Yes! I believe it can.
An article written by Shankar Mahadevan Academy on 05 April 2014 suggests that successful public speaking isn’t totally down to the content but that much of it is attributed to a strong voice. A voice the can be heard and that doesn’t fade off after an initial strong start. Maintaining a good volume for speaking can be helped along by singing. When we sing we open the throat on a way different to our everyday speech and become aware of the changes in pitch and rhythms in sound. From this, we can become more aware of the nuances in our speech. Most of my singing lessons with student focus on breathing as this is essential for good singing, and in turn for good speaking. (I also teach these breathing warm ups in my choir sessions). When we breath well in singing, we are learning to maximise the lung capacity creating a fuller voice, more easy to listen to which in turn creates a powerful speaking tool. Using the lungs to project the voice as opposed to the throat means that the actual voice is less likely to get damaged or tired and this is a skill which can be acquire through singing.
Cheryl Hodges lists theses benefits to singing:
Regular practice is helpful in:
• the prevention of damage to vocal cords, such as nodes (nodules) and polyps
• the inducement of power to project and focus, through proper breathing and development of the diaphragm muscles
• the overall expansion of one’s vocal range
• the effective control of speech breaks (which lead to loss of concentration in the audience)
• the development of a richer tone (“placement”)
• the maintaining of the developed voice for a longer period of time
• the controlling and differentiating between vibrato and straight tones
And what about confidence? Singing (especially on your own) is like standing up naked in front of someone – it’s very exposing and totally unnatural for many people. If you can conquer this stumbling block, it makes the task of speaking in front of people a lot less daunting.
I believe there’s a great benefit to having singing incorporated in the working day as a wellbeing exercise as well as for the benefits mentioned in this post. As well as group singing sessions, the option to add in individual lessons for specific clients can develop vocal skills. The enormous benefits to mental health through singing are something I talk about a lot and will continue to do so as I strive to create sustainable harmony in the workplace through singing together. If you’re interested to hear more or talk to me about how I can help your organisation, please do get in touch.