12/18/2013 11:41 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

More Glee: The Story Behind the Magic

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

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 Beyonce's ability to captivate an audience?


2013-12-17-RogerLove.jpg 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 Jeff Bridges or Tyra Banks to have access to Roger's life-altering techniques. You can start right now with Part I of this series: Roger's top 3 tips for aspiring and seasoned speakers.

Here in Part II, Roger reveals the dangers of being sound predictable and explains how speaking and singing are the same thing.


Q. How do you help speakers?

I started as a singing voice coach. My job was to take singers from the lowest to the highest possible note, without any breaks or pressure, and with total control up and down the entire range. This ability is what allows great singers to so effectively engage and move listeners.

When I decided to teach speakers, I realized that the exact same physicality is required. So I thought: why not give them the same tools to influence their audiences?

Why couldn't a speaker have that same level of command and influence on stage?

A great singer or a great speaker should be able to easily use the power of voice to entertain, educate, and engage any audience. This is what I help them do.

Q. How are speaking and singing the same thing?

The vocal cords are trained to make sound:

Air comes out of the lungs, heads to the vocal cords, and the vocal cords vibrate to make all sound -- the sound you make when speaking, or the sound you make when singing.

The same physicality is involved. The body has to do the exact same things to speak or to sing.

So when people say they can't sing, what they really mean is that they haven't yet properly learned how to use the magnificent instrument that is their voice.

Q. Can you tell us about the danger of being what you call "sound predictable"?

As a society, we have become far too "sound predictable."

Alas, the plight of our times: The Monotone Whisperer, afraid of his voice, his right to a place at the table.

Your voice is your power.

A thick, vibrant voice conveys strength, trust, and integrity.

Misuse of the voice signals discordance (quite literally!) and lack of character.

So if you're not using the tools available to you -- volume, melody, and others we'll talk about later on -- your audience will draw all sorts of inferences and start predicting your sound.

And if the listener thinks they know what you're going to sound like, they also think they know what you're going to say.

That's when they stop listening. This is the ultimate danger of being "sound predictable."


Check out Roger's Top 3 Tips for aspiring speakers. And stay tuned for Part III in this series, where Roger will give you 3 more essential speaking tips.

See other interviews from this series with top business and life leaders:
Patrik Frisk - What does simplicate mean exactly?
Nadine Hack - The Art of the Master Bridge Builder
Dean Karnazes: How to Run Over Fear and Take Action

Edited by Suzanne Pinckney

About Roger: Roger Love is 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.