A lot of clients come through the door chasing clarity, feeling like they are mumbling or loosing their thread when they are talking.
Earlier in this A-Z Voice series, I talked about Articulation. This work concentrated on the relationship between the soft palette and the tongue. This time I would like to concentrate on the Jaw.
The jaw is one of the most powerful muscles in the body. Think what we put our jaws through! How we might clench our jaws or grind our teeth. These things put unnessary strain and energy into a part of our body that we need to be loose and soft. Not sure? Try speaking throigh clenched teeth and you can hear our locked your voice is.
It may seem that your voice is fixed just because of a locked jaw but if you try and move you tongue up and down with a fixed jaw, it’s fairly immobile compared to when the jaw is soft and flexible.
Our tongue is one of our main articulators. If this is restricted in any way that our diction is not so hot. The root of the tongue is also anchored into a piece of cartilage called the Hyoid bone. Also suspended from the Hyoid bone is our vocal chords. We need our vocal chords to move up and down. So if we have a locked jaw and a fixed tongue we have restricted vocal chords, this all contributes to a flat, dull voice that sounds like it’s uninterested in the ideas it shares or the audience it speaks for.
The good news is that this is something that can be worked on. One simple way to combat Jaw tension is to have a really good yawn. Something that I am sure we can all do!