If you have ever felt nervous about speaking online, on a podcast, or in person, or if you’ve ever said, “I hate my voice,” then today’s special guest is for you. I’m talking to Kelly Burge, vocal scientist and coach known as “THE Professor Kelly.”
As one of only eleven Estill Mentor and Course Instructors in the entire U.S., Kelly Burge works with students of American Idol, The Voice, YouTube, Disney, and anyone who wants to improve the way they speak.
She helps you by using science to propel your voice–and artistry—to an elite level. And a key part of her philosophy that I love is about bringing “you” to the fore.
In today’s episode, we cover:
The reason most people don’t like the sound of their voice when they first hear it recorded (and what you can do to make that a more pleasant experience).
Principles of acoustics and science that we need to know to increase our effectiveness when speaking.
Using our knowledge of how the brain works to improve speech.
The Mehrabian principle and how it affects the way you communicate with your voice.
The most important factor when you speak.
How sound is connected to our autonomic nervous system.
The one frequency of speech that can create agitation in the speaker.
I asked about how you can make your voice more appealing to an audience. Kelly discussed:
How to use the more than 200 moving parts in our vocal tract (from the larynx up to the end of your nose) for different effects
How to use the need for variety and clarity and use your authentic voice—learning to work with what you have and who you are.
What you can do to adjust the tone of voice to make it more appealing.
Why you need to think of speech as a written text with headlines, and how to make use of that concept.
Why you shouldn’t worry too much about saying “um” or pausing while talking.
The importance of staying out of “the fear zone.”
We also talk about how to keep your topic on track and why it’s okay to get the information across according to who you really are and keep it authentic.
You can also allow your natural energy to come through so listeners will respond, even if you’re recording alone in a studio.
Kelly also talks about:
How to get over that critical voice in your head when you hear your own voice.
Things you can do before you start to get into the right energy and emotion in order to connect with your audience.
How to get your energy up so that will come across in the recording.
The differences between using your voice for recordings or for speaking live on stage, and how to prepare yourself for a live presentation.
Remember, if all the audience wanted was content, they’d read a book or magazine. Remember that your voice brings the human connection to the content.
Finally, we wrapped up the conversation with these ideas:
How speaking is like preparing for the Olympics.
What you can do to calm the nervous system and get a sense of focus.
How to make your speaking environment feel familiar and safe—even when it’s brand new for you.
Kelly’s TED talk and the kind of preparation that went into it.
How to get out of your own head and recognize a motivation that focuses on the audience instead.
The typical obstacles that can stand in your way (think: perfectionism)
Ultimately, your voice can become a tool you use and that can benefit you, just as we learn to use technology over time for our own benefit. Remember, your voice deserves to be heard.
And the process can be fun.
Links from Today’s Episode:
The Professor Kelly Website