Using your voice

Good voice production - why bother?

How you say what you say is as important as what you say.

How can listeners understand what you are saying if:

  • you are too soft to be heard
  • you mumble
  • you speak so fast that your words blur into one another

Here are some issues to work on, with suggestions:

Speak clearly

Speak slowly rather than quickly. Project your voice to the back of the group you are speaking to

Articulate your words carefully - see below for advice on articulation

Use your voice for emphasis

Use pauses - a pause before a word or phrase gives it emphasis, while a pause before and after gives great emphasis. Change the volume for emphasis - either louder or softer. A louder voice for key words gives obvious emphasis, but a whisper that carries the whole space can be very dramatic.

Vary your voice

Change the timbre (pronounced tamber) of your voice. This is the way you produce your voice. Choose a word like "development" and practise different ways your voice can produce the word. Vary the pitch i.e. in a range from a high, light tone to a deep, heavy tone

Vary your speed. You should have a regular, standard speed, which very occasionally you vary by speeding up, and more often by slowing down, sometimes to a very slow measured pace

For very detailed advice, explore the material on the voice in Wikipedia