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The "Squeaky" Speaker Doesn’t Get the “Grease”

Categories: Business Presentations, Voice and Diction

What if your voice squeaks during a crucial presentation?

Typically, a speaker whose voice squeaks when he or she presents is breathing improperly – a condition often brought on by nerves.

What a surprise, a speaker who’s nervous! Yes, we all get butterflies from time to time.

But, it’s important for speakers to eliminate these squeaky moments, because they will …

  • sound more credible and confident
  • be easier to listen to (reducing the audience “zone out” factor)
  • be taken more seriously

So, how do you eliminate these squeaks and calm your nerves?

One way to control this obvious symptom of stage fright is to learn to breathe from your diaphragm.

Below are some steps for proper abdominal breathing. You can do them right before you get up to speak.

  1. Sit upright in a chair, and place both feet flat on the floor.
  2. Rest your hands in your lap.
  3. Take a deep breath through the nose and push your stomach out as the air comes into and fills your lungs. Your shoulders can rise, and may possibly go back a bit.
  4. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your abdomen. Which hand rises more? If it’s the hand on your abdomen, you are breathing properly.
  5. If NOT, pull your breath deeper into your lungs. Once your lungs are full, hold the air to a count of six and then let it escape from your nose.
  6. Repeat, taking each deep breath slowly through the nose.
  7. Do this 10 times.

We are all born with vocal chords – some are longer and wider than others. It’s possible to modulate your voice so it’s a help not a hindrance when you present.

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