This Is A Voice

Golden Nuggets 4th April - Pitch, Pace & Power in Speaking Voice

April 04, 2022 Jeremy Fisher and Dr Gillyanne Kayes Season 4 Episode 10
This Is A Voice
Golden Nuggets 4th April - Pitch, Pace & Power in Speaking Voice
Show Notes Transcript

Vocal warmups are an essential tool for singers, but do you even think about warming up your SPEAKING voice?

You use your speaking voice far more than you use your singing voice, so it makes sense to warm that up first.
In this week's Golden Nuggets Dr Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher share excerpts from two of their best resources for speaking voice exercises and warmups: "Pitch, Pace & Power", and "the 1 Minute Voice Warmup App".


There are excerpts from Webinar 11, "Pitch, Pace & Power", now on the Learning Lounge.
And we talk about changing your pace, variety in your voice to make it more interesting, and Daleks.

This week, Inspiration of the Week is all about the impact you've already made. Plus there's a challenge for you that some might find a little scary!

The 1 Minute Voice Warmup App, produced with SpeechTools and an NHS specialist speech & language therapist, is aimed at helping people find and keep a healthy voice. It's particularly relevant now in this age of Covid and Long Covid, was featured in several magazines including the UK's leading computer magazine ComputerActive as the only paid health app to use in the recommendations of the week.

The app is available on GooglePlay (a #1 app) https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.speechtools.warmup&hl=en_GB

and on Apple Appstore (a #3 app) 
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/one-minute-voice-warmup/id1212802251?mt=8
Go to the Vocal Process Learning Lounge for the full "Pitch, Pace & Power" webinar, plus 600 more videos and resources here
https://vocal-process-hub.teachable.com/p/the-vocal-technique-learning-lounge

Book a coaching session to refresh your voice and get a bespoke vocal warmup created by Gillyanne or Jeremy
https://DrGillyanneKayesJeremyFisherInspirationSession.as.me/

Or sign up for the Vocal Process newsletter to read Jeremy's articles here https://vocalprocess.co.uk/build-your-own-tilting-larynx/



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Jeremy:

This Is A Voice, a podcast with Dr. Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher. Hello and welcome to Golden Nuggets for the 4th of April in the last Golden Nuggets, we talked about warming up your voice for singing. And this week we're targeting another aspect of your voice that you use every day. And the inspiration of the week is The Impact You've Already Had. So the feature topic for the week of the 4th of April 2022 is... closeup of a man mopping his brow in front of a microphone wondering if we're going to help him stop panicking... Speaking Voice Matters.

Gillyanne:

So why are we talking about that in this week in particular?

Jeremy:

Well, it's actually because of something that has come up recently, um, I've been doing voiceover interview training for a European bank helping their clients. And I'm just about to start training one of their senior managers in presentation skills. So I thought it was really relevant that we talk about presentation skills and what they might be.

Gillyanne:

Yeah. And I think it's also very important for the singers who might be listening to this because often we don't pay enough attention to to our speaking voices and we don't realize the impact that that can have on our singing behavior.

Jeremy:

Yeah. And didn't, we, we talked about warming up the singing voice last week, but then we talk about how important the speaking voice was as well?

Gillyanne:

Well, yes, we talked about, you know, when you're doing the initial part of your warmup moving between spoken and sung sounds. So I think it's super important.

Jeremy:

And I think unless you're an extraordinary being, you're going to be using your speaking voice more than you're going to be using your singing voice during the day.

Gillyanne:

Do you know what was so interesting in our training yesterday for the Accreditation? When we were listening to some of my research subjects, we listened to a number of singers singing in different styles, classical and two musical theatre singers, and we also had spoken voice files from them. And sometimes the teachers who were taking part in the course expressed surprise at the way people spoke. I wasn't expecting them to sound like that or in the case of one singer, oh, she sings in a very similar way to her speaking voice.

