Projecting your voice

I had a fascinating chat with my good friend Darren Gordon yesterday about the voice and how to project. Darren trained as an actor and now runs an acting school in Manchester, as well as directing films.

He and I have worked as co-facilitators on a number of Speakeasy sessions, and it’s always interesting to hear how different people express themselves at those sessions, especially during the 30 sec round-the-table intro. Some people have difficulty projecting and create very little energy in their speech. Darren told me he used to have the same problem, but resolved it through a simple exercise.

Find a piece of text, ideally something requiring some variety in pitch, then read it so you’re getting your voice to reach different distances. Choose an object at perhaps 10 feet, 25 feet, then right at the back of the room and mentally picture reaching that mark with your words. Imagine you’re actually throwing the words at each successive spot. Give the words and sounds time to arrive.

It’s not a case of trying to talk louder. The improved projection comes from the mental visualisation of where the voice is going to reach. Like everything else, it requires practice but if you have a weak voice with poor projection, try it!

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