A BREATHE System to control violence in the classroom.

Dr. Ralph Hillman is the Voice Doc
"It's not WHAT you say; it's HOW you say it!"

Dr. Ralph Hillman

Ralph Hillman, Ph.D, MTSU Speech Professor, author, presentation coach and professional speaker, has been presenting breathing strategies to reduce stress and improve vocal production for audiences across the nation for over 35 years.

Dr. Ralph Hillman works with people from all walks of life, and helps them to better communicate with one another, enrich their own lives, and enrich the lives of those around them. Dr. Hillman increases personal effectiveness and credibility, through the sound qualities of voice.

Since immediate stereotypes about credibility are formed, regardless of the speaker's intent, it is exceedingly important that the speaker's credibility be immediate and unwaivering. Dr. Hillman advises his clients of the appropriate vocal sounds to parallel the words used and intent desired. This increases his clients' effectiveness and limits misunderstandings between his clients and their audience, since the words spoken, and the way the words sound, match the client's intent.

Dr. Hillman's projection technique also increases credibility, by allowing others to fully believe what his clients say. This creates added trust between his clients and their audience, and encourages friendship and love.

Since people are often their own worst critic, Dr. Hillman also helps clients to gain greater confidence through the sound of their own voice. As Dr. Hillman says, "Work with me, and you will never cringe at the sound of your own voice on the answering machine! Neither will the people who get your message!"

With a BA and MA from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from Penn State, Dr. Hillman has worn seven professional hats:

  • Keynote Speaker - conventions, retreats, banquets
  • Seminar Trainer - media, government, corporations, associations
  • Voice Coach - mentoring individuals to improve/change behaviors
  • Communication Consultant - growing companies
  • College Professor - Voice & Diction, Oral Reader & Public Speaking
  • Facilitator - group decision making, and goal setting
  • Author - Work For Your Voice, Communication Strategies, and Delivering Dynamic Presentations: Using Your Voice And Body For Impact as part of THE SPEAKER’S LIBRARY published by Allyn and Bacon.
  • And he's a perfectly good storyteller, too!

    As a leading authority on voice, delivery, and presentation styles, Dr. Hillman has authored several books and tapes. Click here for more details!

    Dr. Hillman and his wife, Sue, provide foster care for newborns who are in the process of being adopted. They have provided care for 112, so far! Here is the lates news report from WKRN-TN Nashville.

  • the BREATHE System

    A system designed to help classroom teachers train their students to reduce anger, control potential violence and raise test scores.

    The pioneering work of Dr. Ralph Hillman has lead to the creation of The BREATHE System. A system designed to help classroom teachers train their students to reduce anger, control potential violence and raise test scores. The program works well for adults, too.

    The BREATHE System comes in two phases: First, Teaching students, staff and teachers how, when, and where to do the actual TheBreatheSystem patterns. Second, Training staff and teachers to use the Voice Management for Teachers so that how they sound does not generate negative, hostile or inappropriate responses in students.

    The BREATHE System.

    The BREATHE System helps deal with school violence in two ways: Prevention: the potential for committing violent behavior may be significantly reduced by decreasing stress and tension in the classroom, in three ways; (A) by improving teacher vocal behavior and classroom control, (B) by having teachers and students utilizing "The Big Three" (erect posture, relaxed neck and shoulder muscles, and breathing from the diaphram) and (C) by having teachers and students using the calming breathe as a habit pattern. Coping with actual threats: Teachers have a well-rehearsed, concrete, seven-step plan of exactly what to do/not to do with any threats of violence or other disruption in the classroom.

    Channel 5 News, the CBS affiliate, Nashville, presented a special report on a BREATHESystem Model School, Black Fox Elementary in Murfreesboro. The All News Channel (ANC), which is seen in 35 million US Cable and Satellite TV households, rebroadcast this special report.

    Recently, the Associated Press released an article about how The BREATHE System can be used to calm the fears and reduce the stress of elementary school students. Please click here to read a copy of the article.

    To learn more about Dr. Hillman's other presentation topics, please visit The VoiceDoc's Presentations.