Jeremy:

So this week we're going to feature two resources. One from the Learning Lounge, which is a Webinar 11 pitch, pace and power. Plus the app for Apple and Android devices, the 1 Minute Voice Warmup. Okay. Gillyanne is going to pop off for the moment, which is a whole story in itself. Um, I'm going to carry on with the newsletter part of this, and then we'll bring her back to talk about the inspiration of the week. The use of pitch change can make or break your voice. Your listeners need variety unless you deliberately want to bore them. Here's an excerpt from webinar 11 on pitch and meaning, that includes Daleks. So we're going to explore how we can use pitch to change meaning, and I have to say, I love this exercise, this next one. So we want you to say yes, using these three meanings "I won!" "Sort of...", "Definitely". Gillyanne, do you want to give a demonstration?

Gillyanne:

I will, I will give a demo. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Jeremy:

It's interesting with Gillyanne that one of the things, obviously the, the main thing that changes is the pitch. But one of the things that also changes is the length of the word. So with one of them, you have a single monotone, you have a single note and with one of them, you go, yes, which is a little curve. Okay. Now, having done that, we know what you say no, using these three meanings, "You canNOT be serious." "Oh, my God, my hamster just died" and "Stop that right now". And I'm going to demonstrate this one. No, no, no. I love that one.

Gillyanne:

Isn't that interesting. We're changing the length. We're playing with the pitch contours and every child knows when its mum really means business when they say no, you can hear it. Not only in the tone of voice, but in the delivery.

Jeremy:

Um, and between my second and third sentence, that's nearly two octaves.

Gillyanne:

I think being aware of these pitch consoles and the whole delivery thing is one of the things that makes speaker more or less engaging

Jeremy:

So we want you to try these out now, do your three nos. Of you go. By the way. Don't worry. We can't hear you. And neither can anyone else. So you're doing this in the privacy of your own home. Okay, great. Now we have, uh, another sort of extension of this, and this comes from UCL, the university of London, from their phonetics course. And we have permission from

Gillyanne:

Mark Huckvale

Jeremy:

uh, we have permission from him to use this, which we're thrilled with.

Gillyanne:

He's done some super visuals. So what you can see there are these little sort of tadpoles is if you like, it's what they call a nuclear tone. So that's the main pitch. And then you get these either falling or rising pitch contours

Jeremy:

and you don't need to be able to read music for this. What you're looking at is how high up the page it is and how low and whether the tail falls or rises.

Gillyanne:

We absolutely love this don't we?

Jeremy:

We're going to demonstrate these. So Gillyanne's gonna take, uh, two and three and I'm going to do one and four. Okay. So number one. No, no, you fool. No, you silly fool.

Gillyanne:

No, no you fool. No you silly fool. No, no you fool, No you silly fool.

Jeremy:

No, no, you fool. No you silly fool. Exterminate. I love that one. It's like, that's the Daleks and it's very interesting in the Daleks from Doctor Who, when they get going and they sit on a very high pitch and they have the upward inflection. I love that exercise. In 2011, we were invited to Microsoft, UK headquarters to train their senior engineers in voice and presentation skills. Out of those visits over two years, we created webinars 10 and 11 on healthy and efficient speaking voice. Pace in speaking voice. There are two elements to pace in speaking voice, the speed of the words and the use of pause. Listen to this excerpt from webinar 11, pitch, pace and power for examples from Gillyanne and me [spot the pacey speaker!]. Okay so we're on to the next one, which is pace. Now pace is governed by airflow, breath spaces and speed of articulation. And a fast pace can indicate either excitement or nerves. There's pluses and minuses here, and a slow pace can indicate either thoughtfulness or dullness. Um, when speaking to a group, by the way, allow yourself time to breathe, because that lets the listeners compute your message. It lets the listeners take a little bit of time to understand what you're talking about. I mean,

Gillyanne:

it allows them in and I was just thinking, Jeremy, you know, I'm sure that everybody here can think of maybe a teacher or a lecturer or sometimes someone in a church, politicians of course, and TV personalities who have both positive and negative uses of pace. And then you have sort of comedians who imitate people. They, they really make use of this. I just want to give an example of someone perhaps with a fast pace .Pace is governed by airflow breath spaces and speed of articulation. Fast pace can indicate either excitement or nerves. Now that can be absolutely fine in a one-to-one situation, but it's really quite comical when you hear that in a public situation.

