Listen: NPR, Jessica Hanson, K. Ziprecruiter discussed on Twenty Thousand Hertz
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That's what I did but last year I started thinking. Maybe I should ask a professional to teach me some tricks so oh. I emailed Jessica Hanson. I am the in house voice coach had NPR. I'm also the voice of NPR funding credits in case you're you're not familiar with NPR funding credits. Here's some of Jessica's work support for NPR comes from Ozzy. It's a conversation with the author of the Robert Galbraith Mystery novels. Welcome welcome to the recording of pop culture happy hour and because this is a live show we want it to sound like a live show. Jessica also worked specifically with NPR journalists to help them find in their voice for radio the primary reason for NPR needing voice coaches because we are an audio product and most people don't have training in using their voices voices as storytellers they have training in how to write how to find sources how to cultivate the sources how to put together the story how to ask the right questions questions to be in the right place at the right time but they just don't get voice training and all of that hard work to write a story can fall flat if your voice can't engage the audience if you don't sound excited people will pick up on that and if you sound too authoritative people might not identify with you. Most people say you know Oh. We'll sound more conversational but then the person doesn't know how to sound more conversational because you are reading and it is hard to lift words off a page. It is the trick in this business <music>. How do you start brief. <hes> gosh breathing solves almost most every problem. Breathing solves nerves breathing solves phrasing breathing solves decisiveness and breathing helps you to open in your voice. It's so easy to run out of breath without even realizing it's happening just learning to think about your breathing is huge. I'm also often being being asked to solve the problem of voice being placed wrong. She sounds to nasal. He's talking out of his throat. He has vocal FRY. She sounds like lake. She's whispering and so I saw a lot of resonance problems helping people to put their voices forward in their faces so that they're resonating and they're not speaking out of the backs of their throats and that they feel like they're using their whole voices and sounding like a whole person that's present and not just serve part of a voice. Ooh We often think of our voices a natural part of ourself but like any muscle we have to train it to unlock its full potential. If we don't think about it we limit our ability to communicate for instance. You can work to expand vocal range. That's the variation between high notes and low notes. I think increasing vocal range change is one of my favorite things to work on. A lot of people use only a few notes in their range. You know we speak on maybe two or three or four notes because you we're grownups and we're trying to sound like we're adults. This sort of adult tone can get really monotonous. I loved to work with people on increasing the range of their voices and helping people to find that higher notes don't necessarily sound shrill and lower notes aren't the only thing that you can do to sound authoritative and so really playing with vocal range and giving people a broader spectrum to choose from is not only fun but I think it's really important remember. Training vocal work is not about changing the voice but expanding it people are scared. They're going to be talking way up here like Minnie mouse but that's not the result either right. I mean if you work on talking like Minnie Mouse and like the wicked witch of the West and like some dark Lord Villain character character and then you marry all three of those together we get various places in the voice that blend and merge and all three of those qualities together create the whole voice I actually took took vocal lessons with Jessica for about three months and they were totally different from what I expected instead of singing scales or trying to hit certain notes she had me do all kinds of weird weird stuff like lay totally flat on my back at NPR making noises and weird grunts. I would also do things like singing twists where I spend my whole body and just sing just go things like lip trills barrel Shimizu. These are things where I'm shaking. Get my whole body and just going to let seem lease Hong Tonga uh-huh l. and <hes> early a toddler me me me. It's just ridiculous anyway. There's a ton of laughing and just ridiculousness but it's just stretch your entire comfort level to find out where your voice can go really anyway. We tend to think of our voices as pretty fixed but they really aren't aren't even without training. They can change quite a bit over time. If you go back and listen to the earliest episodes of your favorite podcasts. You'll probably be surprised at how different the host sounds. I'm I'm not gonNA play anyone else's show but I can't play mine. The first episode of Twenty Thousand Hertz really wasn't that long ago it was late two thousand sixteen and still I can hear a huge difference in my voice. It is horribly cringing for me anyway very reluctantly. Here's me from the first episode of Twenty Thousand Hertz Apple launched theory in two thousand and eleven with the iphone four s as the first interactive Automated Personal Assistant Siri changed what people thought their phones could do. She changed what they thought. Technology technology can do and she became an important part of the way that people interact with their phones. It's always weird to hear your own voice recorded but hearing an old version is even weirder are sound weird and unhappy and really sounds like I just got pulled out of bed at four o'clock in the morning and someone put a microphone in front of my face. It's weird you have to work so hard just a sound natural and this goes way beyond podcasting and voice acting. If you give a speech sure just want to communicate with your boss a lot of times. The feelings in your head just doesn't really translate much to the voice. I think everyone could benefit in some way by just practicing their own voice. I think that the voice is a really good expression of who we are. You know the expression. The eyes are the window to the soul. I think it's true of the voices voices well every voice is unique every person has his or her own unique sound and no matter how much training you give it it's still in expression of that person's. Inner Self Jessica says when you train your voice you gain a wider range of expression so people who work con expanding their vocal range they have more options for expressing themselves or what they're trying to communicate whether it storytelling or a presentation in a boardroom or giving an inspirational speech whatever it is even if it's just you know your Thanksgiving toast around the family dinner table just just having more options for color and tone and lyric and being able to express herself more fully and being able to express yourself more fully and more accurately is a pretty cool skill to learn. I think it's important for professional voice users to remember that the most important thing is to make a connection with your listener honor the more free and open and the more possibilities for expression the better we feel the better we individually feel physically emotionally and mentally and just know that everything that you have to offer is exactly enough and just to open that up and give yourself the range and the freedom to express what you have to say because everyone has a different perspective. Everyone has a different story. Everyone has a different view and everyone has a different voice so we want to hear them. <music>."