A to Z Challenge: V is for Voice and Vocal Variety

Some people have voices that carry naturally to all corners of the room. Others need training and practice.

This post is all about the technique of finding your voice, and will not go into any psychological aspects of “finding your voice”. I am not qualified to provide information in this regard. So, to the techniques…

Toastmaster’s Competent Communicator manual describes the characteristics of a good speaking voice as follows:

  1. It has a pleasant tone, conveying a sense of friendliness.
  2. It is natural, reflecting the true personality and sincerity of the speaker.
  3. It has vitality, giving the impression of force and strength, even when it is not particularly loud.
  4. It portrays various shades of meaning, never sounding monotonous and emotionless.
  5. It is easily heard, thanks to proper volume and clear articulation.

The pointers below have helped me a great deal. I am a petite person and yet my voice belies my size.

Relax and breathe – this helps with projecting your voice

Being able to calm down and get the butterflies to fly in formation is important. Your voice box needs oxygen to operate and when one is nervous the tendency is to take quick shallow breaths. All your energy is concentrated in getting enough oxygen to the brain that there is not enough oxygen to operate the voice. It may come out like a squeak, or so softly that only the people in the front row will hear you.

Be conversational and remember to breathe

I just love what the Body Language University says about voice pitch. Read this interesting insert here. They describe the pitch of the voice as follows:

The pitch of the voice is defined as the “rate of vibration of the vocal folds” . The sound of the voice changes as the rate of vibrations varies.

Fast vibration rates come out as higher pitched voices which can be irritating on the ear. Slower vibrations come out as deeper voices.

Vary the pitch of your voice to convey your message. Your voice can convey all sorts of emotions.

Vary how fast or slowly your speak.

Your voice is another tool to convey your message.

The key to a good speaking voice is to relax and remember to breathe. Your good speaking voice will follow on from this.


The next lesson from behind the lectern is W is for Words.


This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z

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