THE VOICE! Your Best Communication Tool
How the Voice works • All professional speakers must “reawaken” their voice and exercise it as a muscle. • There are four basic parts to the voice: • The Motor • The Vibrators • The Resonators • The Articulators
The Motor • THE LUNGS provided force and energy for your voice. • Breath-support is poor for most people; we run out of breath easily. • Strengthening breath-support help give us a more flexible and usable voice!
The Vibrators • Energy from the lungs transfers to the VOCAL CHORDS. • Air vibrates the vocal chords as air passes through them and this creates sound. • Muscle tension in the neck makes it harder to produce sound. • Getting rid of this tension will improve your sound.
The Resonators • Sound from the vocal chords resonates in your vocal “cavities”: your mouth, nose, chest, and your ear cavity. • These cavities amplify sound. • Open these cavities for a rich and powerful voice. • You can change the quality of your sound by controlling where it resonates.
The Articulators • The voice separates and “shapes” into sounds with meaning by the articulators: the lips, tongue, and teeth. • Most do not fully exercises the articulators. • We suffer from “lazy lips.” • Tongue twisters are the best workout for your articulators.
The Guitar Analogy • Motor = The Fingers • Vibrators = The Strings • Resonators = The Body • Articulators = The Frets
Articulation • Articulation: lack of this usually occurs because your mouth is not open far enough. • Say: Peter Piper picked a peck of Pickled Peppers… • If your jaw was wired shut • With normal lip/jaw movement • With exaggerated lip/jaw activity • Speaking should occur in between 2 and 3.
Articulator Problems • Fricatives: Sounds caused by gradual escape of air through constriction in the mouth or vocal tract. • f, v, th, s, z, sh, zh, h • Plostives and Stops: Sounds caused by an explosion of air or sudden stop of air flow. • p, b, t, d, k, g • Frictionless Consonants: semivowels, nasals, and laterals.
Frictionless Consonants • Semivowels: Continuous, vowel-like quality. • w, r, y • Laterals: Similar, but the breath exits from the side of the mouth rather than the front. • l • Nasals: Similar to laterals but with a nasal Resonator. • n, m, ng
Let’s Practice….. • A simple vocal warm up… • Find a partner and try the rest! • When you are done, wait for the rest to finish. • Try some for the class and reflect. • Turn in the sheet!
How to Improve! • Phrasing: Also known as breath groups. • Dictated by announcer’s desire to be understood • Has little to do with pronunciation • Allows for logical pausing • There are two types of phrases: • Main Ideas: Uses key words that are more important to stress. • Secondary Ideas: Additional information that qualifies the main idea. • Key words get greater Stress or EMPHASIS!
Emphasis • There are four different forms of emphasis:
Pitch • The “musical” tone of a voice. • Key Shifts: differs between main and subordinate phrases, denotes new ideas, begins new ideas at a new pitch. • Upward v. Downward Phrasing • Upward Inflection: Incomplete thought, unsure. • Downward Inflection: Completion, authority. • Downward pitch is important to give complete emphasis to an idea.
Volume • Emphasis can be achieved by variations in loudness. • This can be sudden or gradual. • Volume use depends on three things: • What you’re saying (emotions) • Where you’re saying it (auditorium v. classroom) • The size of your audience (large, small, spread out, close together, etc.)
Rate • The speed, pace, or tempo of a voice. • PAUSE before a key phrase to indicate its importance. • This is the most effective tool an announcer can use! • Speed up or slow down for a similar effect. • When reading your script, mark these element of emphasis. (We will read this in Chap. 3).
Quality • The timbre of your voice; how it sounds: • Whisper • Breathiness • Huskiness/Harshness • Nasally • You can change the shape of your voice depending on the purpose of your presentation: • Commercials • Acting • News reporting