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  • Hey everyone, thank you so much for joining me. My name is Hadar, and today we are going

  • to talk about your voice in English. Yes, you heard me. Your voice.

  • If you are a speaker of English as a second language or third language or fourth language,

  • then you must have had this experience where you wanted to communicate in English, you

  • wanted to speak up, but your voice was just not there for you. It was a little soft, it

  • was too low, it was shaky, and you just didn't know what to do. And obviously, it has affected

  • your confidence and prevented you from communicating powerfully and confidently.

  • So, in this video, I'm going to give you a few exercises that you can do before you have

  • to do a Zoom call or before you have a job interview or a public talk that you're a little

  • nervous about, or just something you can do every day to free up your voice in English,

  • but also in your native language. But before we go into the exercises, if you

  • are new to my channel, then welcome, first of all, and second, I want you to know that

  • this is the place for you to improve your communication skills and boost your confidence

  • in English, because we are going to make you feel really good about how you communicate

  • in English. So be sure to subscribe to my channel and also subscribe to get the notifications,

  • so you know when I release a new video every single week.

  • Okay. So the first thing you need to know about your voice in English is that when you

  • hold tension in your body, it will affect your voice. Now, sometimes we hold tension

  • just because it's a habit. Sometimes we hold tension because we're nervous when communicating,

  • because there's this whole other aspect of communicating in English that creates tension.

  • Like, "What if I can't find the right words? What if I get stuck? What are they going to

  • think about my accent? I don't feel like myself in English because I can't really express

  • myself?" And all of these thoughts that go through your head when you speak English,

  • they affect your body and your voice because it creates tension and nervous energy, and

  • the voice is highly affected by the nervous system.

  • So if you feel that your voice is stuck and stifled and weak, it's probably first and

  • foremost because of the tension that you hold in your body and your nervous system. The

  • second thing I want you to know is that voice is frequencies and vibrations. And our voices

  • resonate in different places in our body wherever there is space. Okay?

  • So you can resonate your voice in your chest. You can resonate your voice in your nasal

  • cavities in your head, right? This is where the voice resonates. So the bigger the resonance

  • box is, the bigger your voice is. But sometimes the voice quality of your native

  • language affects your voice quality in English. Because for some languages, you only resonate

  • your voice in one place. Some languages resonate the voice mostly in the nose and head. Some

  • languages, my language Hebrew resonates mostly in the throat and chest, so it's a lot more

  • throaty and usually lower. Ideally, for English, you want your voice

  • to be somewhere between your chest voice and your head voice. Because when you speak, you

  • want to have that perfect ring - that's how my voice teacher used to call it when I was

  • in acting school - that perfect ring that is a blend of the lower frequencies and the

  • higher frequencies. So you don't want your voice to be stuck up

  • here and you don't want also your voice to be all the way down here, and without a lot

  • of breadth supporting it cause then you will fry your voice. This is called the vocal fry.

  • So you want to find the perfect placement for your voice for it to come out naturally.

  • And here's the thing, sometimes we do change our voices depending on the situation. So

  • this vocal fry is something that often happens at the end of sentences or when you're really,

  • really tired. But if you use the deliberately, first of

  • all, they say it's not that healthy for your voice, but also your voice is not going to

  • be as expressive. There are less emotion that you can carry over when your voice is down

  • here, right? So, this is why you want to have the ability

  • to control your voice, and then you can choose whatever you like most. But the most important

  • thing. Is that you have the power to control it and the exercise that we're going to do

  • in a second are going to help you identify the different places.

  • The last reason why you may not be using your full vocal potential could be cultural. In

  • some cultures it is considered to be rude, inappropriate, and unacceptable sometimes

  • to speak at a higher volume. If you grew up hearing around you all of the

  • time, "You gotta be quiet", "You speak too loudly, shut up", then of course, it's going

  • to affect the voice that you have as an adult. So the first thing is to be aware of that,

  • and to know that what you have heard from the surroundings does not mean that it is

  • true and it is the right thing to do, especially when you need to communicate in English. And

  • English is a language that is vocally expressive. You express a lot of emotions in English.

  • And if you want to be a powerful communicator, and if you want for people to hear you, you

  • got to have those tools to speak up and use your voice fully. So, it's not only a physical

  • thing, it is also a mental thing. So you want to cut those ties with those ideas that have

  • led to your fear of using your full voice. And the way I see it, it's not a matter of

  • being angry at it or resentful or frustrated, it is how it is. There are some beautiful

  • things about your culture that serve you so well, but some things may not serve you that

  • well. So as an adult, it's okay to say, "I want

  • to take this, but I don't want to take that anymore because this has been limiting for

  • me as my adult self, and I don't want to use that anymore". And with the exercises I'm

  • going to share in the video, you will be able to find different expressions for your voice.

