Shout it Out – Tips & Techniques to Increase your Child’s Voice Projection
Voice projection is one of the key areas that our clients/parents tend to focus on for their children regarding public speaking. It is not uncommon to receive queries on how best to increase that speaking volume or project confidence while on stage. This is indeed one of the main cues on stage that can give the impression of confidence while speaking. The challenge is in trying to master that ability for all your child’s communication settings.
Mastering or improving voice projection is more than just increasing one’s volume. This needs to be done with purpose and sustainability to ensure long-term commitment to the habit. More importantly, voice projection is also a gateway to voice modulation, modifying our vocal traits to achieve a certain style or impression. Whether to show confidence or to bolster a timid self, voice projection is a good habit to nurture!
In today’s article, we will share some tips and techniques that you can try with your child to challenge them to push their voice out!
Public Speaking Tip #1: Understanding the Biology and Psychology
Instead of simply demanding a “louder” voice, exploring voice projection requires an understanding of the biology and psychology behind one’s volume (or lack of). For young communicators, this is a conversation that most tend to skip because the rote learning style is preferred (i.e., keep doing it until it becomes a habit). Instead, reframing that mindset can help our young communicators understand the rationale behind a strong voice projection.
There are two aspects that we can explore with our kids. First, the biology of voice projection is worth a second look. While we distinguish between vocal coaching (which offers a more specialised, professional help) and public speaking training, the basic aspects of generating our volume are important. This includes understanding the need to utilise the diaphragm and throat muscles collectively (instead of just our throat) to create the volume. Next, our young communicators can also unpack the psychology behind volume – some may fear the stage itself, but others may find that their lower volume stems from content they are not familiar with. Knowing these aspects can help them navigate the voice projection task better!
Public Speaking Tip #2: Find Your Target
Once we understand the aspects above, we can experiment with voice targeting to help our young communicators channel their voice confidence to the audience. We find, in our training, that merely encouraging our young communicators to adopt a higher volume may not be intuitive as there is no target or goal to achieve (i.e., it is tough to quantify the change in volume that we want to see).
Instead, we try to set tangible goals that help illustrate how your child needs to increase their voice projection. For example, in a classroom setting, we encourage our speakers to aim for a specific part of the room or an individual and to reframe the presentation setting to a conversation with that individual/location. This helps your child reframe the challenge from having to ‘speak’ to an entire room to ensuring that one individual can catch what they are sharing.
Public Speaking Tip #3: Create a Voice Profile & Purpose
Voice projection does not operate alone. Instead, they run in tandem with other vocal elements to create a profile for the presentation. For example, an energetic speaking profile would consist of elements from higher vocal volume to a faster pace or higher pitch. Learning how to match these different aspects can also help our young communicators create energy on the speaking stage.
One method to achieve this is to encourage our young communicators to explore other speaking contexts or settings. For example, story-telling is often a gateway to a different speaking style – we have seen communicators changing their vocal profile because they were sharing a story with authentic emotion. From there, we invite our young communicators to unpack what they did differently and apply this habit in other speaking settings as well.
Final Thought: Project that Voice!
Voice projection is one of the many confidence cues for a communicator on stage. That said, it is the more obvious cue that is often a reflection of one’s energy on the speaking stage; for a young communicator, it can be a challenge to develop this habit, especially when they are just starting. We hope the tips above will help them get to vocal projection success!
WATCH: “Speaking With A High Pitch Voice – How To Use It To My Advantage”
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