Over-breathing and inefficient breathing are common, even in highly trained speakers, singers, actors and journalists.
Here are some give away signs that a faulty breathing pattern underlies vocal strain:
- Quick upper- chest breaths taken during speech, generally at the beginning of a sentence
- Hearing the intakes of breath
- Visible upper-chest movement and shoulder lift on inhale
- Dry mouth during presentations
- Accumulation of mucous at the back of the throat
- Breathing more than 12 breaths a minute during resting breathing
- Significant abdominal/belly movement during resting breathing or during speech
- Mouth-breathing at any time
- You snore – another indicator of habitual over-breathing and it plays havoc with your throat
A good breather can easily present for two hours without needing to drink water and without voice strain and fatigue.