Throughout our adulthood, we accumulate tensions – whether through psycho-physical habit or injury, or whether it’s our jaw clamping our mouths shut to stop us yelling at our boss when we’re angry. Unnecessary physical tension profoundly affects how we sound, by muffling resonance, restricting the movement of the breathing musculature, and constricting the throat so that it’s more difficult for sound to escape.
The ‘knee lock’ is a good way to check a number of muscular tensions – lock your knees by pushing them back firmly, and see what else tenses up. Butt? Thighs? Abdomen? Even the chest?
Check whether any of this is something that happens when you’re anxious about speaking. Try exaggerating it, and speak a line of text. Then release the knees and all the corresponding tensions, and speak again.
So just an exercise as simple as this, can create substantially more openness and ease in your voice. Can you feel the difference?