for this range. The range may seem small to you. It is about a four- to-five-note range. Be aware that this is only a range and it should fluctuate. If you begin your statements from the midrange of your voice you will be speaking in your optimal pitch range. If you feel that you are beginning your statements too high in pitch, say “uh-huh” to find your optimal pitch for comparison.
The Ummm-Hmmm Trick
Producing the sound “ummm-hmmm” has the same affect for finding your ideal voice as does the “uh-huh” trick. This is another quick and subtle technique for finding your optimal pitch range before you begin talking. If you are speaking and realize you are not in the optimal zone, that is okay. Do a quick “ummm-hmmm,” and it will prompt you to where you need to be.
Speak from Your Chest
Regardless of which approach you use to find your optimal pitch range, when you speak from that area, you probably have noticed that it felt as if you were speaking from the area of your breastbone or chest area. The breastbone is in the center of your rib cage, and when you place your hand in that area, you can feel it vibrate when you speak from your optimal pitch range. When you speak, think of the sound waves coming from your breastbone or chest area. That will help keep you in your optimal pitch range. This skill will help you to be a more confident public speaker.
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