Jeremy:

Now there are two elements to pace. So we just want to make this clear the speed of the words and the use of the pause. And they're both equally important. By matching someone else's pace, you can create a rapport, or if you want to, you can deliberately unsettle them. And Gillyanne has already said comedians use pace to highlight the punchline and to exaggerate for comic effect. And I'm going to give you two demonstrations again, these are British comedians comediennes um, so look them up on the net if you haven't heard of them. Victoria Wood does a one woman show and at the beginning of the second half, she comes out with a character and the character speaks like this. Hello. I'm all looking for me friend, Kimberly, have you seen her? So you've got quite slow pace and huge pauses and that already sets up a comic effect.

Gillyanne:

Well, and it also, and, and I think it's intended, it gives us the impression that this is a very slow thinking woman.

Jeremy:

Absolutely. And the opposite to that is Matt Lucas in Little Britain doing the Vicky Pollard character. And I'm afraid I'm not even going to attempt to imitate that.

Gillyanne:

But she's the one who does yeah but no but yeah but no but

Jeremy:

Yeah, it's very fast diction and no pauses at all.

Gillyanne:

And the impression of course that you get from that, aside from it being comic is that this is someone who is going to make sure that nobody can put a word in and therefore she is going to win her point. So that those are two opposite examples of impressions that you can give by having a pace that perhaps doesn't work for you.

Jeremy:

And we going to let you into a couple of our own secrets. Um, when we're on a Webinar like this, because you can't see us, we have slightly speeded up the way that we talk. I mean, I do talk fairly fast anyway, but I'm actually deliberately speaking slightly faster because it creates the interest. And you'll also notice that Gillyanne and I will cut across each other or we'll pick up the sentence almost immediately so that there are very few silent pauses, only the ones that were giving you the chance to try things out. And when we are doing presentations, Where we're working with an audience where English isn't their first language. Uh, we've worked in Israel. We've worked in Sweden. We've worked actually in quite a few places. Spain recently, one of the things that we do is slow down the pace for the first 10 minutes of the presentation. And we make the pauses slightly longer so that people can tune in to what we're saying to our speaking voices, to our language.

Gillyanne:

And we know that this works because people come up to us afterwards and say, oh, I was so worried that I wasn't going to be able to enjoy the presentation because my English wouldn't be good enough.

Jeremy:

They've all said, you know, it really works. And they understood it. Yeah.

Gillyanne:

Um, the other thing I wanted to share with you is that often in a one-to-one situation in a singing lesson, for example, which is, you know, my situation, you might have a client who has a very different pace from you, and this is where the rapport comes in. Now, as I'm sure you can all tell I'm a fairly measured person. I tend not to speak very fast and I don't tend to show a lot of levels of excitement. But I worked with performers and a performer might come in the room and is, is sort of highly energized and highly excited. And if what I do then is I respond with this sort of rather measured, way of speaking that person might think I'm not very interested in them. So I will deliberately start to match their pace in order to get the rapport. And then I can change it if I want to. It's enormously helpful for those of you working in a therapeutic situation, in a situation where perhaps you need to persuade people in a business situation or an interview and in singing lessons.

Jeremy:

