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Breath Control – the Key to Effective Communication

Breathing Techniques

Welcome to our first blog at Speaking Tips!

I remember when I was training to become a speech and drama teacher, I was asked to present a speech on the importance of correct breathing methods for effective presentation. Little did I realise then how significant breath control was, and is, in effective oral communication. Needless to say that breathing exercises feature in the coaching and training programs we provide – not only because it strengthens your vocal projection and colour the music of your tone, it helps to calm the nerves!

Correct Breathing Method – Intercostal Diaphragmatic Breathing

What is the Action of Diaphragmatic Breathing?

The correct method of breathing is the Intercostal-Diaphragmatic method. The Diaphragm is a powerful dome shaped muscle which acts as a support for the base of the lungs. It forms a divisional wall, separating the thorax from the abdomen. In repose the Diaphragm is convexed upwards. When it contracts it becomes flattened and thus enlarges the chest cavity in its vertical diameter. The upper abdominal muscles assist in the contraction of the diaphragm. This is the action of diaphragmatic breathing.

What is the Action of Costal Breathing?

The ribs are arched in shape and gradually increase in size from the first pair downwards to the 7th pair. When they are raised by the action of the external intercostal muscles a larger rib approaches the position usually held by a smaller one. This is the action of costal breathing.

Therefore, Intercostal Diaphragmatic Breathing – is the correct breathing method – as it provides the height, depth and width for the lungs to expand in three ways.

(Sourced from the teaching notes of Katherine Blowen)

For more information and breathing exercise workshop details contact:

Tid-bits: breath control is the source of your vocal power…

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