Recently, I was invited to run some workshops for 4RPH, Radio for the Print Impaired, to give their volunteer announcers some advice on how to avoid vocal strain, improve their clarity and generally help them to get the most out of their voices.
We were absolutely delighted with the large number of people who committed three hours of their time – as well as all the hours they devote to the actual broadcasting – to learn some new tricks.
Of course, there are no tricks involved. And a little knowledge is no dangerous thing. On the contrary, helping these wonderful people to understand exactly how their voices function is the first step to helping them realise more of their vocal potential. They are mostly my age, and older, with a few young sparks in the mix. Some have been broadcasting for over 20 years, others quite new to the profession.
I was able to demonstrate to them how they can regain some of the tone they may have lost over the years, ensuring that their voices are healthily maintained for many years to come, and also help them to access more range and colour in their voices with some very simple posture work, and vocal exercises.
Here are some comments from participants:
I enjoyed it very much and have a much better understanding of how my voice box is made up and how vulnerable it can be when used incorrectly.
Pleasant, engaging leadership. Participant involvement.Well worth while : excellent PR for the station : makes volunteers feel valued.
Your demonstrations of voice properties explained the theory clearly. The distribution of the concise fact sheet after the workshop reinforces the tuition process well.