Helpful Tips to Keep Your Voice Clear and Energizing
Vocal Practice: How to Keep Your Voice Clear and Energizing
We all know that contents matter in speaking. But are you aware that the volumes, tones, and pitches of the speaker’s voice also play important roles in how the contents are expressed and delivered to the listeners?
We are so grateful that our teachers are very dedicated and hardworking in teaching, whenever it’s getting up at 4-5 am in the morning or staying up late till 11-12 pm. While your eyes, your arms, and your whole body are awake but is that so for your voice?
We surely understand that the energy in your voice may probably not fueled up yet in the early mornings or late evenings. Here is some “coffee” to wake your voice up.
- Start humming when getting ready for classes
- Get up to exercise and stretch up before or in between classes
- Take deep, cleansing breaths in and exhale through your nose
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated before and after class (Drink more water if you’ve had coffee as caffeine is dehydrating to vocal folds)
- Sit up straight and try not to hunch back when teaching
- Limit shouting or overuse of your voice
1) Record your voice of storytelling and/or teaching clips, listen and feel the energy in the voice from the recording.
2) Watch or listen to the example clips from other fellow teachers with good marks on speech and quality, and successful speech givers from the Internet (e.g, TED Talks).
3) Compare the examples and your own recordings. Practice and check:
- Is my voice projected in an audible, and clear volume?
- Would students want to listen to and interact with me for 30 minutes if I speak in this voice?
- Would students find it easy to follow in my speech?
- Would students feel my passion and love for teaching in my voice?
Vocal Variety: Pitches and Tones
Now that your voice is awake, but is that enough to make a fun and productive class for 30 minutes long? A lesson gets boring and dull when the teacher’s voice is flat and monotonous. On the contrary, a lesson gets vivid, and lively when T stresses and unstresses words to deliver the importance and emphasis of the content, and express meanings and feelings with varied tones. Click to play the recordings below to feel the tones.
I love Qkids and teaching! (recording in a flat tone)...How does that sound to you?
I love Qkids and teaching! (recording in a cheerful tone)...How about now?
Exact same words but made a huge difference, huh? How’s that possible? The key is the tones and the pitches! What are they?
Pitch is the degree of highness or lowness with which one speaks and helps the listeners understand what words are more important.
The tone is the emotion that is conveyed in the voice and what makes stories interesting and come to life.
Let’s get some practice for vocal variety!
Pitch Experiments: See-Saw, Up-Down Practice
- Read aloud any piece of text from a storybook.
- The first sentence is up, the next is down. Continue see-sawing for at least a minute.
- Now make the see-saw work faster. Read the same passage but this time it is three words up and three words down.
- Continue to play with variations.
Tonal Practice: Let’s be an actor/actress!
Now, let’s say the sentences below. You may close your eyes and imagine what the context is before toning it up. Notice what happens to the intensity and the way you perceive the emotional content of the sentences. Put stress on the keywords that matter and use pause strategically for listeners to notice the emphasis. Feel the emotions from your voice and see if it really matches what the contents are delivering. There will be a distinct variation between each. Now, showtime!
Her grandmother died yesterday.
I want a new car.
This dinner is delicious.
People should love their neighbors as themselves.
(A recording comparing storytelling in monotone and varied tones could be added if possible)
Voice is one of the teachers' most powerful teaching tools, and voice variety is the key to make the full power of teachers' voice. Remember to practice and project your voice, and add vocal variety to keep your lesson fun and energetic.
Shaping the future of E-learning together! Helping Qkids family grow in your own way!
Accent's Way English with Hada. (2018, October 4).
How to sound interesting in English | varied pitch vs. monotone | intonation [Video file].
Retrieved September 4, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m35l59tMwk8
Vocalzone. (2018, September 06).
Voice Tips for Teachers.
Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://www.vocalzone.com/the-record-blog/teachers/voice-tips-teachers/
Dugdale, S. (2019, October 25).
Quick easy effective tips for vocal variety in speech.
Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://www.write-out-loud.com/quickeasyeffectivetipsforvocalvariety.html