What EVERYBODY ought to know about their speaking voice
Consider this . . .
What speaking behaviour regularly bores an audience?
You know this. It’s the monotonous voice.
First, the monotonous voice ‘loses’ the ear of an audience. Then, the minds of audience members start to wander . . . to other things…
‘let’s see I’ve got to get some chicken on the way home, the dry cleaning, then . . . ‘
Recently I suggested to two of my clients – who have young children – that they had an ideal daily opportunity to develop the range and variety of their voice – to counter voice monotony.
(NB: if you don’t have kids, stay tuned).
Namely, they could use their bedtime story reading to their child, to develop their voice range and variety.
Here’s a sailing metaphor to help you develop vocal range and variety.
Imagine your voice is an ‘unpredictable wind’.
Let me explain.
Picture this situation. A sailor is in a sailboat on the open ocean. When the wind is steady and predictable, the sailor can set the sails of the boat and take a nap.
But – when the wind is variable – the sailor must keep alert to it, in order to trim the sails of the boat, to keep it moving in the right direction.
Similarly, when your voice is steady and predictable (ie. monotonous) your audience can take a nap from your speaking/presentation to ponder other things.
If your voice is unpredictable, it compels the ears and mind of your ‘sailors’ (audience) to be alert and attentive to your speaking.
Always – imagine your speaking voice as an unpredictable wind. Think of
entertaining the ears of your audience.
You can be unpredictable with the speed and cadence, the loudness, the pitch and the emotion of your voice.
Own the Conversation
Over the next seven days do this:
-IF YOU have young children, each night with your bedtime reading speak with an ‘unpredictable voice’. or
if you don’t have young kids, choose a paragraph from a newspaper or magazine and speak aloud with an unpredictable voice.
-STRE>>>>>>>>>TCH the vowels of words. Increase the piTCH of your voice on a specific word or two. Accelerate-the-speed of two sentences.
P……A…….U……S……E … for a silent count of ‘1001, 1002’, before an important word in the text. In a string of words make an important word – LOUDER.
AT WORK, first in ‘safe’ interactions/meetings, enjoy and experiment with the range and variety of your voice.
p.s Check out my 13 minute, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, SoundCloud interview on the topic: ‘Why your voice changes so dramatically when you’re excited’
p.p.s.‘The effectiveness of your communication determines the effectiveness of your life’. Bert Decker