It’s All About the Breath

It’s All About the Breath

If you are a past client, you already know how important breath is for speech. The thing most people don’t realize is it’s too late to change if you try to “breathe differently” as you speak. You have to change your deep underlying habits through good practice ahead of time. This is especially true of Asian languages, which have shorter, faster articulation patterns. Some languages are monosyllabic, like Vietnamese, for example, or tonal like Chinese or Thai. Even Korean and Japanese, flat and equal-length sounds, will not require the same breathing as English.

Telling yourself to “breathe deep” is in general a bad cue. Why? Because most of us take a huge inhale when we hear the word “deep”, but natural breathing is not forced. It’s gentler, so if you practice taking forced, deep breaths, you are probably making your speech tenser, not less.

Instead, tell yourself to “breathe fully” using the whole body: the chest, the clavicles, the sides “floating ribs”, the stomach and the back. Then breathe in and swell like a balloon at your own pace, and exhale as you speak.

This will help your speech tremendously!

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