Get A Better Broadcast, Podcast and Voice-Over Voice


0817– Make A Stand!

Season 3, Ep. 817

2023.03.28 – 0817– Make A Stand!

First, make a stand! Many presenters and voice-over artists prefer to stand at the mic anyway. It enables alertness and better breath control:

·        Feet firmly on the ground shoulder-width apart and with three points of contact with the floor: underneath the big and little toe and the centre of your heel

·        Have your knees soft, the pelvis balanced, your stomach loose and free

·        Drop your arms loose and heavy, with your shoulder blades ‘dripping down the back’ with no muscle tension there at all, a ‘long’ spine

·        Have your jaw free, with your tongue resting on the bottom of your mouth behind the bottom teeth, with the head floating on top of the spine

·        Your chin should be level with the floor

·        Consider your head position: there’s a happy medium between a jutting ‘text neck’ and one that’s unnaturally forced back. Remember your spine supports the head quite far back, not in the middle

·        Imagine a string up your spine and through your head, gently pull it taught to straighten your back and neck like a balloon full of helium is attached to the string.

Now pick and mix from these exercises to warm up your chest and lungs and relax-out any tension in your muscles and joints. Pump blood, and let your brain tell your body that you’re going to do some work. 

More Episodes

Friday, June 2, 2023

0884 – Mic Fright

Season 3, Ep. 884
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%.
Thursday, June 1, 2023

0883 – Self Massage

Season 3, Ep. 883
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.  
Saturday, May 27, 2023

0878 – Alcohol And The Voice

Season 3, Ep. 878
2023.05.28 – 0878 – Alcohol And The VoiceAlcoholIt’s unlikely you’ll be having a drink just before a broadcast show, podcast recording or studio session, but what might be the damage to your voice if you’ve had one (or several!) the night before, or for serval nights before? Alcohol can:·        Contribute to dehydration of your whole body – and drier vocal folds don’t vibrate properly, contracting your range and making you sound strained. I mean, you know this already right, because after a ‘session’ you feel thirsty and crave water·        Make you produce more mucus – reducing the flexibility of your folds and needing you to clear your throat·        Make you lose your judgement about how much you’re using your voice (for example at a pub karaoke or singing on the way home), leading to damage·        Be sold in places like bars and clubs which are noisy, causing you to raise your voice·        Have an anaesthetic effect that causes you to push your vocal folds harder to get a normal sensation when talking·        Promote acid reflux and vomiting especially if you have drunk too much·        Interfere with your sleep – and a rested voice is a better voice·        Make you more relaxed, decreasing your heartbeat and so reducing your breath support·        Lead to a hangover and brain fog and lack of co-ordination and clear thinking – slurred words, unable to read a script or operate a studio desk·        Cause cancer[1]o  Mouth cancer – tumours can also develop in the tonsils and saliva glands, lips, tongue, cheeks and gumso  Pharyngeal cancer – your throato  Laryngeal cancer – at your larynx or vocal folds The symptoms of all of these are wide-ranging and depend on where the cancer has developed. Between 22% and 38% of all mouth, throat and voice box cancers in the UK are caused by drinking alcohol. [2]Taking a look at some of the most common drinks:·        Wine is packed with preservatives which may will dry out your throat·        Beer is slightly acidic which can cause mucusCocktails are a literal cocktail of phlegm-causing, sugar-rush syrups, acidic juices as well as dehydrating spirits [1] [2]