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5 “Mini-Habits” to take up for improving your voice

I recently came across the book “Mini-Habits” by Stephen Guise and thought it would be great to build on his idea for making voice training easier to include into your daily life. The tips below are for everybody who would like to have a stronger voice and doesn't find the time to train it.

First let me explain the term “Mini-Habits” and what it is all about. Stephen Guise developed the concept of using the smallest possible goal in any endeavor, so you cannot fail. If you want to create a habit of working out regularly, having the goal to work out for 1 hour every day, makes you less likely to do it, than if you just plan to do 1 push up for example. For writing, if you plan on writing a whole book – planning to write 5 lines each day will get you more motivated to sit down in front of your computer, than planning to write 10 pages per day. For language training, if you just learn 1-2 words a day, you will learn 365 – 730 words a year. The same goes for any hobby or skill you would like to be better at. Get the idea? You can get some more information on his website: http://minihabits.com/.

So, how could we implement this in voice training? Easy, the voice is like a muscle that you need to train. So whether you do breathing exercises, vocal exercises, sing a song or practice a poem – it will all help you get more familiar with your voice and train it to get stronger. You can choose one or several of the actions below or create your own.
  1. Do 1 deep breathing exercise per day. The deep breathing exercise basically consists of breathing in through your nose into your abdomen, filling it with air. And then exhaling through your mouth using the sound “sssss” or “fff” creating a steady flow of air. You can read about this technique in more detail on my blog post “deep breathing technique for public speaking”. It is also the breathing technique for singing.

  2. Do 1 “siren exercise” per day. The siren exercise works like this: you pick the lowest note you can produce, then slide your voice up to your highest note and then back again, and up again. You do this for as long as you have air (which kind of creates the sound of a siren). You can do it softly and get louder, you can do it slowly, you can do it fast. It doesn't really matter how you do it exactly, as long as you use the whole range of your voice. Just make sure you do this gently, it shouldn't hurt and you shouldn't feel like you are straining your voice.

  3. Sing one song per day. You would like to be able to sing “Time after time” by Cindy Lauper or “Viva la vida” by Coldplay? Sing the song of your choice everyday. Make it a habit to sing the whole song either along with the artist, with the karaoke or just acapella. You can find the lyrics on Google and the original version, the lyrics version and the karaoke on YouTube. If you sing it every day of this next month, I bet it will sound great by the time the Christmas parties start!

  4. Read one poem per day out loud. Do you think your voice sounds too monotonous? Would you like make it sound more interesting? Well, start with reading one line of a poem and playing with the sound of your voice. Where do you put the emphasis in this line? What could you do to make it sound interesting or more melodious. Use each line of the poem to get to know the possibilities of your voice better. Be creative. Be courageous.

  5. Laugh consciously 1 time per day. Haha – this is obviously not only good for your voice! It is good for your spirit and the great life I wish you live each and every day. Laughing comes straight from your abdomen. By laughing you engage your diaphragm, which pushes air through your vocal chords, causing them to vibrate and create a sound. This way you use your abdomen to create a strong and healthy sound for your voice . So laughing is actually voice training – who knew!?
If you have other ideas for mini habits and would like to share them with me, I am always happy to hear from you. Just send an e-mail with your ideas to info@thevoicecoach.be.

I hope these tips were useful. If you would like to get more tips like these or tried them out, please let me know. You can also subscribe to my newsletter, like my facebook page or read my other blog posts on tips about voice training and feeling confident as a public speaker. You can even join one of my workshops or sign up for individual coaching. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sonja Nannan




© Sonja Nannan, www.thevoicecoach.be, info@thevoicecoach.be
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