How to change your tone of voice

Updated July 20, 2017

An individual's tone of voice can affect how well they get along with others. The wrong tone of voice or inflection may cause people to read the individual incorrectly. This can cause problems at work and with family and friends. Many Americans speak with a flat and thin voice, which lacks resonance, or an excessively nasal voice, which can be off-putting. These tendencies can be corrected with vocal exercises. By paying close attention and making minor changes, you can change the tone of your voice. Vocal tonality exercises used to train an individual's singing voice are very effective for this purpose.

Listen to yourself when you're talking to others. Make a mental note of times when you think your tone needs to be changed or improved. Determine whether there is a reason your voice took on an unnecessary tone --- perhaps you were stressed, heard something you didn't like, or were confused or feeling defensive. Ask friends or family members you trust to let you know when you're speaking to them in a negative tone. Listen to yourself speak --- use a tape recorder to play back your speech so you can hear exactly how you sound to others.

Relax your throat completely and take a deep breath, holding the breath in. Shape your lips into making the "oo" sound (as if you were about to say "moon"). Use your diaphragm, not your throat, to sustain the "oo" sound through your lips. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Again, repeat the entire exercise, but allowing to pause two beats in between every two "oo" sound.

Add three more sounds ("o" as in "oh," "o" as in "storm" and "a" as in "father"). Chant the sounds repeatedly until the diaphragm has been pulled as far as it can be. Keeping your throat muscles relaxed, make a humming sound, humming the following pattern, "m---o---m---i", "m---o---m---a", "m---o---m---a" and "m---a---m---e". Use a natural speaking tone. Repeat several times. Chant the following words on a smooth and regulated outward breath: "up," "ice," "air," "eat," "am," "art," "end," "is," "ate" and "out."

Practice saying the following words until you feel you can pronounce the vowels in your mouth rather than your nose: "hand longing," "sing lonesome," "men salmon," "gone throng shame same" and "owing spring "

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About the Author

Tony Ehrike has been writing and editing professionally since 2005 as an online freelance writer. He has worked as a business manager and administrative and advertising agent since 2006. Ehrike has been published in "News Health Weekly," "Handyman Magazine" and "Reader's Digest." He has taken creative writing classes at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin.