Think of a voice you love to listen to. That voice that glides up and down expressing minute shifts in meaning. That captivates you. The voice you’d listen to if they read the shipping forecast (for me it’s Richard Burton – who’s yours?)
Now think of a voice that sends you to sleep, and seems to kill the fun in everything. Flat, boring, soul-sapping.
What’s the difference? One of the main ones is vocal range. Voices that captivate tend to have good vocal range, your ability to access the range of notes in your voice, from high to low – to express subtleties of meaning and emotion.
So, step 1 of finding a voice that captivates is to connect to the expressive range that you were born with (babies play with vocal range all the time) as a speaker. It’s easier than you might have realised. If you want to wake up your range, use your hands. Yes really. There’s a rule in voice over which is that “gesture orchestrates vocal intonation”. If you watch footage of actors in voice over studios you will notice that many of them stand, and gesture as they speak – even though only their voice is being recorded. It’s why before videoconferencing the best advice for the big telephone meetings was to stand up and move – it gives your voice more power.
Test it – take your hands low and speak. Now take them high and speak. Notice a difference?
The invitation is not to wave your hands about randomly – you want to make sure that the gesture is relaxed and natural. The best way is to “model” your innate gestures – notice what you do when you’re talking to friends, when you are at your most relaxed. And then start to bring that gesture to meetings, whether they’re live or virtual.
Try it. Notice how as your vocal expression comes alive so do your audience. It’s magic.
I shared a short video about this earlier in the week which you can watch by clicking on the link below.
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