WATCH, LEARN & ENJOY
I regularly post videos via my YouTube channel to inform you and to get started. In addition to these videos, I always write a short blog here. With some videos you can download a free brochure with more information or follow a free video training.
# 1 Voice care with mouth mask
In the past year, speaking suddenly became much more unpleasant because of the mandatory wearing of a mouth mask. You are less intelligible and have a spontaneous tendency to speak louder, which will make you more likely to overload your voice if you do not use the right technique.
To prevent voice fatigue, it is important to warm up your voice sufficiently . Our vocal cords are muscles that just like any other
muscle in your body can be warmed up and trained. Warming up often ensures that you will increase the power of your voice and will be less hoarse after a long day of talking. When speaking with a mouth mask, it takes extra effort to be understood and we often start forcing our voice to speak louder, in other words: the load increases.
Wearing a mouth mask ensures that your breathing is obstructed. This often gives you a tight feeling and you start to breathe faster and more shallow. This promotes breathlessness when speaking. Look for this natural low diaphragm breathing. If necessary, be guided by an app (eg the breathing app, stresserasor pro ...) Start on an exhalation and gently exhale for 6 counts.
The mouth image is not visible when wearing a mouth mask. As a listener, we cannot read lips because of this and a lot of information is lost for the less attentive listener. Our body language, posture and gestures are therefore extremely important.
Empower your words by using hand gestures
Keep your posture open
Focus on your conversation partner while you are talking
Make enough eye contact
Ribeiro et al. Published a first interesting study this year (2020): Effect of Wearing a Face Mask on Vocal Self-Perception during a Pandemic . This article confirms that people who wear a mouth mask when speaking experience increased voice fatigue, vocal discomfort and effort while speaking, and have difficulty making themselves understood. Finally, they indicate problems coordinating their voice and breathing.
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# 2 Voice warm-up with Lax Vox
Every top athlete knows how important a good warm-up is. Warming up muscles is essential to avoid overload. Professional speakers very often do not do this. They start a lecture that lasts for hours without any warming up. Afterwards they are completely exhausted and they have complaints such as: voice fatigue, hoarseness, itch in the throat ... Your voice as a speaker is your instrument. Take care of it! Drink enough water (at least 2 liters per day) and get an inhaler: start using the vapor.
The warm vapor and water ensure that your vocal cords remain well moisturized and flexible. You can also purchase such an inhaler via the webshop ( click here: inhaler ).
Now get started with Lax Vox
This is an exercise that requires a bottle of water and a Lax Vox tube . Fill the bottle to 1/3 and then put the tube in the water. Sit up straight and then blow through the tube. First bubble without a sound and then do it in one tone for as long as possible. Gradually increase the intensity of the exercise by going higher and lower afterwards. This way you stretch your vocal cords.
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# 3 The impact of stress on your voice
Do you often have a lump in your throat before having to speak in front of an audience? Does your voice suddenly rise during stressful situations?
You probably recognize it: an emotional moment and suddenly there is no sound from your throat, a lump in the throat. As a speaker, it is also important to keep your stress under control so that your voice does not suddenly rise too high or start to vibrate.
Voting technique is an important part of speaking with more confidence in front of a group, but authenticity as a speaker remains important. These sensations can be an indirect result of the stress you are experiencing at the time. Not only with chronic stress (eg burnout, hyperventilation ...), but also with acute stress (eg presentation, speaking in front of an audience or group ...) our voice can suddenly work against you.
To understand how our body responds to stress, we need to talk about the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system in our body ensures that we can breathe, digest and that our heart beats at this moment. In short, the autonomic nervous system is an 'automatic' nervous system, which allows various processes in our body to proceed by themselves without our having to pay attention to them. What you should definitely remember is that there is a nervous system for rest and relaxation and a nervous system for action. These two nervous systems together form the autonomic nervous system that regulates many functions in our body. An important nerve is the vagus nerve, which also has branches to your voice. Your nervous system indirectly influences the tension, position and height of your voice and larynx.
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# 4 provoking the tip of the tongue / r /
You can form the / r / with your tongue tip or with the uvula. In this video I give 4 quick tips to provoke the tip of the tongue / r / . This sound remains one of the most difficult sounds and in my practice I often have journalists and presenters who want to speak with a tip of the tongue / r / instead of an uvula / r /. Both are good, as long as you consistently pick one / r / and don't mix them up!
The tip of the tongue / r / is a voiced sound that is formed in the front (apico-alveolar sound). With in front I refer to 'the mountain'. This is the place just behind your upper teeth. Just run your tongue across your palate and find the right place.
The hardest part is provoking this sound. As soon as you can, you are already a long way.
I give you 4 ways to trigger this vibration:
1. Use a cotton swab that you move up and down very quickly. In the meantime you produce 'la la la', this at an ever increasing pace.
2. Push into the bottom of your mouth with your thumb . You place your thumb against the bottom of your chin and try to push your tongue higher.
3. Stimulate the vibration with the help of a Voice Vibrator . You place this vibrator at the bottom of your chin, in the bottom of the mouth.
4. Start with lip trimming and then place your tongue tip on the mountain. Try to continue the vibration with your tongue (tongue twitching).
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