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Does anyone have any recommended voice projection activities please?


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Has anyone got any recommended activities around voice projection please? I am running a presentation skills course and want to include a fun session on projecting the voice effectively. This will be important as my delegates will need to deliver a presentation in a big old hall to an audience of planted hecklers at the end of the course.
Any ideas would be appreciated!

Many thanks
Tammy Sherwood

9 Responses

  1. not so much an exercise…
    I used to work with a wonderful guy who developed an exercise called “my most..”

    We used to ask each delegate to present for 2 minutes on the subject of “my most…..experience was” (they could insert any agjective they wanted; boring, exciting, fulfilling etc)

    The reality was that if the audience were gripped by the speaker and the topic then projection almost became irrelevant (almost!).

    Sometimes people would be barely whispering and the audience would strain to here every word.
    I don’t know if that helps at all but it is a true-ism.

  2. Voice projection
    Here are a couple of exercises:
    1. Get folk to warm up by making certain sounds in harmony (mmmmm, aaaaahhhhh, sssssss, etc) but with strong, even exaggerated facial expressions.
    2. Then get them to graduate loudness. In pairs, in turn, they have to talk about a holiday. Every 15 seconds you call out ‘louder’; 3 or 4 times (which leads to great hilarity). Then go ‘softer’ every 15 seconds until everyone is at a whisper. Then suggest that projection is more than just loudness. Suggest that it is about distance, clarity and ‘connection’, and that is what they must practice next.
    3. Get the pairs to stand about 6 foot apart in a circle in the centre of the room. Get them to converse about any topic, such as what makes for a good presenter, and evey 15 seconds get them to move another 3 foot apart until they are all against the walls. They need to converse with their partner and not be distracted by the noise around them. Get them to notice and hold the feeling they have at that distance.
    4. Now get the group at one end of the room and each in turn has to rush to the other end and demonstrate their projection to their colleagues for 15 seconds. Encourage applause and move to the next person.
    For tips on coping with a fading voice and links to other voice sites check out Big Learning ( and when on the site search under ‘voice’.

  3. Voice Projection
    I once attended a training course on public speaking where the trainer got us recite a well known nursery ryhme(any will do) in an angry,puzzled,anxious and many other voices.It builds on Graham’s sounds and I guess a whisper too – for a well known one. And it helps to modulate the voice.

    Smiling after a deep breath down to the tummy and then speaking brings out a cracking sound too

    Avoid that awful question – can you hear me at the back!!!!

    Good luck!


  4. 3 great tips for voice projection
    1- Take the yellow pages or some other directory and ask the delegate to choose one advert! Could be for a painter decorator or plumber for example. Ask them to read the advert out loud,creating the enphisis on the service; the number to call and ask if they could really ‘ham it up!’dramatise the benefits! You then coach for increase modulation and less shouting! Its great fun!
    2- Choose a phrase like. “I did not say he/she stole the money!” Now get every one to put the emphasis on the first word then the second then the third etc.etc. Work hard at changing the tone and voice modulation. Move quickly and dramatise the change on the word and therefore the change in meaning. Its great for a warm up and great for closing a session!
    3- Read a clasical piece of writting from a book. Planets collide for example! Then ask the delegate to work in pairs, underline certain words and create accents at the words they would like the audience really remeber!
    Change modulation, pace and pause and effect! Plan and practise and then read it out in front of the whole group. The effect is stunning!

    Please call if you would like yto know how to do it!
    Kind regrds
    07973 964 066

  5. Probably strain it
    There is so much that you can do wrongly with your voice that I would really recommend using a trained voice coach. Your voice is a ‘muscle’, actors take 3 years training and loosening it to muck about in one session is foolhardy, so many other factors come into play, posture, muscle tone, tongue, vowel sound, diaphragm, breathing.

    I’d recommend books by Cicely Berry, Patsy Rodenberg or Barbara Houseman all ex- Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre.

  6. it needs a specialist’s eye and ear
    Juliet is absolutely right – running a voice session without specialist training yourself puts your delegates at risk of reinforcing or developing a lot of bad habits which could be very damaging. It really does need a specialist’s eye and ear. If you want to bring in outside help, get in touch – I have lots of experience of applying my actor’s background to voice training for businesspeople and can slot a half day (or more) within the rest of your course that people will find huge fun as well as relevant and valuable.

  7. Voice projection exercises
    There are two key areas to focus on for voice projection: breathing technique and resonators (the ‘speakers’ in your head).
    I have one technique for each. Breathing technique: Good voice projection requires efficient working of the lungs, intercostal muscles and diafragm. The diafragm is an umbrella shaped muscle which helps push air out of the lungs. Ask your trainees to locate their diafragm by placing their hands, with fingertips touching, across their body below the ribcage. If you then ask them to breathe out making the sound ‘huff’ they should be able to feel the diafragm working and see their fingertips being pushed apart. This allows them to experience how proper voice production should feel. Resonators: in order to get these working well, ask your trainees to hold their noses and say ‘Many mighty men making much money in the moonshine’ with as much force as possible. Then immediately get them to release the hold on their noses and say the same phrase. They will immediately hear the difference in the force of their vocal sound. Humming before speaking is another way of improving voice projection through resonation (though this should be done before you go to the speakers’ platform, of course!) Hope this helps. Lindsay

  8. Stage whisper
    Pioneered by Viola Spolin, this exercise requires delegates to whisper as loudly as they can. This will naturally incite them to open their mouth as wild as possible and breath “through their stomach” to push their voice. You can use it in pairs, in circles or “on stage”.

  9. Thank you
    Thank you to everyone who responded to my query. I have received some great advice and suggestions that I hope to incorporate into my training, although unfortunately I do not have budget to invite any of the recommended gurst speakers.
    Thank you all again – I’ll let you know how it goes!
    With regards


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