The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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I really need help! I am a 15 year old boy in stage 3.5 of puberty. Everyone tells me that I sound really nervous whenever I am talking to them. I really want to be able to sound normal and not nervous. Is there anything I could do? I have tried my best and nothing works.


There are several factors that cause people to perceive a voice as being nervous:

  • A higher pitch
  • A quaver or verbrato in the voice
  • A soft volume

Your voice will begin to change when you reach stage four, probably within 6 to 12 months. When your voice initially changes, you will think it is getting worse - cracking, squeaking, and the like at the worse possible times. It will settle down and when it does, your voice will be deeper in pitch.

The other two factors have to do with the amount of air in your lungs. When a person is truly nervous, they don't breathe as deeply. They end up using mostly their vocal chords to make sound, which strains the voice. What singers learn is that your windpipe and nasal cavities make a pipe for sound much like an organ's pipe. If you breathe deeply and let the air out steadily while speaking you get a richer and louder sound. Instead of making the sound your vocal chords shape the sound and pitch.

We can't anything about the first part. Your body must catch up. But we can train you for the other two points.

  1. Sit up straight. This allows more air into your lungs and it keeps your voice pipe open for a richer sound.
  2. Practice breathing from the belly. When you take a breath, your stomach should swell a bit. Open your hands and place them on your lowest ribs at your side. On each breath you should feel your rib cage expanding and contracting. Most people only use their upper chambers for breathing instead of their entire lungs.
  3. Record yourself talking and reading. Try it in different positions. Try it with different breathing styles. Notice which ones sound richer and fuller -- practice using those more often.

Thank you so much for your help. I greatly appreciate it. I will try it and see how well it works. Thanks again. Later!