      ". . . your breathing method got me through what could have been the most tramatic event of my life."

      "I find not only do your techniques help me relax, but they help me perform better."
      Amy Smith

      "The child stands erect, shoulders straight, against a door or wall and then begins a series of deep breathing exercises -- the headache will usually disappear within two to five minutes. Smiles replace frowns, the headache is conquered and the student returns to the classroom more quickly... "
      Peggy Sartain

      "Since I have recommended you many times to audiences to which I have been personally and directly accountable, I certainly recommend you to others without hesitation."
      James Burton
      Dean of the Business School
      Middle Tennessee State University

    Phil Waldrop, Ed.D., MTSU Education Professor, sought after classroom management expert and collaborator with Dr. Hillman for the past 7 years, believes The BREATHE System information has helped his Education students to be better prepared to handle students in the classrooms they are being trained to serve.

    Carl Shartner, Ph.D., author, visiting lecturer and Consulting Psychologist, created the concept of Voice Management for Teachers and the initial BREATHE seven step plan for coping with threats of classroom violence. Together, these three are responsible for The BREATHE System as it currently exists.

    Video Updates

    14 Dec 2015: "Read It Like You Mean It" "

    The Voice Doc

    14 Jun 2012: The first few days and weeks of a newborn's life are an important time for bonding. United Methodists Ralph and Sue Hillman make sure infants feel loved. They have been foster parents to over 100 newborns in the past two decades. Some are born addicted to drugs or alcohol, some are the children of women in prison, others come from families who cannot afford to care for another child. Their stories are unique but all need love and care. The Hillmans have a special connection to every child who has ever come through their home, "I do feel like I have a hundred children. They're all just so in my heart. I know every one of them," says Sue. Ralph says their church family at First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee gives each baby a special blessing. "It has become a tradition that they pray for our babies the first Sunday that we have that baby."


    Dr. Hillman works carefully with each organization to ensure that the content of the programs he creates are exactly what's needed. His goal is not just to meet your expectations - but to exceed them!

    Sample Program Topics

    Dynamic Presentations: ~ Body ~ Voice ~ Delivery ~
    Making the best presentation even better.

    Belief Counts: Speak With Credibility
    To be trusted (and taken seriously), you must know how to say it.

    Brain Dominance: Who Will Notice
    Preset preferences each of us relies on when under pressure.

    Workplace Humor: Now To Laugh
    Being serious is honorable, but often too stressful.

    Me Speak: Presenting My Ideas
    How to organize, research, practice and deliver a speech.

    Speaking Up: Upper Management Reports
    Structure & present proposals to administrators for & staff.

    In-service Meetings: Seeking Staff Cooperation
    Explaining to peers what you do, seeking their assistance.

    Your Meeting: Easy Parliamentary Procedure
    The nuts-n-bolts of preparing for and running a meeting.

    Time Management: Events To Manage
    Structuring events so that one gets more done leisurely.

    Set Goals: 3% Do It
    Without a star to stretch toward, one has no direction.

    Stressed Out: Manage Those Buttons
    Strategies for keeping events from impacting us.

    Handling Change: Thoughts, Attitudes, Behaviors
    Patterns which predict our responses in daily routines.

    Pay Attention: Listening With Understanding
    Being open to receive before imposing our own agenda.

    Servant Leadership: Making A Difference
    Styles of behavior that allow others the opportunity to follow.

    Magic Pennies: Affirm His Presence
    How God has used pennies in my life to remind me He is there.

    Jeff's Story: Angels And Miracles
    30 year Angel-led-recovery from a bout with Reyes Syndrome.

    Difficult People: How to Deal
    Identify them and learn how you react when confronted by one.

    My Stuff: Dealing With Clutter
    Our conquest in dealing with my piles of stuff....clutter.

    Foster Babies
    Our mission is to love them and bond with them.

      "I was phoning in an order tonight, and the lady asked, after completing my order, if I was an Air Traffic Controller, since I had such a clear and distinct voice. I gave her your thanks, and stated I would pass along her compliment on your work."
      Dick Redditt
      Professor, MTSU

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