There are no hard and fast rules about pace. And it often depends on the personality, the energy and the thinking speed of the speaker. But if you're using your voice for professional purposes, sometimes it's useful to have tools to change your habitual pace. It's great for creating rapport too. We can't hear how loud we are because our ears are in the wrong place. Webinar 11 pitch, pace and power has exercises to help you monitor your personal vocal loudness and how to change it. We've both worked with clients who need to adjust their speaking volume because of being overlooked in their profession. Particularly women in the corporate and legal sectors. There are times when we really need to learn how to speak up. Our 1 Minute Voice Warmup App covers five different areas that help your speaking voice stay healthy and effective. Breath control, clear speech, releasing tension, tongue exercises, and interesting voice. It's available on Apple and Android. And the links are in the show notes. Sometimes you just don't know the knowledge that you have when SpeechTools approached us to see if we could do a joint project, we didn't know how much we knew about the speaking voice. We'd written the This Is A Voice book and that had helped us pull out our background knowledge. And I also didn't know I could draw, but I ended up drawing all the images for the videos. We wanted to work with Speechtools because everything they've put together has a direct impact on people's lives. They're very practical. Swallow Prompt, Voice Analyst, DAF PRO - that's delayed auditory feedback for people with Parkinson's, brain injury or a stutter, Christella VoiceUp for trans women. And of course the 1 Minute Voice Warmup App that we did for warming up your speaking voice fast.

Check them out on https:

//speechtools.co. Sometimes we have underlying tension in our speaking voice we're not aware of this impacts on your singing voice. Our 1 Minute Voice Warmup App has an exercise to tackle that- Chewing and Murmuring. Here's a little excerpt from the video, chewing and murmuring. When your jaw is tense, the sound may be tight and held back. Chewing helps release the muscles that tense the jaw while also giving your lips and tongue a good workout. One. Chew actively as if really enjoying your food. Imagine a bit of crisp apple or a sticky toffee so that you use your facial muscles and your lips. The tongue is also active when we chew food. So let it roll around inside your mouth. As you chew your imaginary food Two. Now make some noises while you chew, but keep your mouth closed. Mm Three. Now allow your mouth to open some of the time while you're chewing. Nyum nyum nyum nyum nyum nyum. Four. Still using the open mouth chewing actions say "my mummy makes marvellous maroon macaroons." Exaggerate the lip action. While you say this, pouting your lips forwards and stretching them backwards. "My mummy makes marvellous maroon macaroons". Five. Now put your fingertips on the outside of your cheeks and make space between your upper and lower teeth. Say "yah yah yah yah yah yah yah". "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." "My mummy makes marvellous maroon macaroons." Six. Now say the phrase in your normal voice, but making use of the new sense of space inside your mouth that you've just found. "My mummy makes marvellous maroon macaroons." We love this exercise for days when your voice feels a bit gravelly or you're just dog tired. It's a very gentle way of getting things moving. It's one of 15 exercises with tutorials and tips. You can build these into a completely bespoke warmup, and there are over half a million different combinations you can create. Gillyanne's back. Uh, let's talk about the inspiration of the week, which is the impact you've already had. Why are we doing this?

Gillyanne:

This is so interesting. Sometimes you don't realize what you've got, you know, what you've got in your archival cupboards as a voice educasher.

Jeremy:

Voice edu-what?

Gillyanne:

Well, did we mention the importance of warming up your voice for speaking,

Jeremy:

we clearly missed out the bit about warming up your brain.

Gillyanne:

In our kind of archives as voice educators, sometimes we don't realize what we've got and sometimes you don't realize the impact you have. So Jeremy, I want to lead in about that blog that you rereleased in fact.

Jeremy:

Yeah, it was a blog called 10 Steps to Finding Authenticity In Singing. And I wrote it back in back way back in 2020, I mean, 2020 feels like a completely different world because that was pre pandemic. And even that's a sentence.

Gillyanne:

He sent this to me to say, what do you think about releasing it? And I thought, blimey, this is really, really good. You know, why haven't we been telling people about this? And in fact, what then happened was that, it was subsequently released into Instagram as a carousel and the feedback we've had about it is phenomenal. And I think it's that thing you just don't realize what you've been doing and the impact that you have. And I found it, I found that blog quite inspiring. And this also brings me to what we've been talking about on the Accreditation program, because with the cohort 21, they're now in their final trimester of a 12 month training course.

Jeremy:

It has gone so fast

Gillyanne:

And we did a particular session where we talked about people's values and how they were taking that into their work. And sometimes as part of a process like that, what you need is to have somebody else give you feedback, because you don't realize the impact that you're making.

