Finding Vocal Consistency Tip 2: Support Yourself

Hey Friends,

In this video, I offer my second tip around how to find a consistently powerful and resonant voice. This came out of a question from a student who feels like his voice is inconsistent, despite regular warm ups. In my last video, I talked about how to design effective vocal warm ups. In this video, I talk about how to translate the powerful, resonant voice you can find in a voice warm up into your consistent, every day speaking voice. 

While voice warm ups are important, the benefits are only long-lasting if they are accompanied by an embodied sense of how to use your voice, particularly your breath to power your voice, in a healthy way. If you don’t have an embodied sense of how to use your voice in a healthy way, the benefits of your warm up will gradually fade as the day goes on. But if you can develop a reliable embodied sense of how to support your voice, you will find it easy to find the resonant tone you are looking for in any space. 

This is meant for the speaking voice but can be useful for singers too. 

If you’d like to learn more about terms I use in this video, like ‘breath support’, or ‘resonance’,  search those terms on this website and several audio guides will come up. If you’d like them in podcast form, search for “BeSpoke Speaks” anywhere podcasts are found.

What’s your favorite image or exercise for accessing your breath support? 

If you are enjoying these videos, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/clmottram). I post weekly videos answering questions I get from clients. If you’d like to ask a question, comment below or email me at clmottram@gmail.com and your question might get featured on a future video.

Take good care,

Christine

Finding Vocal Consistency Tip 1: Effective Vocal Warm Ups

Hey Friends,

In this video, I offer my first tip around how to find a consistently powerful and resonant voice. This came out of a question from a student who feels like his voice is inconsistent, despite regular warm ups. My first tip? Check in about the effectiveness of your vocal warm up. I talk here about how to design effective vocal warm ups. Warming up your speaking voice on a regular basis is incredibly valuable. I talk about the central tenets of a good warm up and how to find freedom within the form.

This is meant for the speaking voice but can be useful for singers too. 

I’ll be back next week with a second tip around finding vocal consistency.

If you’d like to be guided through some voice warm ups, this website has a wide variety of voice warm ups to suit all sorts of vocal circumstances. You can also download these warm ups in podcast form and take them with you anywhere by searching for “BeSpoke Speaks” on iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Buzzsprout or Stitcher.

What’s your favorite warm up exercise these days? 

If you are enjoying these videos, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. I post weekly videos answering questions I get from clients. If you’d like to ask a question, comment below or email me at clmottram@gmail.com and your question might get featured on a future video.

Take good care,

Christine

Voice for Podcasters: Conversation with Ryan O’Shea

Hey Friends,

What do podcasters need to think about in terms of their voices? 

In this episode, ‘Voice for Podcasters: Conversation with Ryan O’Shea’, I talk to my good friend, fellow voice coach and podcaster Ryan O’Shea about the vocal issues that the medium of podcasts presents, and how podcasters can address them. 

Ryan O’Shea is a voice, accent and public speaking coach based in LA. She also has a podcast called “Speaking of…conversations on voice, speech & identity with Ryan O’Shea” which delves into fascinating conversations around voice and identity.

The difficulty with podcasting is you can get really hung up on how you sound, especially if you’re doing it by yourself and don’t have an element of social engagement. Getting hung up on how you sound isn’t so useful, because you can’t listen to yourself and communicate from a connected place at the same time. Listeners can tell when a voice sounds clear and beautiful but disengaged, because they disengage. 

Ryan gives some useful tips from her own podcasting process and voice warm ups around how to reframe this issue, including: 

— warming up your body and voice so that you feel at ease. If you feel at ease, a byproduct will be that your voice will sound at ease

— shifting your focus away from how you sound and instead on to connecting to what matters to you, and how you want your audience to feel. If you can feel the way you want your audience to feel, your audience are more likely to have the same experience.

We talk about these tips and how they relate to podcasters specifically but honestly, they are useful for any performance medium. 

Stay tuned for next month’s episode, where Ryan and I team up to offer a voice warm up for podcasters.

You can find this episode in podcast form by searching for ‘BeSpoke Speaks’ on iTunes, Spotify, AmazonMusic, Google Podcasts, Stitcher.

Find out more about Ryan at www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com

Are you a podcaster? What do you find you need to think about vocally? We’d love to hear.

Take good care,

Christine

Two Mistakes People Make when doing a General American Accent

Hey Friends,

In this video I talk about the two mistakes people tend to make when trying to find the resonant tone of a General American accent. What is a resonant tone, you ask? I explain it in the video, and talk about the fact that people tend to make their voices either too nasal or too pressed down when trying to sound American. Do you fall into one of these camps? 

If so, join me for my upcoming virtual General American accent course on Zoom and learn how to find a more authentic, healthy American resonance consistently. 

Here are the details:

When: Tuesdays February 9th/16th/23/March 2nd, 7-9 pm GMT

Where: Zoom

How much: 100 GBP

Whether you are totally new to the accent, are a little rusty, or want more fluency and confidence, this course will have something for you. 

Comment below or E-Mail me at clmottram@gmail.com to book. 

If you can’t join this time or aren’t watching this video in real time, no worries! I also offer private accent coaching sessions. Contact me to learn more. 

Take good care,

Christine

Why is learning an accent’s ‘oral posture’ important and info on upcoming virtual General American Accent course

Hey Friends,

Oral posture is a fancy term for the way your speech muscles (lips, jaw, tongue, soft palate, etc.) move to shape your sounds, or your vowels and consonants, as you talk. Different accents have different oral postures, which is why they sound different. If you are trying to change your accent and you can figure out another accent’s oral posture and how to shift into it with your speech muscles, it helps you stay consistent in a much easier way.

Oral posture is such a helpful tool if you feel you have a ‘bad ear’ or if you feel like you keep slipping in and out of the accent but don’t know why. With this tool, you don’t have to hear yourself, (which isn’t helpful anyway!) because you will have a way of feeling your way into the accent. Feeling is more reliable than hearing when trying to shift accent, because your ear will play tricks on you. Linguists call this ‘phonological interference’— when we hear a foreign accent or language, our tendency as humans is to hear it in terms of the sounds of our own accent or language, and so we speak that accent or language using our own sounds. This is totally unconscious, and can be very frustrating when trying to learn a new accent! So let’s totally sidestep it and instead, focus on the feeling of the accent. This is what ‘oral posture’ allows us to do.

In my upcoming General American accent course on Zoom, we will be taking an in-depth look at the General American oral posture— how it’s different from your own and how you can move into it with ease. There are still spaces available. Here are the details:

WHEN: Tuesdays February 9th/16th/23rd and March 2nd, 7-9 PM GMT⁠⠀ ⁠⠀

WHERE: Zoom⁠⠀ ⁠⠀

HOW MUCH: 100 GBP ⁠⠀

To sign up or find out more, email me at clmottram@gmail.com. Please share these details with anyone you think might be interested.

Take good care,

Christine