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Green dragonMany speakers think speaking is all about expelling air. But if you release the air too quickly your speech will not last long. whenever you speak you have to delay the exhalation. For most people exhalation is an unconscious process being controlled by the diaphragm which just relaxes and releases the air quickly. A good speaker must, however, take a conscious, active part in controlling exhalation; process known as support.

Feel the outflow of air

Place the back of your hand close to your mouth and exhale. Feel the outflow of air on your hand. Now add a tone while exhaling just as before. Listen to how weak and breathy the tone is. Now produce more powerful sonorous or Louder in volume tone and you will feel that less air is expelled against the back of your hand. So, in order to make sonorous, powerful higher volume tones you must hold the air back instead of letting it all out at once.


Attempting to produce powerful tones during a large outflow of air is referred to as forcing. this is very strenuous and usually extremely wearing on the voice.

Exercise with a candle

Early Italian singing teachers were conscious of the importance of support. they put a lit candle in front of a singer's mouth to check whether the support was correct. The test was not to let the flame flicker while the singer sang; that is how little air should be released. This exercise should always work with speaking for training before speeches.