The following exercise is an excerpt from Chapter 2, of Stop Committing Voice Suicide.
The Instant Voice Jiggle is a holistic technique that basically gives you the correct tone focus, natural pitch level and range, and the sound of your real voice. It is a simple 3-for-1 procedure that may give you everything "in a nutshell."
Note: If there are any medical problems involving the area of the solar plexus or the abdomen, or if you are pregnant, do not attempt this exercise.
Begin by placing one hand on your solar plexus, the center area at the bottom of your breast bone (or between the solar plexus and the navel). Now relax your stomach so that it moves in and out as you breathe.
With your lips closed, hum while repeatedly pressing your solar plexus gently with your fingers in a light, quick rhythm. " Hmmmmmm." (Hold that "hmmmmmm." ) "Hmmmmm." "Hmmmmm."
This gentle jiggling of the solar plexus will cause your "hmmmm" to break up into short bursts of sound like "hmmm-hmmm-hmmm-hmmm-hmmm . . ."
Do this exercise once again. Close your lips and hum while lightly pressing your fingers, gently jiggling, at the bottom of the breast bone where the two sides of the rib cage join. As the sound escapes, you will feel a buzz around your mouth and nose. You are actually directing your voice into the mask area, precisely where it should be.
Next, do the Instant Voice Jiggle with your mouth open, saying "Ahhhhhhh."
Try the exercise again, this time adding a number as you press. Start with "hmm-hmm-one," "hmm-hmm-two," "hmm-hmm-three."
Then use "ahh-ahh-one," "ahh-ahh-two," "ahh-ahh-three."
Finally, carry this sound over to talking, beginning with one word at a time. "Ahh-my-ahh-name-ahh-is-ahh ___." Keep the sentence short and learn to talk on the buzz, which is a resonance around the lips and nose.
Can you achieve that same focus and pitch level without jiggling your magic button? Raise both hands high above your head and repeat the following words with energy. "RIGHT." "NO." "REALLY." I call these words "buzz words" because they help bring your real voice forward.
Whenever you seem unable to locate your correct pitch level and focus, revert to the Instant Voice Press and use the "hmmm," "ahhh" and buzz words.
I have used these techniques for years to help individuals find their real voices in seconds. It is a good idea to start your day with these exercises. (In the movie, "Sister Act," I noticed that Sister Mary Clarence, played by Whoopi Goldberg, used the Instant Voice Jiggle on another Sister to bring her efficient singing voice out.)