Yesterday’s post introduced a physical disruption, uncaging the ribs. Today, we are going to take that increased mobility and run with it.
The point of having access to air is to use it. We need it for operations in the body and we need it to spend in the making of sound. The exhalation IS the sound. The problem arises because of restrictive breathing patterns all of us learn within the structures of the society we live in. The most unfortunate of which is breath-holding.
Breath-holding is pervasive enough that it isn’t a question of if you do it but how often. Still, I recommend you spend zero time wondering if you are holding your breath while you are speaking. If you are thinking intentionally and focused on the purpose of what you are saying, you will use air.
It is about finishing your thought — Staying with what you are saying until you are finished saying it. Like most kinesthetic things, speaking requires focus and follow-through. More mental focus and follow-through than you think.
This means that instead of trying to figure out how you will respond to what a person is saying, you must listen fully, think what you think, and then, respond.
It means that if you aren’t sure or need a minute in a conversation, you can articulate that or at very least pause and breathe.
It means that a meeting that requires speed requires more silence and focus than speaking.
In short, it means that you must bring your amazing capacity for thought – your integrity, intuition, and insights into the conversation. You are built for this. But, you may need some practice so don’t give up if this seems hard. Just go one phrase at a time.
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.