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Premier Bob Carr’s choice voice lesson 3

 In Learning from Luminaries, Politicians

Michael Kelly
“Bob, of the voices you like, what are the features that make them attractive?

Bob Carr
I think what you wrote recently about Obama’s voice was very significant . . . you focused on the pacing, and his voice gathers pace and groups words together so that he holds our interest . . .

and even though he is speaking in a measured way – very deliberately – he sends a message that a black man need not be emotional, angry or frightening, it’s still important that he adds interest

So he speaks in a measured way but he will run some words and phrases together quickly, and that holds interest and holds attention.

Gerhard Schroder, the former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, when he spoke English, had a beautiful voice. I understand that his German accent is from Hanover, and that is seen as being very clear German. I heard him speak in German and I could almost understand him.

And of the U.S. Presidents the one who stands out . . . is Franklin Roosevelt . . . it was an Atlantic accent . . . he wasn’t speaking down to his audience, he wasn’t dropping ‘gs’, for example I’m gonna’ as American politicians seemed obliged to do . . . and simple declarative sentences in his speeches, for example, “I have seen war and I detest war. I will not send your boys to any foreign war.”

We talk about grabs in electronic media, that was made for the news reels. Roosevelt’s voice was deep and rich but also light. The measured element of it, the conversational element of it rendered it very effective in those radio broadcasts.

Saul Bellow the novelist said that in the 19030’s you could walk by a road of parked cars in Chicago and each car on a summer night would have the window down and cigarette smoke would be curling out of the car, but if you went by, you heard from each car Roosevelt broadcasting one of his fireside chats.”

The above Q&A was another lesson from Bob Carr from my CD Choice Voice. I’ll ask Angela Catterns that question at this month’s special event for my best clients, colleagues and friends and selected potential clients.

The how to apply/call to action for this post: In the next seven days focus on improving your diction (ie. speech pronunciation). Once a day, on purpose, make an effort to make heard the final consonants in words. For example, avoid the‘gonnas’. Say ‘goiNG’.

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