Your voice is unique. Like a fingerprint or a snowflake, it's so unlikely that anyone else's voice will be the same as yours that you can more or less forget about the risk of that happening.
What's more, there's no such thing as a bad voice: just voices used badly.
And by badly we mean:
- in ways which damage it in the short term (such as shouting or trying to speak when you've got a sore throat)
- in ways which damage your voice in the long term (such as speaking with your head in the wrong position or with your neck muscles too tight)
- in ways which annoy, upset or just plain bore your audience.
In many ways the last one is the most dangerous! 🙂
Think about it – how often have you not (properly!) listened to a lecture, a presentation or a pitch just because the voice of the person delivering it bored you or annoyed you? Chances are you'll not find it hard to think of examples – but it's worse than you think, because those are only the times you can remember!
There are plenty of times when you just turn off without realising (or at least without realising that's why).
This course is designed to help you avoid those problems in your own voice, so that you don't bore other people. That means you'll end up sounding more interesting and more credible.
You'll also protect your voice for the future.
Grab yourself a pen and paper and jot down what you think a great voice should be like. Try and be specific – for example, don't just jot down 'Interesting' but try and think about what makes a voice interesting… and jot those things down. Don't break sweat over it – just a few minutes of thought is fine!
Your voice doesn't really work like this, but for the sake of helping get our heads around things, let's start by getting some definitions out of the way.
We'll split your voice into three parts, called:
and these are things are associated with your:
- throat (vocal folds)
This very (very!) short video uses a simple analogy to take this a step further.
|This is all about air flow – getting air coming out of your lungs in sufficient power and in such a way that you can use it to make a sound. Essentially, this is to do with how you breathe – using the right muscles in the right way.
If you're breathing in the wrong way (see the next module) you'll find it much, much harder to control your voice. You'll also find it exhausting to speak loudly or for any length of time.
|As the air flows out of your lungs and up through your throat to go out of your mouth/nose, it passes through/between your vocal folds. This is how you actually generate the sound of your voice.
Assuming you're not talking to yourself as you read this, you've chosen not to engage your vocal folds. You've probably done this subconsciously – without thinking about it. When you want to speak to someone you (again subconsciously) choose to engage your vocal folds as you breathe out. As the air passes through your vocal folds it sets them vibrating.
That vibration is your voice!
|This is how your voice is modified to turn into words.
The sound you make in 'generation' is vague – variations on 'ahhhhh'. To turn that into the actual words you use (you weren't thinking of just using grunts, were you?) you need to manipulate the sound with your
The rest of this free course takes you through this model, concentrating on each of these three areas, one at a time.