I have a friend who has created several excellent online training programs. Trouble is, they are videos with voice-over and her voice lacks dynamism.
She is an engaging person in person, full of energy and passion, but it doesn’t come across on the videos. And while the content is terrific and valuable, I can’t help but feel people who purchase her courses will be disappointed and probably not stick with the training to get the results they want. They may even ask for a refund!
I hear a lot of hosts of podcasts and webinars with voice problems. When people don’t see you speaking, you need to pump up your delivery to keep their interest. Jazzy video images and fancy graphics are not enough to hold their attention, if your voice sounds ho-hum, mumbly, too soft or lacks inflection.
Frankly, even on camera, you need to be more animated than you probably are face-to-face, because video cuts your energy by about two-thirds. But that’s a post for another day.
Have you ever heard an online audio presentation with a dramatic pre-recorded opening intro full of high energy music and sound effects that perks up your ears? Then, when the host comes on, their voice is nearly monotone. What a disappointment after that rousing intro! I have to admit, when that happens, I do not hang around for long.
Here are some voice training tips to help you grab listeners by the ears:
- Practice by recording your voice on your computer, phone or tablet and playing it back. Record yourself reading the newspaper or a magazine article with a lot of expression. (a good mic will make your voice sound better in your “official” recordings, but you can practice with free tools)
- During practice recordings, make your voice extra animated and dramatic, even go to comical lengths, to get a feel for what sounds right in playback. (Have a friend listen too, because we’re usually too hard on ourselves…or not hard enough!)
- Make every word count. Enunciate clearly and keep the strength and energy in your voice steady from the start of each sentence to the end.
- Stand up when you record or do some simple exercises right before you record to get the blood circulating. It helps you sound better and think better!
- Imagine “projecting” your voice beyond the microphone into a room to give the sound more power. (Sometimes experts say speak normally and let the microphone do the work of amplification. That’s good advice for people who already have a dynamic delivery and know how to project, but a bad idea for those who haven’t found the right vocal energy level yet.)
- Support the voice to reduce tension and vocal stress through proper breathing.
- Block out distractions. Focus all your concentration on communicating through the power of your voice.
These are a few of the things professionally-trained voice-over artists and broadcasters do to sound more polished and authoritative, but you don’t have to train like a pro.
Just practice and take a few steps to sound your best. An expressive voice will help you attract more listeners to your great information and a voice that is easy on the ears will make them eager to come back for more.
What do you do when you hear a lackluster voice on a webinar, podcast or training audio? Do you stay or turn away?
Please leave your thoughts in a comment.