AND MOVEMENT BY DESIGN
‘Movement by design’… You may have a clue what I’m suggesting here or perhaps not? If you guessed posture, you’d be correct. Once again, it is one of those key foundations that most of us, the majority of the time, don’t give a second’s thought about. It may be as the picture suggests that you associate the word with elocution lessons or for those who, like the period dramas, find themselves holding company with the prim and proper. Perhaps you remember your mother exclaiming “sit up straight!” (Like mine!)
Similar to breathing, I didn’t realise quite how important posture was for vocal optimisation, until I started going deeper into the voice. Then, as the subheading suggests, it’s about carrying the application of correct posture over into movement and learning to walk more in keeping with your body’s design (albeit not with a stack of books on your head!)
There’s holding ourselves correctly whilst walking and also when standing; when we’re moving about on a stage singing and performing, or whether we are in a more dominantly static pose on a platform (although it’s always good to incorporate movement and never to be rigid). It’s to enable vocal optimisation but also to support our body’s frame (in particular our spine).
Add correct posture to ‘breathing by design’ and your inhale will be more effective, transmitting those vital gases around your body reaching all your intrinsic and extrinsic muscles, helping them to relax. In addition, your voice box will be in optimal position and ready to make a pure, resonant sound (or at least a sound in an effortless way).
You will see how these foundations make a huge difference not just to the sound and longevity of your voice, but to your confidence and overall well-being. I hope you enjoy the accompanying video.
Fit for Business: Public Speaking Workshops & 1:1
MOVEMENT BY DESIGN: TRANSCRIPT
Welcome. Movement by Design. What does that mean? Well, we’ve learned about breathing by design. Posture is the next thing that is equally as important on the list, right up there at the top. You might’ve seen someone at some point walking across a room with a pile of books on their head. The ladies especially being taught how to walk in a prim and proper manner. But in order for those books to not fall off your head, you need to be able to walk tall, allowing your legs to lead the way.
You may or may not be surprised at how many of us tend to walk with a slant. We’re leaning into our walk. We’re in a hurry. We want to get from A to B quickly. What you’ll find is that if you move as you’ve been designed, which is your legs to support your upper body and to carry your upper body, you will notice a difference on your overall physical health, and even mental wellbeing. It’s really amazing how it spills over into every arena.
When it comes to speaking and when it comes to singing, posture is really, really important. If we want our voice to be at its optimum, then we need to have posture within the equation. So in this video, I’m just going to encourage you to take some time out and to do something fun. And this really is fun. It’s slow mo movement. Slow motion.
The task is you need to set aside a certain amount of time. Give yourself… maybe you wants it to be as part of your wind-down routine before going to bed. If you’ve got a day off work, why don’t you, if you have nothing else planned, spend time in slow motion for the day. You will be absolutely amazed at how it makes you feel.
So I want you to move very slowly. And as you move, I want you to be aware of your posture. Your legs are going to carry you and your upper body is going to feel tall, like a tree trunk, like it’s not moving, but literally your legs are carrying your upper body. And then become aware of your breathing. As you’re walking really slowly and your arms are moving slowly, feel and notice how it begins to slow down. It slows down, and then this remarkable thing happens. This rhythm… you feel yourself get into a rhythm which is, I guess I would say, “Rhythm by Design.”
It’s a remarkable sensation of everything falling into sync. If there are things out of line, it’s a sensation of everything just coming back into alignment, giving you the chance to be. So before you go into your presentation, take time out, let everything slow down, calm down. Breathe nice and slowly. Get into the flow of how that will feel, feeling relaxed.