Commanding Attention With Your Voice

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on April 25, 2011

I bet you never paid too much attention to a tour guide, but your on-air work might improve if you did. Let me explain….

Think of a typical tour guide at a museum or on a tour bus.  Tour guides need to command and hold people’s attention. The guides must do this with their voices alone. You’d be pretty disappointed if you went to your local museum and a soft spoken or mumbling guide came to show you around. You might just wander off on your own or seek out a more dynamic guide. Listeners will do the same thing if your voice does not grab their attention whether you are a voice over artist, a broadcaster or a podcaster.

How do you get a dynamic voice that commands attention?  First, don’t let the ends of your sentences trail off. A tip I give clients is to always try and make the last word in your sentence as strong as the first word. Keep good energy in your voice all the way to the end of each sentence.

Another way to sound commanding is to project your voice well. Vocal projection is how far the sound you create travels when it leaves your mouth. The weak tour guide might sound like someone talking with a surgical mask on because all the sound is trapped around the face.  If you think of projecting your voice a few feet in front of you, your voice will sound more commanding.  This voice will sell more products if you’re voicing a commercial, and it will pull your listeners in if you’re a broadcaster or podcaster.

Next week’s blog post will explore the area of projection more completely so stay tuned.  And for more on projection before then…..

see Lesson 3 on the MP3 pageWhile you’re there, you can also download Lesson 1 on Keeping a Healthy Voice for free!

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