Is your voice tired at the end of the day? Do you feel that your throat is sore? Is your voice hoarse?
If you’ve been feeling any of the above for a prolonged period – then it’s time to visit your doctor. These symtoms may be telling you that your vocal cords are not healthy. We’ve had several clients come to us with these symtoms after being diagnosed by their doctors with vocal nodules. Nodules are calluses on the vocal cords. This happens with vocal misuse such as: speaking in the wrong pitch, not enough breath support and/or too much tension. Vocal nodules usually respond very well to speech therapy. Therapy includes teaching vocal hygiene, proper breathing techniques, voice placement, relaxtion and good posture. You should be able to speak all day without feeling any of these symtoms if you’re caring for and using your voice properly.
We’re very excited about our new video book “The Elocution Handbook”. We have worked with so many people who didn’t have an articulation problem or an accent but needed to sharpen their speech. “The Elocution Handbook” is designed to fulfill this need. In it we work on: practice for each sound and tips for how to improve your pronunciation of each one, difficult consonant combinations that give people so much trouble, commonly mispronounced words, and tongue twisters. This is just the diction portion of elocution. You can view a sample on our products page. http://www.elocutionsolution.com/products
We are currently working on “The Elocution Handbook – The Voice” which will cover how to develop your best speaking voice.
Just discovered a great book – “The Mother Tongue” by Bill Bryson. It’s witty and informative – about where our words, spelling and pronunciation came from. With all our bodies have to do to produce speech it’s amazing that we speak fluently and are understood. Here’s a great quote from the book.
“In normal conversation we speak at a rate of about 300 syllables a minute. To do this we force air up through the larynx…and by variously pursing our lips and flapping our tongue around in our mouth, rather in the manner of a freshly landed fish, we shape each passing puff of air into a series of loosely differentiated plosives, fricatives, gutturals, and other minor atmospheric disturbances. They emerge as a more or less continuous blur of sounds. Syllables, words and sentences run together like a watercolor left out in the rain.”
LA Times had an interesting article about UC Berkeley having it’s incoming freshmen make recordings of their speech to study their different dialects. Read the full article http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-cal-accents-20110717,0,2416575.story.
Did you ever have to give a presentation and feel that “my voice isn’t strong enough or I’m going to lose my audience’s attention, or my speech just isn’t clear enough”? Giving presentations requires that you have energy in your voice, vocal variety, and clear, precise articulation. This not only applies to presentations, but also job interviews, and getting that promotion.
How you speak says a lot about you. Next to your appearance, it’s the first impression people have of you. When you sound confident, energetic, and strong, you will feel confident, energetic, and strong and people will see you that way. Most people get nervous when they have to speak in front of an audience.
Speech improvement classes will give you the tools you need to overcome your fears. To see what we cover in our speech improvement class, go the services page.
“Time and money spent in improving the voice pay a larger interest than any other investment.” William Gladstone
We’ve suddenly had a rash of students who are coming to see us because
people have told them that they talk too fast and they can’t be understood.
This could be a bi-product of our fast paced life where we are always
using IM talk, lol. Maybe you talk too fast because you think your listeners
will not stay with you. BUT…Your listeners will tune you out because they can’t
listen fast enough and will not be able to process what you’re saying.
Another problem with speaking fast is that most people tend to omit
sounds or syllables. SO…your speech will become sloppy.
In order to overcome the sloppy speech you need to tone up your
facial muscles! Oral Aerobics is a must. If you were an athlete you wouldn’t
jump into your sport without working out first. And so speakers must also work
out and build up their muscle strength. Our Oral Aerobics program is available
on our Products Page. If you would like to see a preview of it
here is our YouTube video.
People keep asking us ….”What is elocution?” It’s an old term that dates back to middle English (1500s). The term is still used today in England much more than in the United States.
Elocution is defined as: a clear, concise manner of speaking. The word derives from the word ‘eloquent’ being adept at skilled, easy, pleasing communication of a thought, idea or feeling. Elocution not only focuses on diction but also on using the voice properly. Before speech therapy became a recognized profession, people who were correcting speech were known as elocutionists. Elocution was so important to a child’s education that it was taught in the public schools. Somehow, we have gotten away from the importance of ‘elocution’ and sloppy speech has become the norm. At Elocution Solution our goal is to bring back the art of speaking beautifully without over enunciating as they did in the past.
Now with all the well deserved awards being bestowed on “The King’s Speech”, elocution is coming into it’s own once again.
We had a great time presenting our workshop on the actor's voice at the
Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival last Friday. We managed to cover:
diaphragmatic, posture, relaxation, optimum pitch, resonance, projection and
vocal hygiene all in 2 1/2 hours. Wow! They were a great group of students and we loved their enthusiasm.
Well toned tongue, lip and cheek muscles are essential for having clear speech. You can talk fast and still be understood if your facial muscles are well toned. You can be sure auctioneers don't have flabby muscles. We've put together some great exercises to give your speech the jump start it needs in our new video book – Oral Aerobics: Exercises for Lips and Tongue. Check out excerpts from it on our youtube video.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_htLEWACxrA
Intonation & stress are often overlooked when working with accent reduction. However, using the intonation and stress patterns of your native language can interfere with being understood as much as using the wrong sounds.
We’re very excited about having part 3 of the Accent Makeover Program, I’ve Got Rhythm: Intonation & Stress, available for purchase on our products page. You can see excerpts of this program on YouTube. Click here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gznzyj23QkU