Get A Better Broadcast, Podcast and Voice-Over Voice

  • 890. 0890 – Studio Disillusionment

    2023.06.09 – 0890 – Studio Disillusionment Disillusionment On occasion, you may simply not feel up to presenting a podcast. Your voice may be fine but you’re not ‘feeling it’, not in ‘the zone’ and don’t know why. This may be boredom or negativity about the podcast topic, maybe disillusionment or resentment about its ‘return on investment’, the amount of work balanced with the number of downloads, feedback, reviews or sponsorship and it gets harder and harder to keep up the momentum. You may be able to ‘fake the feeling’ for a few episodes, but if you resent doing it while your friends and family are socialising, then the stress, frustration and tiredness will all affect your vocal performance. 
  • 889. 0889 – Studio Claustrophobia

    2023.06.08 – 0889 – Studio Claustrophobia  Claustrophobia Sitting alone in a home studio booth with several screens, a mic and a mixer, but no air conditioning, recording a voice-over session for an hour, or an audiobook for even longer, may be enough to make anyone feel odd. If you feel a need to break out and run away, it may not be down to nerves, but claustrophobia or loneliness.  You may feel these emotions, and others may hear them in your voice which may become dull and drained, tense or nervous.
  • 888. 0888 – Studio Depression

    2023.06.07 – 0888 – Studio DepressionIf it’s not nerves, stress or anxiety, it may be something elseLet’s not just stick with ‘feeling nervous’, there are other feelings and emotions which may arise in and around a studio and affect your voice, sometimes these are temporary feelings, and sometimes they can last a long time. Here we look at other things that go on in your head, and how they affect what comes out of your mouth.  I am not a health professional and I would always urge you to seek personalized advice from someone who is, whether you are experiencing these emotions yourself or see them in a colleague.  Depression or PTSDIf you work as a news broadcaster you will be exposed to so much more evidence of the world’s problems than most other people: not just “man’s inhumanity to man”, wars, violent crime and so on, but also political tussles, economic worries, worldwide pandemics, sudden celebrity deaths and more and more. Day after day. And with many of these issues, the journalist sees or reads much more detail in terms of violence or hate than is ever passed on to listeners and viewers. Such ongoing exposure may lead to severe anxiety, depression, or PTSD.  You may feel these emotions, and others may hear them in your voice which may become flat and tired, or thin and strained, lacking resonance. You may lose confidence and concentration, tripping up over words. 
  • 887. 0887 – Studio Anxiety

    2023.06.06 – 0887 – Studio AnxietyAnxiety is persistent and may not be linked to a specific situation. The intensity may ebb and flow, but it never completely goes away, and with ongoing feelings of unease or dread, anxiety can prevent you from doing something you enjoy and make it difficult to focus and go about your day. Persistent anxiety has links to physical illness including gastrointestinal conditions and heart disease.[1] Again, all of these thoughts feelings and emotions may be heard in your voice, and that’s what we’ll be looking at over the next few days/pages.   [1]
  • 886. 0886 – Studio Stress

    2023.06.05 – 0886 – Studio StressStress may be seen as ‘extreme nervousness’. It too is triggered by a ‘presenting situation’ and is usually short-term. If controlled appropriately, a rush of chemicals in your blood can lead to a heightened state of awareness, and a more powerful performance: a stressful person may be loud and energetic, seemingly thriving on the pressure (‘nervous energy’ or ‘nervous tension’), with symptoms similar to nervousness: a raised heartbeat and faster breathing. But stress can also show itself as irritability or even anger, nausea and a feeling of being overwhelmed.  Pressures in the news production process can be hourly, and largely unavoidable. Live ‘to time’ programmes, breaking news, altered running orders, no-show show guests, lost links to a reporter in the field, a frozen autocue, a producer in your earpiece as you present…  and you’re the ‘name and the face’ of this output… . Some people seem to love these kinds of settings, at least in the short to medium term and with the knowledge that there will be an obvious end to the pressure, say when an election programme comes off the air, so some kinds of stress isn’t bad.
  • 885. 0885 – Studio Nervousness

