• Alexandra Bond Burnett

Create a fantastically engaging speaking voice

Updated: Jan 25, 2019

What makes us listen to people? Think of the best voice you know, one you love to listen to. I used to love Terry Wogan; rich, chocolatey, toneful… it was musical. We listen when there a voice has variety, much like music.

Music is memorable because it create patterns in the brain.

Boring flat voices make us wince and drop off to snooze-ville. A flat voice tells us you’re bored. If you’re not engaged, then why should I be?

When we create ‘colour’ in the voice we create musical patterns then keep our brains engaged. Here are three things you can play with to make your voice unignorable in your net meeting.

Video Transcript

I’ve had a bit of a different day today.

After 2 weeks of accountancy conferences I taught Musical Theatre today. I did some workshops and some acting workshops as well, which is really nice, it keeps me in the field it keeps my skills fresh I find.

I don’t do them that often but it’s really good CPD for me I think as as a coach, and three of the things that I took away refreshed my memory on were:

structure, pace and pitch

Now these things can be everything when you’re public speaking and I often use these in terms of your vocal quality and keeping engaging material and things like that when you’re speaking.

Whether you’re doing a presentation webinar, interview or a little video like this… and a thing like that what you’re using your voice and you need to be remembered and heard and try not to bore the pants off anyone.

The reason why is this structure is, especially if you’ve got an organised pieces,keeping the structure and timing of whatever it is you’re speaking about so have a firm beginning middle and end. Create mystery.

Create a bit of conflict and then resolution.

Just have a clear beginning middle and end, which is it always something we should consider.

Don’t let anything tail and drop off. Keep the energy going right up until the end. What else did I say? Pitch! Pitch basically our voice can go up and down and when we’re singing or working with music of course musical notes have to go up and down all the time, and if we change the way I voice speaks and the levels we use,  and and I can call it the colour in our voice, then it’s much more engaging.

That’s actually a brain thing, our brain hears a musical sound we tune in and we hear it more often. it’s much easier for our ears to stay focused if it’s changing and we are adopting different principles in our voice, and that goes for tone and pace.

Pace is really important sometimes if we speak the same way all the time our brains switch off.  

So, change it up! Make really important things that you’re really excited about a bit quicker, and if you’re trying to hammer home point… through in a pause in so that you can let people think about it and give them the chance to let the penny drop.

Yes, elements of musical theatre actually very useful for public speaking. If you are about to do an interview, either way whichever side of the table, or if you are a presentation or perhaps you’re going to give a talksomewhere then these are things to think about.

So your pitch, your tone, your pace and your structure.

With a bit of practice any one can hold the room with a colourful voice