Feel Your Vibrations!

Negotiation Tips, Personal Impact

Jörg Köck | November 2020

After reading our last article, you have probably begun to pay attention to the changes in your voice that occur depending on your social role in a given conversation. Today we’ll begin with three short exercisesto help you develop a better feeling for your voice and to influence it in a targeted way.

The goal is to offer your conversation partner an acoustic meeting area with your voice. This area should be large enough that your partner feels like he or she is being spoken to – so you both can find a “shared wavelength”.

That’s why, for example, a deeper and fuller voice is often perceived as being more pleasant and more competent. However, it’s not about trying to speak lower or pressing your voice down. It’s about finding your own personal quality of vibration. Yet how can we find this?

Your voice is generated when air is transported from the lungs, through the throat, towards your mouth. Then, inside the throat, the vocal cords move as the air is flowing through them, producing vibrationsin that airflow.

Exercise 1:

Test this process for yourself: make the sound “hhhaa” as if you have just come to some joyful realization! As long as the “h” lasts, there is only a whooshing sound. As soon as the “a” begins, your vocal cords start to vibrate.

This vibration is transported further and continues to have an effect in the resonating chambers in your head. Additionally, your cheek bone and cranial bone vibrate along with them – if you let them.

The best indicator for the presence of your voice is not how you sound, but rather that you feel your own voice.More specifically: that you feel the effects of the vibrations of your vocal cords in your head.

There are certain groups of sounds that help us with this process of feeling the resonance. These include sounds such as “m,” “n,” and “ng.”

Exercise 2:

If you produce the sound “m” while imagining that something tastes good and chewing at the same time, then you will feel this “m” on your lips and mouth: it vibrates.
If you strengthen this “m” with extra emphasis, then you might even feel a tickling sensation in your lips. Chew with a closed mouth at the same time, the sound will become palpable.

The intensity of the vibrations increases if you keep your mouth closed but you lower your jaw while maintaining the same pressure! Test out how intense the sound of your voice can become!

This simple exercise explores and expands your own vocal tone and can even help you with a light cold or hoarseness in your voice: Without much exertion, simply try to hum while focusing entirely on the feeling of your voice on your lips. This relaxes the vocal cords considerably. As long as this feeling of vibration remains on your lips, your voice will not become completely hoarse.

With a little practice, hoarseness can be prevented entirely.

Exercise 3:

Test the development of your sound with an “n”! This gives you the opportunity to feel the sound of your voice resonate all the way to the top of your skull. Press the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, hum this “n” sound and tilt your head slightly forwards.
It may feel like the vibrations of your voice spread more throughout your forehead when you tilt your head forwards.

Repeat these exercises regularly! Experiment with these consonants and develop a feeling for your sound! Learn to feel your own voice so that in the next step you can develop it to achieve specific aims!

Have fun and good luck!

Prof Christoph Hilger

Christoph is a professor for mediaspecific speech, speaker, actor and coach. He trains and coaches specialists and executives in voice, rhetoric and body language. At BETTER SOLUTIONS he is the specialist for non-verbal communication, effective presentations, voice training and body language.

email Prof Christoph Hilger