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Speaking and Breathing

 

Techniques Public speaking > Speaking Tips > Speaking and Breathing

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When speaking, manage your breathing. Before you starts, take a few deep breaths, expanding your abdomen and breathing out slowly as you relax and feel comfortable.

When speaking, breathe deeply and steadily. Breathe from the abdomen. Use the air you have to project your voice to the back of the room. Take deep breaths at points where meaningful pauses are appropriate.

Do not breathe too quickly or you may hyperventilate and become dizzy.

Sometimes it is actually good to breath faster, for example when you want to generate a sense of excitement.

Example

As I wait to speak, I calm myself with deep and slow breaths, focusing on my abdomen moving in and out. I walk out to speak and take a deep breath as I look around and smile. I then project a greeting and start speaking. Every now and then I pause as I breath out, taking the time to watch the body language of the audience to assess their interest.

Discussion

A problem with speaking is that it requires breathing out. Breathing in can seem like a nuisance and some speakers gulp it in quickly and almost apologetically.

If you take deep breaths, you will be able to speak for longer before breathing in again. Your voice will also be more resonant and you will be able to project it better.

Singers must learn to breathe properly as they cannot break mid-note without ruining the song. They know where to pause and how to taking in enough air for the long notes without seeming to break their stride.

Hyperventilation reduces carbon dioxide in the blood as more is being breathed out. This makes the blood more alkaline, constricting blood vessels and so reducing oxygen to the brain.

See also

Using pauses

 

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