Voice Training? (Not the musical type)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 21, 2009 7:08 PM GMT
    Wow, I just saw a myself on video and I was bored just watching myself. I've grown up speaking in a monotone, and have the facial expressions to match. I need to learn to animate my speech and expressions. Do others feel this way about themselves? Is there somewhere to get some help with this? I'm not one to take acting classes. Maybe radio announcer school?
    Thanks!
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    Jun 21, 2009 7:11 PM GMT
    You’re not alone. I wish I had more control over the pitch, volume and tone of my voice. Strangely, I also wish my eyes were more compassionate. I don’t know why icon_confused.gif
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jun 22, 2009 1:23 AM GMT
    Well, I know you stated that it wasn't the musical kind, but you should actually consider taking musical voice training. You become far more aware of how you're breathing, how to project your voice without yelling, how to control pitch and timbre, how to express emotion solely through tone, and how to articulate and enunciate without popping or spitting. A good vocal teacher will also include instruction on how to vary facial expression between phrases, and how to deal with eye contact in front of a large crowd. Monotones don't last long with musical voice training; how many singers do you know who speak in flat emotionless monotones?

    If you're really resistant to musical training, though, consider taking a public speaking class from a local community college. Although part of that class will be about getting over a fear of public speaking (one of the most common fears in US adults), some of it will also be about basic techniques in the speaking itself.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jun 22, 2009 2:07 AM GMT
    MSUBioNerd said
    If you're really resistant to musical training, though, consider taking a public speaking class from a local community college. Although part of that class will be about getting over a fear of public speaking (one of the most common fears in US adults), some of it will also be about basic techniques in the speaking itself.


    There is actually an organization called Toastmasters that (generally) skips over the fear of speaking part. I don't know the details, but check here.
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    Jun 22, 2009 4:13 AM GMT
    Record yourself, video and audio. Listen. Practice.

    Start with pictures, and move up from there.

    http://www.metroplexwebs.com/realjock/chucky_4.mp3

    I started my public speaking at around age 6 in 4-H presentations / demonstrations, and spent 11 years in commercial broadcasting.

    Know what you're going to say before you say it.
    Always say what you are going to say before you say it.
    Deliver it at a fast enough pace to keep the attention of an intelligent listener.
    Be compelling.
    Speak to the deaf man in the back row.
    Pick your battles.

    Roommate Logan / flex89 had some fun with Stephen's expression from the gym:

    http://www.metroplexwebs.com/realjock/legs_are_gay.mp3.

    Finally, Donald Duck (Adam Sandler) is always fun:

    http://www.metroplexwebs.com/realjock/donald_duck_bj_adam_sandler_128K.mp3

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    Jun 23, 2009 5:50 AM GMT
    chuckystud said
    Pick your battles.


    Lol icon_lol.gif nice
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    Jun 23, 2009 1:37 PM GMT



    ....how about voice cadencing, Willster? This was drummed into us operators at the phone co back in the seventies.

    An example of odd cadence is the talk that so many people started several years ago that made every statement into a question. Lifting the end of a sentence into an inquiring tone. Too funny.


    "I'm going to the store?"
    "Oh look, that car is red?"
    "We got married yesterday?"

    .....I used to chuckle at what appeared to be a lot of people with short term memory problems. LOL


    Another example is "Hello." or "No" . By yourself try saying the one word and make it, by inflection, mean different things. Try it over the phone with a friend - on the phone you'll work harder without body language assisting.

    Hello? Hello! Hello....(drop your tone at end of word and it insinuates.....)


    -Doug
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    Jun 23, 2009 3:17 PM GMT
    meninlove said

    An example of odd cadence is the talk that so many people started several years ago that made every statement into a question. Lifting the end of a sentence into an inquiring tone. Too funny.


    "I'm going to the store?"
    "Oh look, that car is red?"
    "We got married yesterday?"

    .....I used to chuckle at what appeared to be a lot of people with short term memory problems. LOL



    That one gets me every time ! It's pretty wide spread as well. I thought
    it was generational but even my Mom does this ! *sigh* What's the world coming too ? LOL !

