Home > Uncategorized > Have You Listened to Yourself Lately? By Candy O’Terry
Illustration includes a black, Speaking icon on a white background.

You may have your mother’s blue eyes and your father’s sense of humor, but do you know that there is no one in the world who sounds exactly like you do? That’s right, our voices are as unique as our DNA. The question is: do you like the way you sound or could you use a little vocal improvement? As a recording artist, voice over teacher and veteran broadcaster and the newest member of the Brunner Communications team I can tell you, it’s not that hard to improve the quality of your speaking voice.

Here are 3 quick vocal training tips:

  1. Read aloud everyday. You don’t need to read a soliloquy, just a paragraph or two from a magazine, a passage from a book, or that memo you just wrote to a colleague. Stand up and put your shoulders back for this exercise, because when we stand, our lungs have a greater ability to expand to their fullest.
  2. Breathe deeply: Before you begin, take a nice, slow deep breath. Feel your lungs inflate. We all have a muscle called the diaphragm. It’s located at the bottom of your ribcage and above your belly button. The slow rise of the diaphragm helps move air out of your lungs and creates better volume and vocal tones. Professional singers, voice over pros and public speakers practice developing this muscle everyday. You will know your breathing is improving when you are able to come to the end of a sentence without the need for another breath. Focusing on your breathing will quickly help your voice have more passion, power and presence.
  3. Do you sound nasal? There’s a quick fix for people who sound like they always have a stuffy nose: just open your mouth a little wider when you speak! This simple adjustment will stop your habit of allowing the air that has traveled from your lungs and up through your windpipe to land in the back of your nose.

And finally: Ask yourself this question: do I sound like I mean what I am saying? Our voices telegraph our thoughts. Emotions can and do creep into the sound of our voices. Don’t fear this. People will connect to the emotion they hear in your voice and that’s a good thing because it makes you memorable and authentic. Plus, it gives the listener permission to feel that emotion, too.