Proper Breathing Techniques – Lesson Two

I know it sounds basic, but the first thing you have to learn is to breathe properly. Knowing the basics of proper breathing will help you in almost everything you do, not just radio. If you are breathing correctly (inhaling by expanding your diaphragm and exhaling by pushing the air out) you should be able to go on the air with a cold and not sound too nasal. It doesn’t matter whether you breathe in through your nose or mouth, besides if you’re like me and have constant allergy problems, you probably can’t get much air in through your nose anyway. Surprising too, considering the size of my nose! The vital aspect to breathing is to expand your diaphragm and not your chest when you are inhaling

You won’t sound nasal:
Pushing on your diaphragm as you speak helps stimulate the vocal chords in your throat and your voice will come out of your mouth without being routed to your nasal cavity (your nose).

You can talk longer between breaths:
When you inhale by expanding your diaphragm you actually take in more air than if you expand your chest. Pushing the air out as you speak gives you control over the amount of air you let out with each word or phrase. Have you ever heard someone on the radio that sounds like they are always taking in a big breath? Well, these people probably aren’t breathing the correct way. They haven’t mastered control over their voices yet. Expanding your diaphragm as you inhale also lets you take a breath much more quietly than if you expand your chest. You can take in a great big breath without anyone knowing or hearing.

Try this simple experiment:
Take in a breath by expanding your chest and then hold your breath for as long as you can. Now do the same thing but this time expand your diaphragm as you breathe in. You’ll find that you can hold your breath much longer because you took in much more air.

You can lower the pitch of your voice:
Pushing the air out as you speak will help open your throat and help you resonate your vocal chords and hard and soft palettes. All of this works together in helping you speak with a smooth natural sounding voice. By opening your throat, as pushing the air out does when you speak, you will lower the pitch of your voice and be able to talk more naturally in the lower ranges of your natural voice. Let’s face it, a person who can use his full vocal range is a lot more entertaining to listen to than someone who can only talk in a monotone voice. Your audience will feel the same way!

Besides learning the proper way to inhale and exhale you must always try to sound natural. Don’t try to sound like a disc jockey! If you “put on” your voice you will turn your audience off and they will tune you out!

Your Voice:

The most important point to remember, when using your voice, is to expand your diaphragm muscles to draw air into your lungs and contract you abdominal muscles to force the air out when you are speaking. All of this gives you more control over your voice when you are talking.

Think about expanding your stomach as you inhale and sitting on your air as you exhale and speak. Doing these two simple exercises will help you have a more commanding voice, one that stands out and one that is pleasant to your audience. A powerful smooth voice is one of the biggest assets you can have when you are trying to find your first radio job or when you do anything else in life.

Relaxing your vocal chords and adding resonance to your voice are the other two things you can do to have an attractive voice. If you practice expanding your diaphragm as you inhale and sitting on your air as you exhale it will become second-nature, in a very short time.

There are three basic ways to relax your vocal chords and add resonance to your voice. They are through your pharynx, your nasal passages, and your mouth.


The throat area in the back of your nose and mouth and just above the larynx is known as the pharynx. The pharynx is the most important amplifier of your voice and it is what gives your voice its quality. To use the pharynx in helping you have a powerful voice you should practice holding out a vocal tone. Take note of what it feels like as your voice is coming out. The area that you feel your voice in is the pharynx. The best thing to do is to practice relaxing the pharynx. The greater control you have over your pharynx the greater control you will have over your voice.


Using your nose when you talk helps put character in your voice. I’m not saying to talk through your nose, this will give you a nasal sound. What I am talking about though, is using the hard and soft palate on the roof of your mouth. This is connected to your nasal cavity. This will help put character into your voice. When you say n’s, m’s, and ng’s you will notice how your palates come into play. Use your tongue to feel the palates as you are speaking. You will see that they get harder and softer depending on what you say. Gaining control over these muscles is the best way to add character to your voice. Again, what it mainly takes is practice. Knowing what it feels like when you are talking is the best way to learn how to control these muscles. The main point to remember is to have your voice come out of your mouth and not out of your nose. This will assure that you don’t have a nasal sounding voice.


The final aspect of having a smooth powerful voice is to use your mouth properly when you are speaking. What I mean by this, is to use your jaw, lips and mouth to help you enunciate properly and clearly. Make sure what you are saying can be understood. Don’t slur your speech. Don’t talk too fast. Use you mouth muscles to help you enunciate. You can use your voice to express your thoughts and feelings. Do this by your intonation and resonance.

It’s not really as hard as you think. Just be aware of your voice and practice breathing and speaking properly. In no time at all you will have a smooth, pleasant, and powerful voice. A voice that will be your biggest asset in finding a job in radio

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Farheen Shaikh March 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I m FARHEEN SHAIKH and i love to be RJ. I loved the way they speak on radio with audience. If i get a chance to be RJ,i would like to be it. Hope i get a chance……………


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