Here at Voice Science ™ you would have heard Sarah, Brooke and Emily mention multiple times during sessions how important practice is to achieving your individual goals! These tips are designed for speech pathology for adults. Starting speech pathology as an adult can be challenge as there are not many resources out there around practice for speech pathology for adults. Practice is paramount to the success that you can achieve in our sessions, and without it, it is impossible to transfer your goals from clinic sessions to real life conversation. We have prepared 7 core practice tips and can’t wait to share them with you.
7 tips to boost your Voice Science™ practice at home
It’s time to revive your practice routine! Perfect practice makes perfect. This is because perfect allows your body, especially your mouth, tongue and other muscles involved in speech, fluency and voice to become used to the new motor patterns we are teaching you.
The easier and more natural your goals become, the better chance of them being used when speaking to friends, when on the phone, or ordering your 4pm coffee from the café down the street.Let’s look at how you can hit those communication goals for 2019 through Perfect Practice!
1. Go Slow!
When practicing focus on using the sound/technique correctly by slowing down your rate. This may feel unnatural, but it is much better (and ultimately more efficient) to practice the correct technique slowly 100 times, than to practice the wrong technique quickly 100 times.
Accent modification tips
Slowly position the phonetic sound that corresponds to the symbol you are pronouncing. Don’t rush! Use a mirror, check the dictionary phonetic mark up. Read your learning management notes about the phonetic symbol you are making. Make sure you know all the steps with the mouth shaping that you need for the symbol. Take time to transcribe key words first, before you say them.
Voice therapy tips
Take the time to prepare your breath cycle. Breathe, poise and release the target sound. Make sure you use drill with 1 breath between each set. Don’t go off and make yourself a cup of tea in the middle. This will ensure that you build up a nice flowing respiratory cycle (great for voice vibration consistency). You will also build stamina which is really great for voice projection skills.
Speech fluency/ stuttering tips
Sit and consider your current comfort rate. Take time to identify a reading practice that has key words / topics you speak about. Or, think of communication activities you need to do that day (call a client, order a lunch, talk to a friend) and simulate the task slowly at your comfort rate. Also, make sure you take time to evaluate your use of techniques and naturalness after each practice task. This takes time, but this is essential to cement your smooth speech techniques.
2. Use what you have
We don’t expect you to go out and purchase things to assist in your practice. There are lots of items at home that you are able to use/talk about to assist you. For example, read a book, read subtitles on your TV, monologue what you are doing when making dinner, recall your morning routine, write down common phrases you use every day and practice those. The possibilities for practice material are endless! Which leads us into our next point…
3. Make it fun
You are more likely to do something if you enjoy it! So, with that in mind, make your practice activities something you enjoy doing. If you don’t like to read the newspaper, don’t use that to practice with. If you love watching Friends, turn it down and use the subtitles to read out loud.
4. Record yourself
We realise a lot of you don’t like listening to the sound of your recorded voice, but please keep reading!
Recording yourself and listening back to what you have said allows you to be your own teacher and identify what you are doing well and what you need to fix. This is a skill that you need to be able to ensure continuous use of your goals in and out of the clinic.After all, the Voice Science™ can’t stand next to you at all times and let you know how you are sounding!
5. Start small
It builds up.
Remember that you can’t read a whole large novel in a day, but rather you devour a book in small steps over time. This is the same for practice. Consider, 20 minutes a day builds up.
In fact, if you set aside 20 minutes daily to work on your Voice Science™ goals, in 10 weeks you will have practiced for 23.3 hours.
That’s a lot of build up.
6. Use a dedicated space for your practice
The same space for practice is very useful. Using the same space helps you build up a routine and ritual such that when you pull up your chair you’re good to go. Leave your resources (like phonetics notepads, MyEd icon login on the desktop, notes) open. This makes starting each day easier.
So many people tell us they are practicing in the car. Don’t do it in the car! You don’t practice your tennis serve, kitchen knife skills, watercolour painting or clarinet in the car for a reason. Speech, Voice and Communication goals need attentive practice. Save your car for driving safely.
7. Try to practice at the same time each day
This will also help you build up the routine much easier.
If your schedule is CRAZY, pre-schedule when you will practice on Sunday afternoon, so that you are ready for the week ahead. Use activity trackers, google calendar reminders, phone timers or even a simple habit tracker to stay on track that you display in a prominent place (the fridge, your desk, by your bed) to monitor your consistency.While we are at it, are you following us on Instagram? Look up Voice Science™ and follow us- you’ll find lots more ideas for practice.For more practice tips and ideas to boost your communication, make sure you are following us on Instagram! We share content daily about communication strategies, voice care, accent and pronunciation and Elocution.This is why we provide all our treatment programs with the option to purchase a learning management system to assist with home practice.
Read more here.
What should you do if you’re feeling stuck in your practice routine?
Sometimes, you may feel like you are stuck in your practice goals. If you are feeling like your goals are not progressing or you’ve lost motivation, you might be stuck!
This can be a sign that:
- More feedback is needed
- More instruction/ learning is needed to take your goal to the next step
- The goal needs to be adjusted
- The goal needs to be upgraded
- You’ve achieved your goal and it’s time to re-evaluate
- Your goal is no longer relevant to you
If any of these are the case, we suggest considering booking your next session at Voice Science™ to check in with your goals.