Since this Thursday is a holiday, we won't meet for our usual in-person Be Heard! class in Berkeley. However, as my mentor John Argue says, "Parkinson's doesn't take a break, and neither do we!"
So sit down for a few minutes of screen time and warm up your face, throat and breath in preparation for using your voice: LOUD, CLEAR, and DIRECT!
First we warm up by CALMING DOWN. Trying to speak loudly with a body full of tension is like trying to play a violin full of sand. You need to clear the "cobwebs" out so your sound has a place to resonate. So breathe, yawn, relax and let things flow in a subtle, gentle way. You will be making more room for your sound and practicing body awareness at the same time.
Then we warm up our FACES and get our energy flowing OUTWARD. Most of our communication is non-verbal, in fact, so having your facial expressions on board is extremely important if you want to be communicative! But perhaps even more importantly, your facial muscles influence your sound! Your voice will be louder and clearer if your face is warmed up.
Third, we focus on our BELLY MUSCLES, which POWER healthy sound by pushing air up out through our throats. Never shout "from" your throat. Rather, OPEN your throat with a yawn, and PUSH energy and air up from your abdomen, and out into the world so we can hear you!
Remember - if you see fireworks this week, you can get some inspiration and make your face say "OOOH" and "AAAAAH" with exaggerated enthusiasm. The work of "over-expressing" (like a cartoon character!) will get your facial muscles and voice warmed up so you can be clearer and louder in conversation.
Happy 4th of July!