“Think of the tone of voice that you use. Take a single word – the word “great” – and say it in a number of different ways. Say it so it sounds good. Say it sarcastically, angrily, playfully, with surprise, with boredom, with excitement, and as a question. Just think of it, one word, and the tone of your voice can change the meaning incredibly. The voice you use is an important part of your character for the role. Voice embodies a number of characteristics, including tone, articulation, diction, rhythm, and phrasing. Your tone of voice is a strong indicator of who you are. Would a nasal, raspy, breathy, or strained voice be particularly motivating? Would a strong, smooth voice be more likely to encourage and inspire? Actors use different voices to portray a character more fully, and some actors work only with their voice in voiceover work.
How can you improve your voice? Recording it is one of the easiest ways to hear yourself and work on your voice. However, very few people like the sound of their own voice on a recording. The usual comment is that it does not sound like them – and they are absolutely right. The voice you hear on a recording is not the voice you hear when you speak out loud. Bizarre? Not really. It has to do with vibration.
Try this exercise. Place your hand lightly on your jaw and hum. You’ll feel the vibration of the sound in your jaw bone. When we speak, we hear our own voice in two ways. Very slightly and distorted through our ears, but mainly, through the vibration of our skull bones and ear drums, which also gives it a much lower pitch. When we hear our voice on a recording, it usually sounds much higher. A simple way to hear your voice as others do is to cup a hand around each ear and pull your elbows together so they almost touch. In doing so, you have extended your ears and now hear yourself as others do. Do you like how you sound? If you do, that’s great. If not, some practice and time can help you improve it. Provided there is not a physical condition, working with a coach or using the exercises in the workbook can make a difference.”
To Being Heard,