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How Swearing Can Improve Your Voice

By Cathy Sobocan, M.A.

Let’s face it; most of us utter a few swear words now and again, even if it’s just under the breath.

But did you know that having a good swear helps to open up your voice? Here’s how swearing can improve your voice…

One of the most common vocal issues is a flat, or monotone voice. That’s when the words come out in one, continuous tone that rarely rises or falls. When all of the words sound the same, the audience tunes out. The human ear can’t detect what parts of the message are of most importance.

Another common issue related to a monotone voice, is a lack of vibrancy in the voice. The message is spoken, but the meaning of the message isn’t coming across to the audience. There’s a lack of genuine expressiveness or emotion. Perhaps we don’t care about our message, or the message lacks breath support.

In order to break out of a monotone sound and speak with more vibrancy and expressiveness, the voice has to move forwards into the space outside of your mouth rather than sit back on the larynx. Also your words have to make a meaningful landing on the audience.

For that to occur two things have to happen.

First the voice channel has to be open from the belly all the way up through the oral cavity and out beyond the lips. Secondly, we have to feel some sort of emotion. Here’s where swearing comes in.

Expletives are connected with both open sound and emotion. And a good swear will help get your breath going too. Follow this simple voice exercise. Do it without holding back. Let it go!

1. Direct your eyes to a point on the wall across from you.

2. Imagine a person or situation that makes you feel angry at the moment.

3. Mouth a stream of swear words to the imaginary person or situation via the point on the wall (not out loud). Pay attention to how the words feel inside the oral cavity.

4. Now sing the words out loud. Who cares what you sound like? Just go for it.

5. Finally, with all of the volume you can muster shout all of the words out loud. Do it without placing any judgment on yourself.

6. Keep the sound moving into the open space in front of you. Let it go! When you feel like you’re running out of breath, take a new breath in and keep going. Have some fun with it.

When you feel a great sense of release, you’re ready to speak.