    2023.06.04 – 0885 – Studio NervousnessNerves, stress and anxiety Nervousness, stress and anxiety are part of the same bodily reaction of fight-flight-freeze which we’ll look at in a bit more detail later, and because they have similar symptoms it can be hard to tell them apart. Here is a rough, non-expert guide. Nervousness may be triggered by a specific situation but it doesn't usually prevent you from getting on and doing that thing.  Think of a great opportunity to present your first professional news bulletin or being the voice of a character in new cartoon series: you have prepped for this, you’ve dreamed about it and yes, you’re nervous, possibly apprehensive or a bit worried, but there’s no way you’re going to turn this down. Sweaty palms, an increased heart rate, and fluttering in your stomach are typical signs, along with pacing, fidgeting or nail-biting … maybe a desire to go to the loo, ‘nervousness’ is sometimes misdiagnosed, instead of what it may be: ‘excitement’.  And consider, a bit of nervous energy may be to your advantage. Some adrenalin may make you more alert, sharper, and maybe funnier, but it can also affect your performance and your voice as we will see in a bit.
  • 884. 0884 – Mic Fright

    2023.06.03 – 0884 – Mic Fright  "The actor's nightmare", “…what it must be like to give birth"Laurence Olivier, on stage fright INTRODUCTION Do you want to express yourself, but it feels like a boa constrictor gets hold of your throat?[1] In this section, we look at powerful mind shifts that can help you get a better broadcast, podcast and voice-over voice. Yes, because the mind does affect the voice. Indeed, you are your voice: what you say is shaped by your culture and experiences, dreams and nightmares; how you verbalise your thoughts are shaped by your mindset and vocabulary; what your words sound like are shaped by things you have little effect on, such as your body shape and length of your vocal folds, but also how, as we have seen, things like how you sit and how you breathe and how tense you are, and also what you are feeling (anger or anxiety, calmness or confusion, sadness or satisfaction are all heard in your voice). But central to all of this is the mind. It’s what drives the thoughts which we want to share, it’s what instructs other organs to breathe and articulate.  You can’t separate yourself from your voice. It is a window into your thoughts. And if you think “I’m nervous”, others may think that of you too when they hear how you talk. So, in this section, we look at what kind of things may create that feeling in you and then, how we can avoid those situations, or how we can re-interpret them. Then we look at confidence, how we get it and build it, and then finally, ways of coping if things do go wrong. [1] In 2014, 25.3% of Americans said they feared speaking in front of a crowd. In 2018 that was 26.2%.
  • 883. 0883 – Self Massage

    2023.06.02 – 0883 – Self Massage Self-massage·        Put your first and forefinger together on each hand. Gently at first and then with stronger pressure stroke by stroke, draw your double-fingers in a diagonal line down the side of your neck from just behind your ear across to where your throat starts, just short of your ‘Adam’s apple’. This massages the large sterno-cleidomastoid muscles which support, turn and nod the head. ·        Now place one palm on top of the back  of your other hand and rotate them slightly to form a diagonal and place them high up on your chest just under your throat. Press and pull down but not actually hard enough to move your hands – keep them in position. Tip your head back and face the ceiling for a second or two, and then open and close your mouth to stretch the muscles down the front of the neck.·        This one may make you a bit squeamish, so do it gently. Take your two forefingers and your thumb as though about to pick something up from your desk. Instead, carefully hold your larynx and wobble it from side to side. You may feel a click or two which is quite normal. ·        Use your thumbs and a picture (from elsewhere in this book) to locate the root of your tongue under your chin and before your neck and ‘Adam’s apple’. Massage this area for 30 seconds.Use your fingertips on the side of your face just above your cheeks, in front of your ears, where your two jaws meet. Bite down and you will feel the bump of a muscle at this joint-point. Gently apply pressure here, massaging for about thirty seconds.  
  • 882. 0882 – Vocalisations of Different Voice Sounds

     2023.06.01 – 0882 – Vocalisations of Different Voice Sounds  These are sometimes described different, with different words and terms[1]. Ok let’s go for this:·        Aphonic – a whisper ·        Biphonic – two pitches at the same time·        Breathy – air in the voiced is heard ·         Creaky – the sound of friction between surfaces·        Flutter or bleat – like the bleating of a lamb·        Glottalized – another term for vocal fry, the low clicking sound·        Pressed – loud and harsh·        Wobbly – a variation in soundYawny – sounds like a yawn in the voice [1] Adapted from the “All Things Vocal” podcast 3.5.22