What Does It Mean To Project Your Voice?
Voice projection is meant to be the speaking strength in terms of loudness and clarity, controlling airflow based on the diaphragm is a key to achieving a proper voice projection but if you do not have the experience to control your diaphragm while speaking then you should practice improving that as follows.
What “Not To Do” While Practicing Projecting Your Voice
- Do Not Be Nervous: If you are nervous while talking your voice will become weak and your breath will be short if you are a shy person, try to be social and join a big group of people socially so you gain more confidence.
- Do Not Yell: Projecting your voice doesn’t mean pushing it louder, this will exhaust your vocal cords and causes strain to your throat, instead, you need to practice the proper voice projection from your diaphragm.
- Do Not Use Shallow Breaths: By taking shallow breaths you are actually using only the air in your lungs, this way will not only make you run out of air quicker but also put pressure on your voice and will not help you to project your voice correctly.
- Do Not Sit: While practicing voice projection, it is so important that you do not do that while sitting because sitting will make your voice projection more difficult, always practice while standing.
- Do Not Stand With Slumping Shoulders And Slouching: You need to remember as an actor, especially when performing theatrically to focus your voice projection to the audience, so performing in a wrong gesture with slumping shoulders and/or slouching could cause your words to be pointed towards the floor rather than the audience.
- Do Not Use Monotone Voice: Projecting your voice with a lack of emphasis and energy will make it super boring and hard to follow, so if you have this way of speaking then you should increase your practice in learning how to properly add energy to your voice with emphasis to the words you are saying so it will be more engaging and connecting with your audience either on the stage or on the big screen.
How To Project Your Voice The Right Way As An Actor
You might ask yourself “how can I project my voice while talking?” and the answer is very easy to say but require some practice in order to project your voice properly, so projecting your voice is very helpful for you as an actor either as a stage actor or a TV/cinema actor.
But still, how do you practice projecting your voice the right way? You need to practice the below techniques every day till you feel you are naturally projecting your voice properly while acting.
Projecting your voice requires you to master breathing from your diaphragm, and in order to learn and improve how to breathe from your diaphragm simply follow the below steps:
- Lie on your back on a flat surface.
- Breath, fill your lungs from the bottom causing your stomach and diaphragm to rise and fall.
- Add some weight to your diaphragm like a couple of books and repeat the exercise.
- Stand up, and try repeating the same breathing while having the same result for your diaphragm movement.
The key skill you need to develop here is deep lungs because shallow breath will cause you to run out of the air so fast, so by using the breathing technique use your exhale to pressurize your voice without trying to make it louder from your throat.
- Give Depth Into Your Words: Just like any strings music instrument i.e. a classical guitar, the guitar has a wide empty space inside its body which is used to project the sound and enlarge it, you can use the same idea while speaking by creating as much as bigger room inside your mouth just like when you’re yawning you will have your mouth open with big space inside, this technique used mostly on stage for actors or for singers like in opera to have a better voice projection.
- Exercise Your Lips And Tongue: This technique will provide more exaggerations to your words and this is by stretching your cheeks, as well as making your lips more nimble with the tongue and lip exercises that require opening your vowels to add a clearer and better enunciated to your consonants. To do that:
- Open your mouth as wide as possible.
- While your mouth is opened, smile as big as you can.
- Practice rolling your R’s to exercise and improve your tongue.
- Recite And Memorize Tongue Twisters: Practice repeating the below two sentences loudly until you are able to enunciate every single syllable properly:
- Diction is done with the tip of the tongue and the teeth.
- Red leather, yellow leather.
So projecting your voice is not only about how do you talk using a diaphragm, you need to be practically ready on how to articulate while you are projecting your voice, this is another key to having a good voice projecting skill so in order to do that you may take in consideration the below tips:
- Pitch variation: Vary the high and low tones of your voice so the audience remains engaged and interested.
- Use of pauses: When practicing a monologue speech, first of all, you should understand its situation and what feelings you need to deliver to the audience so accordingly, you will develop how you should perform it, this will definitely involve pauses in between the phrases where you need to emphasize certain feelings in your words, this could also include strategic pauses that you feel you need to add before and afterwords depending on your artistic point of view as an artist.
- Change your Speed: Slow your speed during your speech on certain phrases that you believe the audience needs to focus on and understand what you want to deliver, and use normal or fast speeds on lines where you know people already know about them and it is less important.
- Variation of Sentence lengths: when you do a speech in front of a theatrical audience you need to divide your sentences into short and long ones sequentially so people will always pay attention to you and not get boredom and overloaded with information.
- Listen to your own voice: Record your own voice on a mobile or a media recorder while practicing your voice projection and see what do you feel when you hear yourself talk? do you feel negative or positive? energizing or sleep-inducing? irritated or pleasant? chances are very high that people will get the same feelings when they hear your voice, find how to improve your voice tone and articulation by doing this technique.
- Portray confidence: When you read an acting monologue or a scene dialogue lines always focus on it and try to re-read it over and over with imagination till you reach a level of understanding exactly the situation of your role in this particular act, what I need you here is to believe in your feelings of this act, you should reach a level of acting these lines like it is really related to you and your position, whether this act is on the stage or in front of the camera people need to believe your acting as real, you will have a quicker result on practicing and experience.
- Imitation: Imitate professional actors’ acts from famous movies or plays and visualize yourself in the scene, see how the actor is delivering the emotions in his words that make you believe this is real and not an actor, try doing that for different types of scenes like dramatic, action, love and romance or fear scenes …etc, then when you see your self good at it try to practice giving your own personality and style in your acting, you may ask the feedback of your brother or sister or anyone that you believe is honest by their opinion as an audience.
4 Natural Habits That Enhance Projecting Your Voice
- Yawning: Big yawns help you open up your chest to facilitate a deep breath, so while doing that stretch your torso, and as you expel the breath try making big vowel sounds in order to practice projecting your voice as you speak.
- Laugh Heartily: This is a good exercise to learn how to use your diaphragm instead of your chest, to practice that simply when laughing try keeping your mouth closed as this makes it harder to use the breath in your chest.
- Exercise & Get In Shape: Having and gaining a healthy body has a significant positive impact on your breath, for instance jogging every day for a while should make your breath better and might help expand the time of your airflow while talking and projecting your voice.
- Yoga: Practicing yoga is also a good habit that should enhance your breath and how to control your breath.
Projecting your voice is not a straightforward task to achieve but requires considerable energy, if you figured out upon practicing the above exercises and techniques, then your voice will sound naturally clearer yet powerful, but if you haven’t figured it out yet then better not to force your throat to make your voice louder, be patient and try practicing while being calm, then over time you will notice you gain an ability to resist using your throat to make the voice projection instead using the diaphragm, you will skip this step to the next step towards being a professional actor.