Whether your child has a role in the local children’s theater or she is simply a quiet talker, teaching her how to project her voice is a skill that will go with her through life. A clear and easy-to-understand speaking voice helps communicate even the simplest message, such as “I would like another piece of cake,” to more important cries for help in bad situations. Increasing the volume of the voice is only one aspect of voice projection, and kids can learn to command a vocal presence with a little practice.
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Teach your child to breathe from the diaphragm to prevent talking too fast or too slow. Have him lie down or sit in a chair and breathe deeply in, filling in his abdomen first. Tell him to hold the breath for 10 seconds, and then to slowly release the air while tightening the lower abdominal muscles. Repeat the exercise until the breathing feels comfortable, and then have him practice breathing while speaking simultaneously.
Instruct your child to open her throat by yawning before taking a breath. Relax the head and neck muscles as much as possible. Teach your child to project her voice by blending sound from her voice box, nose and mouth, allowing the sound to resonate in the upper chest. Practice speaking without yelling and without straining the face. Tell her to hum before saying a sentence to help her find her facial mask, such as, “Hmmmany people like ice cream” or “Hmmmy dog is black.”
Direct your child to control his vocal volume. Explain that normal conversation falls somewhere between a whisper and yelling. Save yelling for emergencies and outside play time, and whispering for the library. Demonstrate that conversation levels vary depending on background noise, and that he should speak slightly louder than the ambient noise for others to clearly hear him.
Help your kid to articulate her words when speaking so others can easily understand what she is saying. Instruct her to place her tongue towards the front of her mouth and use it to pronounce her words. Listen to proper enunciation online at sites like Merriam-Webster.com if you are uncertain of proper enunciation.
Build your child’s self-confidence to help with his voice projection. Encourage him to express his thoughts and opinions on a regular basis, and tell him that his ideas have value. Help him to feel self-assurance when he speaks.