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More Glee: Set Your Voice Free

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Interview with America's #1 Vocal Coach Roger Love, Part I

It's keynote time. Your content is solid. Your speech down cold. Your presentation deck dialed. You are ready to Tell It Like It Is. But have you given any thought to your sound?

Studies show that you definitely should.

We've all witnessed it: A monotone whisperer reading from slides. Even if the content was spot on, you'd never know because he lost you at hello.

But what if you could combine killer content with Madonna's ability to captivate an audience?

***

There is a reason Roger Love is considered America's #1 vocal coach. And it's not only because he's transformed the voices of John Mayer, Jeff Bridges, Tyra Banks, and the cast of the mega-hit TV series Glee.

It's because he can transform any voice.

When I started working with Roger, I wanted to improve my public speaking skills to more effectively Tell It Like It Is. Within days (yes, days) I could hear the difference in my voice. It felt like I'd gone from black & white to technicolor.

But you don't need to be Tony Robbins, John Gray, or Suze Orman to have access to Roger's life-altering techniques.

In Part I of this series, you can already start transforming your own voice with Roger's top three tips for aspiring and seasoned speakers or singers.

Roger Love Tip #1: Pump Up the Volume

Most people don't speak loud enough. It's as if they're talking to themselves. We have become a world of whisperers.

Low volume is perceived as lack of self-confidence. So don't rely on the microphone. We need to elevate our volume to a level that fills up the space around us.

If you do this, you will be perceived as strong, intelligent, competent, and self-confident.

Exercise: Fill the space
1: Imagine you have a ten-foot square around you. Fill up that square with the sound of your voice.
2: Ask a friend to run a sound check from a distance of at least ten feet.
If you are speaking at the right volume, you will feel your whole body vibrating.

Your audience will feel this energy and respond positively to it. We all like good vibrations.

Roger Love Tip #2: Play All Your Keys

Imagine if I were to sit in front of a piano and play the same key over and over. After a few seconds, you'd be pretty bored of listening to me, right? Well, most people don't realize it, but that's exactly what they're doing with their voice. They're hovering around 1 or 2 notes, as if they were a piano reduced to 1 or 2 keys and the rest of them completely useless. This is communication suicide.

Just like a piano, you have a whole range of notes available to you that you are probably not using. Start! Jump back and forth from high to low notes. Mix it up. Run across the range in a way that makes the listener think she's listening to her favorite song.

Exercise: Sing your speech
1: Write or gather the intro to your next speech.
2: Now record yourself as you read that intro to a tune we all know: Happy Birthday.

As simple and childlike as this exercise may seem, it's a great way to think about the patterns and melodies we make when we speak, start switching things up and adding more notes.

Your new range will keep people intently interested and energetically tied to what you are saying.

Roger Love Tip #3: Breathe Baby!

If volume or melody are problematic for you, it's because you're not breathing right. Most people do not breathe correctly, and this is the most important building block of good sound.

If your stomach is stationary while you're speaking, then your words are not riding through your mouth on a solid stream of air, as they should be.

Remember: Only speak while your stomach is coming in.

Exercise: Breathe (the right way)
1: Take a deep breath and observe your body. What did it do? Did your shoulders rise? Did your chest expand? If so, that's accessory breathing. And accessory breathing is bad. It gives you the least amount of air and, consequentially, the least amount of control over what comes through your mouth.
2: Take a deep breath through your nose, pretending you are filling a balloon in your stomach. Now release that air through your mouth, while bringing your stomach back in. This is diaphragmatic breathing. It is what we are born doing and what we need to relearn. This will make all the difference in how you sound and is the foundation upon which all voice improvements rest.

These three tips alone, when applied, will dramatically and immediately change your voice. Try them out and then join us for part II of this series, in which Roger will reveal the dangers of being sound predictable and explain why speaking and singing are the same thing.

In the meantime, please leave a comment below letting us know which of these tips you commit to starting this week. Then come back and tell us how it went.

About Roger: Roger Love is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on voice. No other vocal coach in history has been more commercially successful in both the speaking and singing fields. He has vocally produced more than 100 million CD sales worldwide, written 3 top selling books, Set Your Voice Free, Sing Like the Stars, and Love Your Voice, created the bestselling audio programs Vocal Power...Speaking with Authority, Clarity & Conviction, and The Perfect Voice, produced and starred in the television advertised DVD, Love to Sing, and appeared as a regular in 3 major network TV shows, POPSTARS for The WB, ROCKSTAR/INXS for CBS, and THE ONE: Making a Music Star for ABC. Roger is the voice coach for the mega-hit TV show GLEE.

Edited by Suzanne Pinckney