Voice Skills

by Judy Apps

Vocal variety

If you listen to the best speakers, their delivery is varied in pitch, tone, speed, volume and so on. Most of these elements are to be found on the Vocal wheel and you can look into each separately:


Practise the line,

We are going to hit them with these changes

in different tones of voice: first with excitement, then with determination, then anger and, lastly, sarcasm. Give it your all, and attempt to win an Oscar for each delivery.

See which of the above characteristics change most: tempo, rhythm, volume, pitch and so on. Attempt each mood in different ways, with high voice, low voice, emphatic and not, fast and slow, and notice how the impact changes.

How to sound more interesting

The interesting speaker uses variety.

The boring speaker only half opens the mouth, so that all vowel sounds are similar and flat, fails to differentiate between consonants, and talks in one tone at one pitch, at a steady monotonous pace.

Pitch is particularly important here. Once you free up your voice, your own interest in what you are saying will automatically translate itself into variation in pitch, without your having to think high sound here or low sound there.

Key point

Free up your voice. This refers to physical freedom, but also refers to a mental sense of freedom. You need to be able to give your inner self permission to express interest and a variety of emotions on the outside.

How to sound good

The beautiful voice is resonant, well supported by the breath, and infinitely varied.

See also

If your voice is really pleasant to listen to and varies with the sense, you will be surprised at how willing others are to listen!

How to create an impact

Use the whole voice!

Look at the Vocal wheel to see the number of ways in which you can vary your voice to create an impact.


Monotonous – means-all-on-one-tone.

Vary the volume; use high sounds as well as low sounds; emphasise some words strongly and not others, and vary your tone and resonance. Change your tempo as you speak, slowing down to make a particular point.

Variety is the secret. If you match your delivery to what you are trying to say, people will respond.