Vocal Expression


Joy Gardner-Gordon

“Sound bypasses the intellect and has the inherent ability to trigger the emotions.”

Your Voice Is An Instrument With A Personality

Our voices are our fundamental instruments for communicating in public. Like a fine musical instrument, your voice must be tuned and well-exercised to produce a beautiful sound. A sound that captivates and motivates your audience to listen.

Voices have different personalities. Some sound intelligent, some powerful, others are polished, and some can be articulate and confident. Voices can also be harsh, brash and boisterous like a nail scratching down a blackboard, or soft, meek and timid like a scuttling, squeaky mouse.

Your vocal expression carries not only your words to your audience, it also conveys emotion, colour and character. The sound of your voice, the pitch, pace, pause, power and pronunciation, also conveys a message about you, the speaker.

use vocal expression

A Voice with Charisma!

One man in particular stands out in my memory. His name was Jim. Jim owned a bakery in outback Australia. His job was to tell a huge audience about the outstanding success of his break, cake and pie shop.

With a broad Australian accent and a slower, rolling, melodious tone Jim captured the whole audience with his wonderful voice. His tiny, light and tender vocal sounds surrounded the stories of pink-iced cakes and fairy lights in the window at Christmas time. Strong, forceful projection came through when speaking of the loyalty of his staff. And a loud, boisterous, joyful voice was expressed when telling us how they won the town’s pie throwing competition!

Yes, his speech had wonderful stories but they would have fallen flat if his vocal variety had been expressionless. His voice had character and personality. It had charisma!

A Voice With Character

When I was just starting in the speaking business I thought I had to have Shakespearean voice to be a success – well rounded, voluminous and rather plumy.

On the contrary!  Some of the best public speakers have broad Aussie accents, are overcoming the stutters, and some pound out their words like rapid fire from a machine gun.

So, what makes these public speakers so wonderful to listen to?  They are unique.  They have personality.  A charming character.  Their voices are full of colour and expression.

Do More With What You’ve Got!

Before you jump out and take elocution lessons to attain a Shakespearean voice for your speaking career, look closely at the personality and character of your own voice.

Can you do more with what you’ve got?

  • You can improve your vocal strength and power with breathing techniques.
  • You can create more interest in your voice by changing the pace or the speed with which you speak.
  • Try to stop speaking every now and then. Take a pause to emphasise the importance of the last words spoken.
  • Also bring more expression into your speaking voice by altering the pitch. Take your voice up higher for light, sweet moments and bring it down into a deep crescendo for the serious or important statements.

All the techniques to develop your vocal expression are covered in depth in our Public Speaking Courses. If you haven’t already, join us soon!
  [See Public Course Details]

Vocal Warm Up

Click here for a Basic Vocal Warm Up – exercises to warm your voice before any speech.

Finally, please remember, don’t let bad habits block your communication and flatten your vocal tone. Be expressive and exercise your voice.

Your voice is your instrument, so develop its beautiful personality and you will attract charismatic charm too.


Charmaine Burke
Art of Communicating ©