skip to Main Content

Articulate: Pressure

Does this sound familiar?

You start a sentence with plenty of volume and presence only to lose momentum, volume, and pitch by the end. This is an indication of inconsistent air flow. If you also end up feeling more percussive in the beginning of the sentence, you may be over-pressurizing your air.

Why does it matter? Well, not only is it bad for your vocal folds in the long term; it also impacts your authority in the room.

Today, I want you to check in on your airflow. You will need to get a straw and place it into whatever beverage you have handy, but not too deep. Next, speak a sustained /u/ into the straw with a good seal around your lips. If you have bubbles jumping out of the glass or even in a “rolling boil” you are definitely using too much air pressure. Try to continue the flow of air while reducing the bubbles to an active simmer.

Once you are a pro at flow in the liquid medium, try it in the open air.

Creating a balanced onset of sound and an efficient flow of air will do a lot of the latent quality of your voice in space.

GROW Voice has new fortnightly newsletter. The Voice Lab has tips and tidbits about voicing and I think it is going to be great. Check out the latest edition here and subscribe here.

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