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The Gifted Speaker: Why Are You Growling at Me?

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The Raspy Growl, The Fry -- Ouch!
We've all heard it, the sudden drop in the voice, the raspy sounds connected to barely audible words. Have you been growling when you speak? Does your throat hurt when you talk, do your friends have to lean in to hear you? Are you short on breath?

These are all signs you've been growling or "frying" when you speak. For those of you who don't know what this is it's when someone suddenly drops their voice down to a really low pitch and sounds like they are out of air. It gives the voice a raspy or growl sound. Voice teachers call it "the fry". Sounds great no? No.

This currently trendy vocal choice can be difficult to listen to and damaging to your vocal chords. It definitely does not belong in your presentation. Growling can make you sound young and inexperienced even if you are the expert in your field. Besides that, it hurts and its only going to hurt more the longer you do it. So how do we stop?

Problem:

How do we stop growling?

Solution:

Breathe
Remember our breathing exercises from last week? This is the perfect place to use them. Make sure you breathe before you talk. Also, don't speak the entire sentence and then maybe a new sentence without taking a breath. For sound to travel there must be air.

Speak at a Higher Pitch
This may take some practice, but it's worth the effort. It's not that you want to sound like a cartoon character but take your voice out of the basement and put it back into it's own register.

Speak Louder
Project your voice. It's very difficult to speak loud and growl at the same time. This is one reason why growling is so difficult to listen to in a presentation. It makes the voice inaudible. It also sounds like it hurts.

When you growl in your presentation you distract your audience from what you are saying and you potentially damage your voice. You want your audience to remember what you've said. You don't want them wondering, "Why are you growling at me?"

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