Are you struggling to get your message across to engage your listeners? Voice-over speakers, pod-casters, and radio announcers have only the sound of their voices to impress their listeners effectively. Your voice is a distraction or an attraction, for your audience to either tune you in, or tune you out.
Unless you are doing unique character voice-overs, here are three key approaches to speaking over the microphone to keep your listeners involved, and to enhance the sound of your voice.
# 1. Set the Overall Tone to Fit Your Audience
The first three words you speak are critical. Rather than “talking down” to a listener, a conversational tone will always win over an audience member as it immediately warms them to hearing your voice. By avoiding a stilted tone, you can extend your vocal impact further to be encouraging, persuasive, and even dramatic as you move forward.
A good exercise is to breathe deeply three times with the diaphragm to help you relax before you are about to speak, and then continue to breath quietly over your microphone throughout.
#2. Emphasis Key Words with Different Pitch Strategies
The immediate approach to stress the importance of your message is to speak certain words or phrases with extra volume. However, you will gain more attraction if you use a variety of pitch levels to emphasize your missive. Choosing key verbs, adjectives, or nouns with changes to higher or lower pitch levels will avoid a monotone. Practise saying “ah” rising and lowering your pitch levels.
From your key words choose what tone to match, for example, being curious, mysterious, exciting, joyful, professional, sad, quiet, or any other emotion. Play with vocal nuances on your key words. It isn’t necessary to emphasize every word, so be selective to know what words would work if you were having an actual conversation with a friend or colleague.
Avoid sounding as if you are reading your content, for example, record your speech and then listen to it with your eyes closed. Are you allowing for expression, and for your audience to keep pace with you to understand your message?
#3. Become Familiar with Using a Microphone
Maintain the same distance between your mouth and your microphone to speak clearly and have the appropriate volume. Use your microphone in rehearsal to analyze your voice sound, your breathing, your volume, and expressive pitch levels.
A major challenge is to check speech for clear articulation to avoid slurring your words, and to check your pace including the flow from one idea to another.
Overall, use your breathing to relax yourself before your next broadcasting episode and do a vocal warmup to prepare your voice for work. It’s time for you to give your best quality sound on your next on-air event!