A Quick Voice Tip for Covering Weather Emergencies

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on October 29, 2012

 

Here’s a quick tip for all my clients who are out covering Sandy, or the Frankenstorm, as it heads for the east coast of the U.S.

With this storm approaching, it’s hard not to be tense, but tension is the enemy of a good voice. That’s because all your vocal tract as well as your breathing area are controlled by muscles. The actual vocal folds (cords) are folds of muscle and ligament in your throat. So if you want your delivery to improve, you need to relax your neck and face before voicing.

Try some simple neck rolls by lowering your chin to your chest and then looking up over each shoulder. Do that a few times. Then scrunch up your face by pursing your lips and pulling them forward. End by smiling widely and then opening your mouth to make an oval. Begin doing these warm-ups 5 times each just before you record for a relaxed face and neck.

And when a storm like this one approaches, I am reminded of good advice from my friend and veteran broadcaster Elliot Wiser: “The reporter…is the person standing in the rain, wind, and amidst the wreckage, but that is not an excuse for the rapid and breathless delivery that is commonplace on television today.” This quote is from a chapter Elliott wrote for my new e-book, BROADCASTER’S SURVIVAL GUIDE. Click here to check it out on my website.  And be safe everyone!

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