How to breathe more quietly

When you record narration for a multimedia story, do you sometimes hear yourself gasping between phrases or sentences? Those audible intakes of air can be a distraction for the audience and can also make you sound nervous, undercutting your credibility. What’s the solution?

It depends in part on the cause. Some people only breathe audibly when they’ve really run out of air. In that case, the answer may simply be to write shorter sentences so you’re forced to breathe  more often and you’ll be able to take shallower, less noisy breaths. Marking your script for places to take a breath is another way to make sure you don’t run on too long without breathing.

But sometimes the cause of audible breathing is physical. Broadcast voice coach Ann Utterback explains how to tell what’s causing the sound and how to get rid of it.

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2 Comments

  1. As broadcast journalists we should do everything in our power to clearly deliver the story we present to the audience. We should strive to engage listeners by using our voice to set the tone of the report and to emphasis key points to effectively inform listeners.

    The audiences’ attention should not be on the reporter. Not breathing properly when giving a report can detract from the story because the audience can become more concerned on how the story is being delivered.

    Eliminating obnoxious gasping sounds can help the story flow more smoothly and prevent the listener from being distracted from the story.

    I never thought about lips and teeth causing louder breathing, but after trying Utterback’s exercises I can hear the difference.

  2. I’m a storyteller who’s been trying to record my stories and noticing that I breathe loudly. I may have to try this method.

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