  • The first thing we're going to do is to start with a facial warmup. So you want to identify

  • if you have some stress in your jaw, so maybe around here. And maybe move your jaw with

  • your hand, slide your fingers down so your jaw dropped. And then you can also release

  • a sound - 'aaahhh'. Now try to make the sound come out of your gut, of your belly, of your

  • chest - 'aaahhh', don't lock it and massage your jaw.

  • The next thing you want to do is to release that tension. So I want you to take your hands

  • and grab your chin like that. And first of all, see if you can move your chin freely.

  • If what happens is this - your hands are moving, but your jaw is not moving at all, which is

  • usually the case, than you, first of all, want to be aware of it, right, and relax a

  • bit more. And see how you can let go of the control of your jaw. So you want to be very

  • aware of what's going on there. And then you want to release air. And as you

  • release air, you want to move the jaw really fast, like this. Let's do it again. So I'm

  • going to do it from here. Look, take a deep breath, and release air. So again, if this

  • is what's happening - you are just moving your hands and your elbows, then your jaw

  • is still locked and you want to relax it. It will really help you with all those open

  • vowel sounds like 'aa' and 'ei' and 'ow', where you have to open and move your jaw

  • smoothly. But also it will help you with not holding tension that affects your vocal quality.

  • And now I want you to add voice to it like we did at the beginning when we massaged the

  • jaw. You hear that funny voice that comes out? Yeah, you can laugh, it's okay.

  • Now I want you to relax everything and release everything with . Now, you want

  • to go up and down to explore the entire range of your voice.

  • Now you may feel tickles like I'm feeling right now. You can do the same with a tongue

  • trill - - like an R in some languages.

  • And now you want to exaggerate chewing a big piece of bubble gum. Exaggerate it, like you're

  • overdoing it. Like you're a three-year-old and you just got a big piece of bubblegum,

  • and it's hard for you to break it down. And you can hum. And then close your lips and

  • keep on chewing. Good. The next thing you want to do is to loosen

  • up your body and to feel a bit more powerful and in control. Because if you hold tension,

  • it will show up in your voice, but also in your confidence. Because when you feel that

  • you've all fired up, of course it's going to affect the way you communicate in a second

  • language. So, what I want you to do now is to dance.

  • Yes! Dancing is so incredibly powerful. So stand up, we're going to do it together. I'm

  • going to play my favorite song, but you are going to play your favorite song when it's

  • time. A song that kinda like gets you all grooving and enjoying it. Are you ready? Let's

  • do this. Yes, yes, even you that you're sitting right

  • now watching me? Now I want you to stand up and tell everyone in the house to go to the

  • kitchen or something and dance with me. Are you ready? Let's do this.

  • That felt good. Let's move on. After you got done with your dancing and you

  • had a glass of water, I want you to explore your voice. What does that mean? You want

  • to find the different places of resonance in your body.

  • So first of all, start with just releasing sound. Good. Now do it again, and as you do

  • it, just tap on your chest. Try to kind of like release that voice that

  • is locked in here. And when you do it, hold your palms like this and, thankfully, I don't

  • have a neck mic. And try to release it and to bring the voice to all those weird places

  • that you never thought your voice should resonate in.

  • And go a little lower. So if your voice is going to be here - I mean, it's

  • still okay, but it's not going to find that natural place of resonance, which is in the

  • chest. The chest likes lower tones, lower frequencies, like to resonate in a larger

  • space in the chest. So let's do it again. Good.

  • Now you want to do the same thing with your voice, cause some people tend to go too low

  • and kind of like their voices locked here. So for those of you who feel that this is

  • where your voice is, I want you to bring it up here. And kind of like tap on the nasal

  • cavities here. Maybe go to the nose and deliberately create

  • sound in the nose. Just to identify how you can control your voice and move it between

  • different places in your body. So nose. You can kind of like hold it and feel the vibrations

  • here. And then move it to your cheeks. And maybe feel it in your throat. And bring it

  • to your chest. And also tap on all your organs just to wake it up, wake up your body. It's

  • good. Okay. Roll your shoulders back. And now we're

  • going to work on expanding your chest to allow more space here. So kinda like roll your shoulders

  • back and expand your chest. Good. And you can release sound as well. And give yourself

  • permission to feel that, to make a sound. Okay, good. The next thing we're going to

  • do is to explore the versatility of your voice. So I want you to take one sentence and use

  • it in all of the different voices that you have. I want you to experiment with it. And

  • really don't judge yourself, and don't do it around people that might ridicule you because

  • this is not helpful. And anyway you want to give them a piece of

  • your mind if they make fun of you. Because they are the ones sitting and watching other

  • people doing the work. And you are doing the work. Just saying.

  • So let's take this one phrase, one simple phrase. Let's try "What do you want?" And

  • say it in your normal voice - "What do you want?" And then I want you to explore it with

  • different emotions, different attitudes, and different placements in your body. "What do

  • you want?" "What do you want?" "What do you want?" "What do you want?" "What do you want?"

