It’s been a long time since I first considered entering the quest to be a TV host, but what started it all for me is when someone told me I had a great voice. It was something that I never even considered as an asset, nor did I think it had anything to do with what my career choices were going to be.
As I have been in the TV industry for over a decade now, I have learned very well that in many ways, your voice is possibly your greatest tool as a personality. Every time you address an audience in person or on-camera, your mind, your body and your voice all act as one to communicate them.
As TV hosts, we tend to overlook this part of our repertoire because tabloid media wants us to believe that it’s all about the exterior and how we look. No, your best voice might not be well-spoken English that your high school grammar teacher would be proud of, but how you use your voice has everything to do with how an audience reads you.
When you speak, your voice reflects your psychological and emotional state of mind. If you want to entertain or inspire others, you must have a tone of voice that connects with your intended audience. If you sound harsh and unfriendly like a Simon Cowell, then you must be prepared for the backlash that goes along with that.
However if you have a friendly genuine tone like a Mike Rowe, this usually gets favorable attention and gets you the response you were hoping for.
What Kind of Voice Do You Have?
When it comes to our voice and how we use it, there is ALWAYS room for improvement. Even the best hosts on TV still regularly take a vocal lesson or two. Almost all of us need to strip away bad speech habits and replace them with good ones that will help us thrive in our careers as hosts. For instance:
- Do you whisper or do you have a booming voice?
- Are you monotonous or melodious? Meaning do you sound flat and boring or do you sound like someone with some energy?
- Is your voice colorful or cloudy? Does your voice convey emotions or feelings to an audience or do you sound like someone who really doesn’t care all that much?
- Do you mumble?
- Are you a slow or fast speaker?
- Do you agitate or orchestrate? If you orchestrate you create interest, excitement and emotional involvement. If you agitate you speak in one-note and come off as boring.
As you can tell, there is much more to our voices than we tend to give them credit for and they beg for our attention in molding and developing them. If you want to be a top host, this is an ABSOLUTE MUST.
To give you some guidance on where you can go and how the voice coaching process works, I had top vocal coach Marc Cashman on my podcast recently to talk about how he works with TV hosts and media folks alike.
To get some great advice and possible coaching, listen to the podcast here.