As vocal coach, one of the quickest ways I can improve someone's voice is to get the person using eye language when they speak or sing. Here's why:
Your eyes, eyebrows, eyepads all communicate messages. Actors learn this early... especially film and TV acting with closeups. Consider how masterful actors like Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, Jack Nicholson silently and instantly tell you something by a slight rise or fall of one or both eyebrows, widening of the eye, squint at the edge above upper cheek.
This eye and surrounding tissue movement creates not only silent messages, but audible ones. So much so that when I do a vocal lesson by phone, I can tell whether my student is lifting eyebrows or not (this frequently freaks people out). The reason is that the outside tissue affects (opens or closes) the inside of the throat channel, which includes the nose, mouth and entire pharynx regions. For instance:
- Try to lift your eyebrow without affecting the top ridge of your nose. (Good luck with that!) Usually the nose is affected so much it actually flares with the lifting of the brow. When the nose lifts open, it usually releases the soft palate to move, too, which affects tone choices the voice can make.
- Squint as if you're looking into the sun (this affects the eyepads). Notice how it tightens the soft palate. Good luck trying to yawn and squint at the same time!
- Notice how it's hard to tighten ('set') your jaw if you widen your eyes. Usually tight jaw goes with tight eyes... and tight soft palate!
- Using a poker face (very still in the eye area)... read the following sentence: "Hello, I'm (say your name). I understand you're interested in the demo I sent you last week. Would you be willing to meet with me for coffee?"
- Now using very active eyes, brows, eyepads (over-do it for this exercise), say the exact same thing.