Speaking Voice: How to improve it

Read out loud

Reading aloud is especially helpful because while doing so, you can work on your pronunciation, volume, and pace. Pick your favourite book and start reading it out loud, imagining that you are the one who is speaking or telling the story. Other than books, there is an even better way to practice your voice by reading a transcript. Find a transcript of a famous person’s speech which you like and try to duplicate it in front of a mirror.

Speak Up

Speaking up is an essential point for those who are just starting or want to advance their speaking skills. Being able to be heard is one of the most critical things in speaking. You want to be understood in a conversation. However, this does not necessarily mean you should shout. You should be able to distinguish if your voice is too low or too high in different situations. For example, in bigger crowds, if you want your voice to be heard, you should speak loudly and confidently. That way, you will be able to make your point across very quickly. Similarly, in small crowds, you should speak with a slightly lighter voice because it will sound more clear than if you were to raise your voice.

Take it slow/ Start slow.

Speaking too quickly is a bad habit, and sometimes it is too annoying for the listener. Especially if you are starting practising and adjusting your speaking voice, you should take it slow and start talking slower than usual. Also, always keep in mind, when you are talking too quickly, it is normal for the listener to space out and get distracted. With this being said, make sure not to speak too slowly because it will sound too monotonous, and your listener will be bored. Practice more, and you will find the perfect speed for your voice and speech.

Make sure to breathe deeply

What is a crucial component of a full and rich sounding voice? – Deep breathing. If you have ever taken public speaking classes, you would know how important breathing is. Especially in stressful situations, do not forget to take a deep breath and then start or continue your speech. Breath in for approximately 5 seconds and fill in your lungs to their full capacity before exhaling. Try to practice this after every sentence you say. Once you begin to do this occasionally, you will see the difference in your voice in no time. Also, when you take short breaks after your sentences (especially the long ones), your listeners will have time to absorb the content you have presented up until that point.
Do some vocal exercises.

If you want to develop your natural voice, practising vocal exercises can be an excellent way to do so. And what is one of the most effective ways to do it? – Practising while you are looking in the mirror. You can find a significant number of exercises online and try to practice them as much as possible. One of the more usual things is to try to loosen your mouth and relax your vocal cords, so to say. A common way of this is trying to yawn widely and carefully massaging your throat muscles. If you search the web, again, you will find a lot of exercises that will suit you the most, with visual presentation. Take a look at this exercise to start with, and keep searching Youtube.

Record your speaking voice

We know that it is sometimes cringy to listen to recordings of your own voice. However, recording yourself is one of the essential things that you can do to improve the tone of your speaking voice. This method is especially helpful for finding those faults that you have made while speaking, and for pinpointing them for later improvement. When you listen to your recording, you also put yourself in your listeners’ shoes and you take notes of what you can improve to sound better. These days, it is not a problem to get a recorder as most of the phones have them internally. So there are no excuses to avoid this method.

Emotions in your speaking voice

People like to judge and criticize each other, that is a universal truth. Especially when someone is presenting a speech, the audience tends to judge, even more, not only the content but also the appearance and the body language of the presenter. An excellent way to make people judge the content of your speech more favourably is to use a friendly, open, and encouraging tone. Never be aggressive, sarcastic or whatsoever. Of course, smiling all the time can be annoying, especially if the subject of discussion is a serious issue. However, you should always remember that integrating emotions into your speech can and will make a huge impact.

ALISTAIR BROWN: As a writing and speaking examiner for more than 10 years, I bring a lot of experience. I have seen the frustrations that students have with IELTS from a career where I have actively guided and corrected students’ studies. I am looking for the most effective ways to teach IELTS as I understand students’ needs.