“When we’re talking about audio-only formats, it’s especially important that you capture your audience using your voice and it should be impactful so that they tune in and want to continue listening. It only takes seven seconds for somebody to decide they want to change the station, whether that be a song they like or don’t like or something that they’re hearing that they’re not liking.” – Dan Friedman
Using your voice to communicate isn’t as easy as it sounds. So what do you do if you feel your voice is letting you down? Would you like some personal techniques to help you improve how you sound and your confidence in speaking? Then this is the right podcast for you. I recorded an excellent Clubhouse discussion with Dan Friedman, an expert in the field of public speaking who’s certified in the Roger Love Voice Method. Those of us in the voice-over industry already know Dan as an accomplished audio engineer, but he’s also a singer, voice actor, and voice coach, and I’ll be having a more in-depth interview with him a little later on. So settle back and let yourself be a fly on the wall as we discuss the power of using your voice for more effective communication.
A few things to note. First, I was hearing and answering people a little ahead of when the audio was being recorded. That’s why my occasional comments are slightly out of sync: it didn’t sound that way at the time. And, just so you know, everyone in the room was aware that it was being recorded and would be released in a future podcast episode. To those who raised their hands to participate in the conversation: thank you. When you asked for advice, you helped everyone understand the issues better. So well done! I’ll have more of these types of discussions in the future – they’re on Wednesdays at 2 PM Eastern Time – so keep a lookout for the schedule of upcoming events in the Clubhouse club, The Power of Sound.
As always, if you have any questions for my guest, you’re welcome to reach out through the links in the show notes. If you have questions for me, just visit www.audiobrandingpodcast.com where you’ll find all sorts of ways to get in touch. Plus, subscribing to the newsletter (on the www.audiobrandingpodcast.com webpage) will let you know when the new podcasts are available.
The Sound of Your Voice
We begin the chat with a talk about ways to build confidence in our speaking, and how awkward just hearing our own voice can be at first. “The lack of confidence,” Dan explains, “usually comes from people hearing their recorded voice for the first time and not really realizing how they actually sound.” He suggests ways of breaking out of a monotone, such as singing just a little, and listening carefully to the natural rhythm of your voice so you’ll know how to change things up. “Everybody needs to be able to communicate effectively these days,” he says, “especially through audio only.”
Going Over the Top
“Voiceover,” Dan tells us, “is really kind of you at your very best in whatever emotion you’re in.” We discuss the value of tone and pitch, and how well a monotone voice can work (or NOT work) without visual cues. Dan notes that in audio directing, emotions are often a little over the top, and he answers questions about improving your voice, becoming comfortable with it, and the trick to understanding how you’re being perceived by your listener. “Getting to like the sound of your voice really does take time.”
Imagine You’re a Balloon
Dan takes a question from Lisa about the importance of matching your listener’s tone, and tips on how to avoid the glottal stop that many of us have when it comes to vowel sounds. We also talk about how to overcome vocal fry by breathing and speaking through your diaphragm, as if you’re a balloon. “When you breathe, you should be breathing in through your nose as often as possible and not through your mouth… one of the biggest reasons that we should be breathing in through our nose more than our mouth is because our nose is designed to moisturize the air coming through the vocal cords.”
Hitting the High Notes
Next, we talk about singing, and Joe asks about how men can learn to be more comfortable with the higher registers of the human voice. Dan offers his advice on improving your vocal range by practicing speaking with both a higher and lower pitch, and how developing a more flexible tone can lead to a more versatile voice performance. “Pitch is a huge tool for emphasis,” he says, “and as a voice actor, we need to use pitch to emphasize words and phrases, and as humans, we need to do that too.”
- Becoming comfortable with your voice
- How to speak with more inflection
- Expressing emotion through pure audio
- Speaking and breathing through your diaphragm
- Using pitch for a more flexible performance
Connect with Dan:
Connect with Dan Friedman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danfriedmanvo
Follow Dan Friedman on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sound4VO/
Follow Dan Friedman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanFriedmanVO
The Power of Sound club on Clubhouse: https://www.clubhouse.com/club/the-power-of-sound/
Stay tuned for part two of our Clubhouse chat next week as we talk about how inflections can affect the way your voice is perceived, some of the challenges that people coming into voiceover from other industries might face, and how adopting a cartoon voice can help break you out of a rut.
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.