Aspiration is a strong desire to fulfill a worldly or personal dream it is linked with the act of using your breath. Aspirate is a sound that is made with the breath and the word aspirate has its roots in the Greek language. An aspirate sound is ‘Huh’, which is the way we pronounce the letter aitch (H) as in horse or house and is used in standard English but not in a London East End accent or other accents.
It is using our breath to vocalise.
It is the emphatic energy of pronunciation.
We all aspire to something and respond positively when we hear a speech, report or presentation by someone who clearly wants us to listen attentively. We may not agree with what they are saying but we are informed.
My experience over the last few years and looking back through records over many years, has helped me to understand that it is not fear, nerves or lack of confidence which cause the most problems with the voice. These are problems that diminish once people have found their personal strength through choice. Overcoming a fear of speaking publicly or a lack of confidence produces exhilaration. Impatience is what causes the most vocal problems in the long term. It happens with highly intelligent and charismatic people who can easily get people’s attention. It happens with people who are under pressure to deliver, with high expectations from themselves. In some cases, but not all, speaking English, when it is their second or third language. Delivering a report, speech or presentation is not a skill that can be juggled with other actions that mentally require your attention beyond the basics. You may have other pressing issues on your mind, but you need to learn to be completely absorbed in that moment of delivery.
Impatience causes stress and the breath to be rationed before it reaches the larynx, so that there is not enough breath going through the vocal folds. When it continues, it can become a habit. Eventually the vocal folds will be affected and will not be able to adduct (vibrate together).
This can be remedied but how much better to prevent it from happening in the first place?
Just a few minutes throughout the day doing this simple exercise will encourage you to use your breath into your voice. It is also calming.
(First Breathe out through your mouth emptying your lungs)
Breathe in through the nose for a count of 5
Breathe out through your mouth for a count of 8
Repeat 3 times.