When did you last use your full voice? Not as an overwhelm thing because you lost the plot. But purposely using your full voice to claim your space? Speaking up. Literally?
Here is a funny exercise: in your car, windows hermetically closed (recommend not choosing waiting at a red light) – or home alone, neighbours not in their garden – shout out a series of very loud YES and NOs (pretend to stop something happening at the other end of your house or garden), really loudly. It sounds easy, but for most of us it is SO difficult and feels really awkward.
Your voice is such an important part of you. Do you like your speaking voice? Or have you tried meeting someone, or just walking past them in a shop or at the hairdresser, and you think: THAT voice is not doing you any favours, is it? Can be a mousy, tiny, fragile one (and the owner is trying to get her way at the post office counter – not gonna happen, right?), or a silent, nice, calm voice but with that tone of “don’t trust me, don’t count on a word I say”? If you’re ready to boost your voice and confidence, let’s start practicing your confident voice!
We don’t need to go all singer technical here, but shout out a series of very loud YES or NOs, (reaching the other end of your house). That’s your chest voice. I was classically trained, so super annoying to be at a party or around a camp fire wanting to join in the singing, and this church voice comes out.
My alternative was using my (deeper) speaking voice and singing like the boys, but it planted the seed for a new project: I wanted to build my chest voice, to be able to use it 4-5 notes higher (nerdy project?). Best way of practicing: shouting NO-NO-NO and YES-YES-YES! With a higher and higher pitch. Start with no-one around! Now I sometimes do it when the kids are there, only to annoy them – they find it so embarrassing!
End result (with some extra Soulfood choir work and a great mic buddy with an awesome chest voice, thanks N!), I now feel great singing in a group at whatever event, not hearing my 11 yr old church voice, but a 46 yr worth voice that has lived and learned.
And that is what it’s really about: imagine the mousy voice from the post office practising and having fun with shouting – and MEANING it! – over the next months, imagine the difference? Helping her stand her ground. Trying on her command tone! Because when you can create the big voice, you can decide when to turn the volume up or down as needed.
So, can you shout? And not feel like apologising afterwards? You never know when a good, strong voice will come in handy. Give the volume a test drive this week!