We all have the ability to hit within three full octaves of notes when we’re speaking, but a lot of times, we use just one or two. This can result in a flat monotone drone which can put your audience to sleep. If you listen to professionals doing voice overs or ads, you’ll notice they’re hitting different pitches which makes it easier to take in what they’re saying.
Do you have monotone drone? Record yourself to find out. If you do, here are 3 ways to improve:
Ride the vocal roller coaster. Speak a few lines of text going vocally up and down like a roller coaster. Then, go back and read the same text out loud without thinking about it. You’ll find you’re hitting new pitches because you just expanded your usual range. As you get more comfortable with your new range, you’ll start to incorporate different “notes” based on what you’re saying.
Listen to your favorite audiobook. Get a book that you want to read, access the audio version and read along with the voice-over actor for a few sentences, modeling your voice on theirs as they raise and lower their pitch. Then, put the audio on pause and read those sentences on your own, recording yourself. Five minutes practice a day will begin to change your lifelong vocal habits.
Read to kids. If you’re around young kids, practice playing all the parts when you’re reading them stories. They’ll love it, and you’ll get a chance to see all of the places your voice can vocally go.
Use these techniques to avoid the dreaded monotone drone and keep your audience engaged.