It is snowing in MA, and much of the Northeast, this morning. Snow is always…
Today I want to discuss some mechanics for speaking well through a mask.
The good news: Ongoing studies indicate that there is no real difference in the sound of one’s voice through a mask or without one. This said the speaker may hear their own voice differently which can cause unnecessary compensations. It is also possible that concern about the mask itself can cause tension in the muscles of articulation and the jaw, further impacting the clarity of the sound.
Breath flow is more important than ever. It is important this not be read as take a deep breath every time and use it all. The amount of breath used should align with the breath requirements of what you are saying. A one-word statement or short sentence simply doesn’t use as much air as a longer sentence. If you need help with breathing exercises you can find a few good ones on the GROW Voice FB page or google.
We do lose one thing speaking through masks, the ability to read emotion and intention from facial features. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use your full expression while you speak, quite the contrary, but it means that it might not fully read to your listener(s). This indicates that intentional speech and clarity of ideas are more important than ever.
My recommendation overall is to dedicate time to warming up for speech. Creating a daily practice for releasing tension in the muscles of the face, tongue, and jaw. A practice that also includes breathwork and moving the voice. As always, I love to hear from you so let me know how you are experiencing speech through a mask.
This Friday at 12:30 pm EDT, Gina will be live on FB. These will be short voice alignment sessions aimed at voice skills building. Watch it on the GROW Voice FB page. I hope to see you there.
Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is 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.