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Tips on sounding good

When making a guest appearance on somebody else’s program they’re drawn to your content and really don’t have any bad opinions about how you present. Get the most out your appearances with these exercises to improve your confidence.

Some quick mouth exercises to get your laughing gear into talking gear:

– Relax your lips together and blow air through them so they flutter
– Drop your jaw and purse your lips while your mouth is open, then stretch your lips wide open, feeling the stretch around your mouth
– Press the back of your tongue to the back of your palette like when saying ‘ng’, then release the back of your tongue like when you’re saying ‘ah’
– Now alternate the two sounds ten times “ng-ah-ng-ah-ng-ah”
– Now alternate the sounds “mee-maww”, accentuating the shape of your lips as you do so
– Recite the following ten times, accentuating your lip and mouth movements:
“red leather, yellow leather”
“red lorry, yellow lorry”
“lilly lally lelly lolly lully”
– Try some tongue twisters to limber up as well (remember, it’s not a race, it’s about making sure your enunciation is crisp)

Slow your pace down

Making recordings of yourself and listen or watch without prejudice. The more you expose yourself to your sound and image, the more comfortable you will feel about how you look and sound.


Someone has invited you on to their youtube channel for a quick chat about what you’re up to, but there’s just one problem… you haaate the way you sound and think the camera lies every time it captures you… I’m Andy Le Roy and I’m Louise Poole, and we’re giving you the insights that elevate you as the expert in your field

Elevating Experts!

Andy: Louise, you’ve worked on air for over twenty years and have probably heard your fair share of audio with your voice on it

Louise: Yes I have, Andy, and most people I talk to tell me how lucky I am to have the voice I’ve got, but do you know what?

Andy: What’s that?

Louise: Like everyone else I know, I couldn’t stand the sound of my voice when I first started hearing it played back

Andy: I’m glad you said that, because when I started working on radio, with people saying “you’ve got such a lovely radio voice” I’d often listen back and think… really?

Louise: We’re all in good company when it comes down to, and although there’s a scientific explanation as to why our recorded voice sounds different to what we hear when we speak, it doesn’t change the fact that we need to get comfortable with the way we sound.

Andy: More than the old “build a bridge and get over it” attitude, it’s really about building confidence

Louise: And a part of that is making sure we sound as good as we possibly can when we’re in front of a mic.

Andy: One of the things that trips me up is good old nerves. When the adrenaline kicks in, my words pick up speed and often trip as they sprint to the finish line

Louise: That’s a good a reminder as any to make sure you slow down.

Andy: Have you ever thought about how many syllable per minute the average Australian speaks at?

Louise: Hmmm… not really, but I’d hazard a guess and say a couple of hundred?
Andy: You’re not far off. Research dating back to 2014 found that, at the time, we were speaking at a faster rate than thirty years prior, the average syllable per minute was 237 for English-speaking adults.

Louise: That does sound pretty fast. What does that actually sound like, though?

Andy: I’ve prepared some syllables for you to try… ready? I’ll time you.

Louise: Sure

Andy: Go!

Louise: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Andy: That’s twelve syllables, and took (x) seconds

Louise: That felt fast

Andy: It was fast, but that’s probably because that’s how we also tend to approach tongue twisters. So let’s slow it down.

Louise: OK, now I remember from my radio copywriting days that ads are written to be voiced at about three words per second, to give listeners the chance to comprehend what’s being said.

Andy: That’s right, so in the case of Peter Piper and his pickled peppers, you need toaim for about three seconds delivery for the eight words in the sentence.

Louise: OK

Andy: Go

Louise: (slower) Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Andy: Just over three seconds. How did that sound to you?

Louise: Kind of slow, actually LOL

Andy: It might have felt slow, but as the listener, I heard every word you were saying, which helped me to interpret your message.

Louise: Funnily enough, it also felt like my brain had time to prepare the full sentence with the right tone, instead of just spitting out words.

Andy: And that all adds to your confidence in delivery.

Louise: Something else I’ve found really helpful when preparing for an interview or recording session is lip and mouth exercises.

Andy: Ah, yes – just like a runner will limber up for before a race, speakers should really think about exercising their mouth to make sure their delivery is crisp.

Louise: You’re not going to make me do mouth stretches here now, are you?

Andy: No, but we’ve left a few examples in the show notes to get started.

Louise: And when you’ve worked on confident delivery, my best piece of advice, which I gave to every radio announcer I ever trained…. keep listening back to yourself.

Andy: Just like exposure therapy

Louise: That’s right because the more you hear your voice as it’s recorded, the quicker you’ll come to understand that’s how you sound, and you sound just fine.

Andy: It’s never as hard as it seems, so let’s quickly go over the best way for you to get comfortable with the way you sound

Louise: Prepare your instrument… your mouth, before going in to the interview. Knowing that your lips and tongue are limbered up and ready to go will make you more confident that your words will come out the way you want them to.

Andy: Slow down when you talk. Although it might feel like you’re talking at a snail’s pace, your listeners will be able to comprehend what you’re saying as you enunciate more clearly.

Louise: And make a habit of listening back to recordings of yourself. Nothing is more powerful for taking the judgement factor away from hearing your own voice than increasing how often you hear it.

Andy: You’re used to hearing it from inside your head, so you need to hear it in recorded form so that starts to sound normal as well.

Louise: Next time on Elevating Experts: a shout out to five content creators we think are doing an incredible job at engaging their audience.

Elevating Experts with Welcome Change Media,  giving you the insights that elevate you as the expert in your field. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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