  • So try different voices too. "What do you want?" "What do you want?" "What do you want?"

  • "What do you want?" "What do you want?" "What do you want?" Okay. So you are exploring and

  • showing yourself that you do have different voices. And if this is hard for you, you got

  • to practice it because your voice is capable of having this variety.

  • And if you feel that you only have one voice is just because you haven't explored it yet.

  • But if you are a human, you should have a very, very wide range of sounds that you can

  • create. Because we all have the same spaces in our bodies, and we also have the same muscle

  • here, the vocal chords that create the voice. Another thing you could do is to take a piece

  • of text. It could be an email you just received, or it could be a story or an article or a

  • transcript of a TED talk. And you want to say it as if you were telling it to a little

  • child, and make it very animated and exaggerated just for you to explore the different placements

  • of your voice. For example. "It pains me to offend you, but

  • amidst your concern for the defects of your nearest relations, and your displeasure at

  • this representation of them, let it give you consolation to consider that, to have conducted

  • yourself so as to avoid any share of the like censure, is praise no less generally bestowed

  • on you..." You see where I'm going. So you want to exaggerate it as if you are

  • a really, really bad narrator, and you're reading this book with overly pathos. But

  • again, when you exaggerate something and you find versatility, you find variety, and then

  • it's a lot easier to tone it down. When I teach pronunciation, I always say it's

  • okay to exaggerate. When you go into speaking, you tone it down anyway. So you might as well

  • practice it in an exaggerated fashion. So when you tone it down, it probably would still

  • be a little less than what you should express, but at least it's closer.

  • Now, one of the first thing you should also think about is your breath. Your voice is

  • connected to your breath. And if your breath is short, if you're not breathing deeply,

  • then it's going to affect your voice. So I want you to now breathe into your belly.

  • Put your palm on your belly and breathe into your palm. A lot of times we just breathe

  • into the chest and then our breath is very limited. There's a lot more space in the chest.

  • I know you might think it's different, but when you breathe through your belly, you drop

  • the diaphragm and more air enters your body. So you want to breathe, it's like yoga breathing.

  • You want to breathe into your belly, and when you release the sound, you want to release

  • it on your breath. And when you run out of breath, you got to take another breath, and

  • then to speak on your breath. I'm probably going to make a different video

  • about breath, but I just wanted to mention that. So that if you feel that your breath

  • is a little shallow, you want to work on that, especially, it also calms you down when you

  • breathe in and when you fill up your body with oxygen. Of course, it's going to. Help

  • your nerves to calm down. Ahhh, okay, good. If you feel that it's hard for you to connect

  • with your core and with your lower voice, and you feel that your voice is really soft

  • or stuck up here. Or maybe it is down below, but it's stifled like you feel it doesn't

  • resonate, you don't have that ring, ring of a voice that is fully expressed. You don't

  • hear the voice bounced back to you from the walls of your home, then another great tactic

  • is to laugh and to speak. What does that mean? When you laugh, it's

  • primal, right? You're activating your core muscles. Let's try it out, it's a lot of fun.

  • Let's try to force ourselves to laugh. It's real. So, and it's contagious, I know.

  • So when you do that, you feel that your voice is expressed a little differently when you

  • speak. So you want to force yourself to laugh and then say something. 'That is so true.

  • So funny. You are so stupid'. And then you want to speak and say something.

  • 'I am so awesome'. Right? And you say it as you're connected with your deep voice. And

  • it usually happens spontaneously when you laugh. Ah, okay. That was fun.

  • The last thing you want to talk about is the power speech. Now, hear me out all the way

  • to the end because if there is one thing I want you to take from this video, it is this.

  • Because I have done this with my students for the past two years and the results are

  • pretty incredible. This exercise will help you feel more confident,

  • free, and powerful in English. And here's how it works. Choose a monologue from a TV

  • show or a movie that is very powerful. That the person is like really upset or excited

  • or angry, and they speak out their mind. And you want to take that part and memorize it.

  • And it's very important. Don't skip that part and don't just read it from the page. I mean,

  • that's also great, but that freedom that you have to use the words freely without having

  • to analyze it as you read it, having to focus on the letters, having to focus on, "Wait,

  • what comes next?" Or, unlike speaking freely, where you have

  • to kind of like retrieve the words, and 'how do I put it?', nd then there's all this judgment.

  • When you memorize a text, it really helps you to feel super expressive and that the

  • words flow out easily. And I know that because as an actress I had to memorize many different

  • speeches, and I know it had an immense impact on my English and my fluency. Okay?

  • So memorize a really powerful speech. And we're going to put a link to a bunch of different

  • scripts that you can choose from. And just go ahead and do it, we did all the work for

  • you. So you can select one and memorize that speech.