Improve Voice Tonality and Vocal Projection (w/videos)


100-0078_IMGI’ve learned several things about my body language, posture, and voice tonality recently with all of the videos and radio shows we’ve been recording.  While there are definite areas of body language that I need to improve, our recent Steve Pavlina interview really emphasized my need to improve my voice tonality.

Awhile back I bought a voice recorder, and was recording many of my conversations and making a conscious effort to review and improve on my tonality.  After making great strides in the tonality department, I sort of stopped paying attention, and have since found that I’m starting to slip back into my old negative habits.

This post is to remind myself and others struggling with proper voice tonality the important points in achieving proper tonality.  At the end of the brief article I’ve included two videos on tonality.  Tonality is really something that you need to hear examples of to fully grasp it.  One of the best programs out there on voice tonality is Non Verbal Sexual Cueing.  It was originally what I learned from, and what I am currently listening to again.

Tips for improving voice tonality

1.  Increase you self confidence. I know this sounds like a cop out answer… but I firmly believe the amount of confidence you have in your self at the time directly influences your voice tonality.  One of the reasons that I think my tonality was off so much in the Steve Pavlina interview was because I was a bit uncomfortable interviewing him. This lack of confidence lead to hesitation upon asking the questions, causing my voice to leak out of me instead of being projected out.

Self confidence also plays a part daily as the less “observed” you want to be, the less your likely to project your voice so that others can hear you loud and clear.  People with a strong anxiety about disturbing others tend to speak lower with less enthusiasm.

2. Talk from your diaphragm.  When listening to myself on podcasts I’ve found that there is a distinct difference in the times I am speaking from my diaphragm and the times I am speaking from my throat.  When I speak from my throat my voice comes out weak and uncontrolled.  Speaking from the diaphragm enables you to get that deep fluctuating and fun tonality.

3.  Speak with the appropriate volume.  An alpha male wants to be heard, not ignored.This is not an invitation to be overbearing or obnoxiously loud, but just a reminder to speak like you are proud of what is coming out of your mouth and you want to make sure its importance is delivered on all those intended to hear it.

4.  Speak slower.  Nervousness tends to make us speak a bit faster than usual. It is almost like we are blowing through words, not really wanting to be heard, but just trying to fill the dead air.  Not only does speaking too fast make you come off as a bit insecure, it also gives you less time to think about what you are saying and are more likely to say something foolish.  Speaking slower also gives you a better opportunity to listen to the other person and direct the conversation as you please.

I found a good exercise on Kino Wear for improving vocal projection.  Here is is:

  1. Sitting straight, place one hand on your belly and another behind your back opposite your hand on your belly.
  2. Breath in, attempting to move both hands out as far as possible (it takes a lot of strength to get your hand on your back to move; don`t worry if it doesnât). This is belly breathing. Notice how it feels; this is how you want to breath when you speak in order to use your full lung capacity and get the fullest, strongest, and richest sound.
  3. Exhale quickly, but make no sound as you do so. Sound is an indication of tension.
  4. Breath in again. Now, when you exhale, say the first letter of the alphabet.
  5. Continue until you reach Z. As you progress through the alphabet, pretend that with each letter you are speaking to a target farther and farther away. Pause if you get lightheaded, and wait a few seconds before you go again. By the time you reach the end, you should be very loud and strong. If you`re still breathing right, you will be stronger than you could be breathing normally.

Below are a couple videos that I found from Mystery and Love Drop on delivery, and Natural Tim on voice tonality.  I’ve found that with subjects like voice tonality and body language you really need to see examples in action to really understand.

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About Bobby Rio

I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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  1. West PUA

    October 28, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Speaking with the right tonality is one of my hardest sticking points. Talking slow I can do, but my tonality isn’t right where I want it to be. I am considering getting a voice coach (I’ve had one before, didn’t work out so great).

    They mentioned smiling in the videos. Smiling is powerful. I don’t do it enough I’ve noticed, because when I get drunk, I tend to smile like an idiot all the time, and it’s just like a woman magnet, they bump into me, they touch me, they talk to me, they smile at me, the bartender ignores twenty other gloomy chodes to serve me first.. smiling is like magic 🙂

    Recent Words from West PUA..Getting Comfortable Dancing in the Club

  2. Sebastian Suave

    November 6, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Great article.

    I think this is an area most people could improve in to be honest.

    I, myself, am not so proud of my voice tonality or ‘talking slowly’. I’d rank myself in the ‘average’ department, where this is not really a weakness or anything bad but could do with a lot of improving. Unlike my body language for example which I think is really strong.

    The smiling thing Mystery mentions is a huge one too and one I was very guilty of before and still from time to time catch myself doing wrong by having a very serious look. The point he brought up about us men not being used to people we’re attracted to who are stronger and can be physically threatening (where as obviously this is the case often with women’s attraction for us) kinda hit home. It’s obvious but the type of thing you forget sometimes…. and smiling can give them that little sense of security and non-threatening vibe.

    As for your point #1, I think that is definitely THE most important part. It’s certainly no cop-out answer. IT’s the truth. If you have confidence and belief in who you are and what you’re saying, you naturally and sub-consciously WANT to be heard, so chances are you’ll be speaking in a deeper more masculine stronger voice tone, more slowly and just exude confidence, dominance and charm while doing it all without thinking. The opposite is also true however where your brain makes your voice almost involuntarily come out weak, submissive, losery when you don’t want to be heard cuz of a lack of belief.

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