Voice-Tracking: What My Presentation Class Didn’t Teach Me
“You’ve got to speak faster. You need more energy here. Tighten up the ‘s’ sounds.”
Whenever I record a story that I did, I’m trying desperately not to sound like an 11-year-old who found a microphone. As someone with a teenage girl’s voice, that can be pretty difficult.
My parents think I sound 30-something, my grandparents’ friends are amazed I don’t have a strong accent and my best friend still believes it’s not actually my voice.
Well, not actually my voice is pretty accurate.
But the thing is, you can’t use your everyday or even your “I bet if I speak like this it’ll make me sound smarter in class” voice. You may think your voice is professional-sounding … right up to the second you start to play it back on tape.
Turns out, my “professional voice” made me sound like a bored, half-snake child with a slight Southern accent.
In order for the news to sound like it’s something worth your time, the person telling it to you needs to make sure you realize how important it is. This means you have to sound authoritative, interested, professional and conversational all at the same time.
You need to have a better voice. You’re not telling your best friend what happened over the weekend, you’re not reading off a grocery list and you’re not giving a presentation in class. You’re reading the news. And when people are affected by it, you have to convey that you care that they know about it.
So, I had to focus on being more energetic, with lessssss of thissss and block out every speech pattern I’d heard in person for 18 years.
Trying to do that while reading something is very difficult, but it makes a lot of sense once you hear it. You sound a lot better, a lot older, a lot more into the story and a lot more like you know what you’re doing.
I’m still working on it. I’m practicing with my roommates, reading through my homework like it’s a feature and keeping some consciousness on what my voice sounds like to other people.
It’s frustrating when my voice doesn’t sound as serious or professional as I take what I’m talking about, but I hope that with more time and practice, I’ll be able to hear some progress.
As always, thanks for listening among the voice construction underway.