The transcript below is from the video “How To Speak Like Bruce Lee” by Improve Your Voice.

Improve Your Voice with Voice Coach Darren McStay To Help Utilise Your Voice To Maximum Effect):

When you work on yourself daily, the muscles involved with your voice can start to learn to remember how to create words and sounds better. These exercises can help you to become a better speaker. Practice daily with Darren’s premier online home training course ‘Improve Your Voice’ below…

Darren McStay (Voice Coach To Help Utilise Your Voice To Maximum Effect):

Hello, and welcome to Improve Your Voice aka vocabilities.com. My name is Darren McStay and today I’m going to be reviewing in brief the voice of Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee:

“It is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky.”

Darren McStay (Voice Coach To Help Utilise Your Voice To Maximum Effect):

Now, before you go expecting me to do an impersonation of a Chinese martial arts fighter from many, many moons ago. I’m not going to do that. I’m not here actually to impersonate people. I’m here to try and figure out what it is about their voice that works or doesn’t work or…in ways which we can maybe adopt some of those skills or habits for ourselves to better improve our own situation. And that is the point of these review videos. None of them are really aimed at how well I can do an impersonation or how you can even impersonate someone. But we can look at the vocal traits and certain things and a couple of elements from each which we can maybe consider for ourselves if trying to better understand what it is we do with our own voices, how we can better improve the use of our instrument, and how, maybe, we can avoid certain pitfalls that other might fall into.

Darren McStay (Voice Coach To Help Utilise Your Voice To Maximum Effect):

So, Bruce Lee was recommended by one of you, guys, out there. Make yourself known. I can’t remember who it was. It was a while ago now. It was on my list of voices to cover. And I thought it’s an interesting one because even though Bruce Lee is an actor, he is not a typical trained actor who has been on the stage and is used to using his voice a lot. A lot of times in his film, he speaks, of course; but his whole thing was action and fighting and martial arts and being very physical. And I often say that physical tension and creating, you know, muscular bodies can create physical restrictions in the voice. And they often can. But it doesn’t seem so much with Bruce Lee and that’s why he’s interesting. So, let’s just take a quick listen to this rare interview with Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee:

“I mean, it is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky and be flooded with a cocky feeling and then feel like pretty cool and all that. Oh, I can look all kinds of phony things. You see what I mean? Blinded by it. Or I can show you some really fancy movements, but to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself and to express myself honestly, that, my friend, is very hard to do. And you have to train. You have to keep your reflexes so that when you want it, it’s there. When you want to move, you’re moving. And when you move, you’re determined to move, not taking one inch…not anything less than that. If I want to punch, I’m going to do it, man. And I’m going to do it, you see. So, I mean…So, that is the type of thing you have to train yourself into to become one with the…You think…”

Darren McStay (Voice Coach To Help Utilise Your Voice To Maximum Effect):

Wow! That was some excellent words from the fantastic Bruce Lee. Now, he was very philosophical and he was…one of the things I really appreciate and I really kind of…I get from him is that he understands how important the body is as an instrument. And to be able to function, you really need to train so much that everything you do becomes automated and then so…and that’s something that I always talk about in this channel…is that you need daily consistent practice in order for your body the instrument to be in a position where you don’t have to think consciously about using it. It’s just ready to work for you. And he kind of just sums that up quite eloquently in those few phrases. Dude, what did you notice about his voice? Obviously, English isn’t his native language. But he does his best to articulate himself clearly. And he’s easily understood, right? And he’s also quite resonant but he’s a very small man. He’s also very muscular. So, he doesn’t fall into the usual categories I talk about.

Darren McStay (Voice Coach To Help Utilise Your Voice To Maximum Effect):

And it’s because I thoroughly believe because not only muscular, he was also very well disciplined in using his breath and understanding that relaxation is key. It’s key to the way to be able to function as well as he did. So, he trains his body. He puts it under stress and he, like, you know, trained it to be the best working martial arts it could be. So, he could then forget about that, relax, be conscious in the moment, and judge every situation in its own merit to the best of his ability. That’s why whatever he did, he did very well, including speaking. So, he was fighting very well, he trained very well and hard and he’s speaking voice isn’t unaffected by it – even as a small muscular guy. His voice isn’t restricted and it isn’t tense because he’s breathing and he’s relaxed. He’s relaxed with it. He’s learned how to not only train his muscle and grow them. He’s also learned how to relax them. And that’s mostly through the breath. There’s a lot of exercises in my eight-week course which come from the Chinese school of thought around breathing.

Darren McStay (Voice Coach To Help Utilise Your Voice To Maximum Effect):

And in fact, there’s a wonderful woman called Nancy Zi, who’s got a book called ‘The Art of Breathing,’ which I’ll leave a link to in the box below. And Nancy Zi was an opera singer and she offers a lot of exercises that you can build up over time and build up so you can create a healthier breathing system for yourself. And it’s something that I believe in. It’s something that I promote and I do believe that the Chinese…some of the Chinese schools of thought on breath, you know, are far beyond anyone else in the world. So, it’s really worth taking a look at that if you’re someone who would like to better improve yourself. Also, you know, I’ve got seven exercises on the first week of my 8-week course which you can have for free if you sign up to the newsletter on my website, vocabilities.com. But that’s not essential because there’s lots here. There’s lots in her book. And if we look at Bruce Lee, we can understand that relaxation can come from the way you breathe.

Bruce Lee:

“When you want to move, you’re moving. And when you move, you are determined to move, not taking one inch – not anything less than that. If I want to punch, I’m going to do it, man.”

Darren McStay (Voice Coach To Help Utilise Your Voice To Maximum Effect):

Another great thing about the way Bruce Lee speaks and the way he uses his voice is that he has different paces and tones and he’s able to slow it down, be very considerate and then pick it up again. So, he’s not afraid to allow his thoughts to combine with his words, as opposed to thinking ahead or thinking too slow. He’s precisely on point. So, he’s working as one as a machine. It’s because there’s no restrictions. It’s because he’s not getting in the way of himself. And like in this little speech, he’s talking about expression and that’s exactly what he’s very good at is expressing himself, not only physically but vocally, too. And so, here’s the thing, by having the machine set up and ready and the body ready to work, you can be more playful in the way you express yourself, in the tones you use, in the terminology you use, the words you use because you’ve given yourself enough space to have the machine in a ready…that you don’t have to then cope with producing sound.

Darren McStay (Voice Coach To Help Utilise Your Voice To Maximum Effect):

The sound is made because that is what you wanted to do. So, mastery over using your voice is about working on the machine, first, like he has clearly, and getting that into position where it’s trained. It’s articulate. It’s ready. It’s resonant. It’s projecting well. And then you can slow down by using breath to articulate your thoughts and into feelings into sounds into words into ideas which you can share with the world clearly, concisely, and eloquently – which Bruce Lee done very well. I hope that’s been useful and interesting to anyone who’s wanting to learn a bit more about their voice and maybe about Bruce Lee’s voice. My name is Darren McStay. This is vocabilities.com aka improve your voice and until the next time. Look after your voice.




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