    I agree with Doug's suggestion to try saying "hello" in different ways.
    I'd also suggest that you look in the mirror and do this same exercise.
    You will see slight changes in your face even if you don't think so.
    Work towards playing up the changes you like and discard
    the ones that you don't. Also try exaggerating your expressions
    when you practice this. ( Think cartoons or caricatures of famous
    people.) It's ok if you think it looks funny. It's more about engaging
    the face with your speech and emotions. Think of it this way,
    your engaging your face muscles the same way you engage your
    body muscles when you lift weight in the gym. Be aware of subtleties
    both good and bad. Strive towards using "good form" with your face
    each and every time you speak. Smiling, opening the eyes when
    happy or exited, furrowing the brow and/or evening out your mouth
    ( don't frown ! ) when your unhappy or disapprove of something.
    It may feel strange at first. But with a little practice you'll eventually
    find what works for you.


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    Jun 23, 2009 3:35 PM GMT
    jprichva saidThe OP didn't say he was physically incapable of making different movements with his mouth.


    No, what he DID say was that he wanted to learn to "animate
    his speech AND expressions." I think all of the suggestions,
    including yours, to help with his speech are great. I was offering
    my suggestions to aid in his desire to have his face match his speech.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 23, 2009 3:40 PM GMT
    Clearly, speaking isn't the only issue the poster needs to address.
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    Jun 23, 2009 3:51 PM GMT
    Willster saidDo others feel this way about themselves? Is there somewhere to get some help with this? I'm not one to take acting classes. Maybe radio announcer school? Thanks!

    I have college degrees in Speech, Broadcasting, and Theatre. I've been a radio DJ, and done various kinds of voice work, as well as acted on stage. When I go out in public, particularly in restaurants, people overhear me speaking and come up to me and ask if I'm a radio celebrity. I'm not, nor wish to be.

    Yet I grew up in Northern New Jersey, acquiring a dreadful accent, despite the best efforts of my parents to prevent it. And at 19 I had a near-fatal motorcycle accident that left me with a speech impediment. Not to mention that I was extremely shy in public.

    Well, the Army at age 20 changed all that. I was forced to speak in public when I was put in charge of others. And when I returned to college, knowing my limitations, I chose speech courses to remedy my shortcomings.

    The Army wanted me to speak in a monotone, and as an Officer use what we called the Command Voice. I learned that, too, though now, in retirement and after coming out, I've let myself slip back into my more native gay flamboyant speech.

    We are only a few years apart. First, I wonder what can change at this point. Second, radio announcers school is not geared to what you need. It's less about phonetics than about the business itself. Either you have a marketable voice or you don't.

    I'd enjoy hearing your voice over the telephone. Email me if this interests you. I'd be glad to give you my impression, based on my phonetics training and professional experience. Your best avenue might be private voice tutoring, for the specific goal you want, rather than more generalized college or technical school courses.
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    Jun 23, 2009 3:54 PM GMT
    Diction lesson:

  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Jun 23, 2009 3:59 PM GMT
    I was a fairly decent singer in my youth, and so had extensive voice lessons. I took advantage of the opportunity to erase my fairly dreadful East Texas twang, which still emerges today when I am very tired or very drunk. On such occasions I sound like Larry the Cable Guy, only more unintelligible...
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    Jun 23, 2009 4:10 PM GMT
    jarhead5536 saidI was a fairly decent singer in my youth, and so had extensive voice lessons. I took advantage of the opportunity to erase my fairly dreadful East Texas twang, which still emerges today when I am very tired or very drunk. On such occasions I sound like Larry the Cable Guy, only more unintelligible...

    OMG, my Jehrzee accent (never Joyzee, despite popular myth) can resurface unconsciously when I speak with someone from there, and I don't even realize it. And when I came out, and would try to do a funny mock gay accent for a laugh, out popped this 1950s New Jersey/New York accent from when I was a kid!

    Where did THAT come from? I didn't even speak that badly when I lived there, but my exaggerated gay accent becomes an amalgam of the 1950s New York City area. That still amazes me. icon_confused.gif
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    Jun 24, 2009 7:19 PM GMT
    Larry, The Cable Guy, is cool.