Here is yet another speech I gave at my Toastmaster club on the 26th of September 2012.

In February this year, I started to have one on one singing lessons every week. My teacher is a senior woman who still sings professionaly for RadioFrance and at some events.

I want to share with you some of the things I learned from her, because singing is like public speaking except with more vocal variety. That's why I think everyone here can be interested by the following topics I am going to cover.

First I learned that many things, that you do with your voice when you sing, can be great things to do when you speak publicly. So I will talk about these things too.

Then I learned is that singing is not just about voice. It is something physical that involves a big part of your body. So I will talk about this too.

In the end, singing, like public speaking, is about expressing yourself and opening yourself up. I will try to convince you that it's a good exercise.

So first let's talk about things that you have to do with your voice when you are singing and that are good things to do when you are speaking publicly.

When you are singing you have to articulate even more than when you are just speaking. Because of course the sounds you make are very important when you are singing.

Then my teacher says that one trick that works very well is to insist on the first consonant of each important word in every sentence. And also to insist on duplicated consonants. It works in every language, not just french and english. And it makes whatever you say or sing more interesting for your audience, even if the content of your speech or song is not interesting at all.

Now singing is something that involves a big part of your body. It is especially about breathing. In fact in one of my singing exercise booklet it's writen that singing is the art of breathing. So there are a lot of exercises about that.

My teacher says that to sing well you have to learn to breath using your belly. So there are exercises where you have to do that. And there are exercises like this one which are about training your floating ribs to work. Or this one where all the muscle involved have to work. First the muscles between the ribs, then the pectoral ones, then those in your back, then those in the belly, then those in the buttocks, and then those in the legs.

Body language is important too, and I will talk about it now as it is part of expressing yourself and opening yourself up.

So singing is about expressing yourself and opening yourself up. My teacher often tells me that when I am singing properly then the audience can hear everything that I am thinking. What she means is that all the feelings and emotions you have are going through to your audience if you are singing well.

This means that for your audience to enjoy your song, you need to feel something great inside and be open.

One good way to start doing that is to open up your face. You can do that by opening your nose, your mounth and your eyebrows at the same time like this. That's why the first exercise she asks me to practice everyday is doing this.

But to really feel something great, you have to control your feelings and emotions like an actor. And I think this skill is a very interesting one to have in life in general.

To try to explain you this last part I will give you a short example:

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feeling
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready to love...

So I hope you could get a broader picture of what singing is about. It is not just about vocal variety. It involves the whole body, especially breathing. It is also about some pronunciation skills to make what you say appear interesting. And it is very much too about mastering your own emotions and feelings.