Where to Begin

Most people use their voice every day but unlike subjects at school like math and science, speaking and voice production – arguably our most powerful and useful tools in everyday life – are not taught generally in school and we are expected to learn how to do this on our own.

Due to our lack of education in this area, many people pick up bad habits from their peers, their family, their culture and environment.  As a Voice Coach to Business Professionals I am always reassuring my clients that just because they sound a certain way now, does not necessarily mean they will always sound that way.

During a HAPSTM vocal coaching session, they discover how to isolate different muscles, and learn tools of the trade to adjust and modify their sound according to their personal needs and professional requirements.

I have worked with Speakers and singers all over the world and have heard so many different types of voices, some pleasant some not so pleasant.  I am pleased to say I have always seen improvement in my clients once they begin private vocal coaching in my studio.  It is important for everyone to remember that the vocal chords are a flexible and strong set of muscles which can gain power, resilience, clarity and control once the understanding of vocal physiology is mastered.

To improve your vocal quality, we must find out where the problems lie.

  • What is wrong with your sound, if anything?
  • Is it placed too far into the nasal cavity?
  • Is it too throaty and raspy?
  • Is there something wrong with your vocal chords?
  • Are you suffering from vocal fatigue and inflammation?
  • Are you holding your jaw too tightly which is affecting the placement and sound quality?

The list is as long as your biography and as wide as your imagination.  As an executive voice coach I have encountered many clients with the above vocal issues.  So many habits can form back in childhood as a result of past reactions to a difficult situation when the child did not have the tools to handle the issue.  Over many years of conditioning these unconscious vocal responses can turn into unhealthy vocal habits.

So what can we do about it?

The following five-part blog post lists five things you can actively do to improve the sound quality of your voice.


What is the main sound issue?

This sounds very simple but may actually take some deep investigation. The first step is to record your voice and listen back to the sound.

Ask others what they hear when you speak:

  • Is it a clear well placed sound?
  • Is it too nasal?
  • Is it a throaty sound?
  • Is it a forced, gravelly sound?
  • Is it too soft, airy or unstable?

There are so many ways to describe voices, so write down as many descriptive words as possible.  Even abstract words like scratchy, ungrounded, wobbly, lacking conviction are good descriptive words.  If you dare to do a bit of psychological delving, you may well find that a caretaker, parent or teacher had an overbearing presence in your life and you did not feel it was a safe environment in which to speak up for yourself.

It sounds like an oversimplification, but I have had many clients with similar issues.  Once you understand where the affectation or vocal habit came from, you can more easily break it.