Jeremy:

I mean, this gets right back to the FOAL process that I created the Falling Off A Log process back in 2002 for the Successful Singing Auditions book. Where the things that you do so well that you don't even realize that you do them well, are your falling off a log areas. And because you don't realize them that you do them really well, you dismiss them completely. It's like, oh, that old thing. Well, everybody does that. No, they clearly don't because that's one of the things that people really admire you for, they want to be in your presence with, or they want to work with you for the things that you didn't even realize you're good at. And that's why we think feedback from other people is actually quite important because it highlights the things that you don't realize you do.

Gillyanne:

Yeah, it's not just about what we are imparting in terms of knowledge and skills. It's also about what they're imparting to each other. And I saw someone say the other day in one of the comments, at the end of the training that the buddy system was a game-changer for. Yeah. And by buddy system, what I mean is that they partner up with someone for two to three months and they worked together on things

Jeremy:

that has been a game changer for a lot of people. And we're quite good at partnering people up. We're quite good at knowing at particular stages during the training who's going to work well. And also who's going to both compliment and contrast the other person. It's a really interesting. Um, spreadsheet that we have to build.

Gillyanne:

And Jeremy, I think as well, you know, within the singing teaching profession, particularly because, historically we've got the master apprentice model. So it's, you know, the teacher with the student alone in the room, giving that individual attention, which is great. But how often do get two teachers in the room, giving a student attention. How often do you get teachers sharing their practice? It is happening much more often now. But it's still taking a while and I think that we can really help each other by having those open conversations. And I think,

Jeremy:

I mean, what's interesting about the Accreditation program as we're running it right now is we have 16 teachers in the room, plus three of us. So there's 19 people in the room, all professional teachers, all sharing notes, information, techniques, ideas, and thoughts. It's really great.

Gillyanne:

I also want to say that, um, this was one of the reasons why we set up the Learning Lounge and actually the online singing teacher training. It wasn't just because of the cause of the pandemic in a way that the pandemic was , a catalyst to make it happen. We'd been talking about it before, how to reach more people and do that legacy thing to have that impact.

Jeremy:

It's very much about having stuff moldering in the archives. And you know, when you are, we produce a lot of things. We produce a lot of resources, you know, we producing, been producing resources for more than 20 years from the first book, even before that we were doing newsletters, but we were also doing DVDs and videos and courses and all sorts of things. And we had a huge back catalog that actually, I didn't know what to do with.

Gillyanne:

We did get to a stage didn't we, where we felt we've got all this amazing stuff. Hello? Is anybody out there? And what we found when we. Set up the Learning Lounge. And when we started running the online courses, a whole load of people arrived and said, but I've been following you for years

Jeremy:

That was extraordinary. We had so many people say that.

Gillyanne:

And people that I really respect and like, And that was precious to discover. So, I mean, that's why I wanted to use this as inspiration of the week, which is sometimes you don't realize what you already have, the Falling Off A Log skill that you have. And sometimes you need someone to give you that feedback about the impact that you have.

Jeremy:

This week, we're giving you a challenge. Now we don't normally do this on a podcast, but we think this one's quite important. So this challenge is in two parts. Gillyanne what's the first part.

Gillyanne:

Well, the first part is if you've been listening to these podcasts and if you're in the Learning Lounge, what difference has it made to you?

Jeremy:

Please send us the feedback. You can email it to us, or you can add it to comments on this podcast, or

Gillyanne:

Ooh they could use Speakpipe.

Jeremy:

You could use SpeakPipe that's great. If you go to Speakpipe.com/VocalProcess, you can leave us a three minute message so we can then play it in the next podcast.

Gillyanne:

So send us that little bit of feedback. That would be really great, but it's not just about us. It's also about you.

Jeremy:

Well, the second part of the challenge. Ask somebody, what impact do you have had on them now? That is quite, that's quite a big challenge for people who aren't used to doing this, but the only way you're going to find out is if you ask, let us know how it goes. Thank you for listening. This Is A Voice, a podcast with Dr. Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher