Sounding monotone is the easiest way to bore people. So let’s take a look at how we can pour rainbow and sunlight from our mouth!
Here is a brief list of tips that will help you to make your voice sound less monotone:
- Varying pitch
- Word stretching
- Diaphragm breathing
- Facial expressions
- Body language
- Change in pace
- Practicing reading script
- Vocal exercises
- Recording yourself
- Changing the distance from the microphone
- Avoid harsh compression
Now let’s look at it in more depth.
Don’t use the same pitch all the time. Keep varying between normal, lower and higher pitch.
Lower pitch voice is perceived as more dominant and aggressive while a higher voice is viewed as less confident.
You can try using Vocular app to measure whether your pitch is monotone or not.
Pauses are essential to not sound monotone!
You can use pause when trying to emphasize something you’re saying, or to show that you’re thinking of what you are about to say.
Don’t be afraid of using pauses, that’s very natural in day to day interactions and will make your voice-over or speech sound more natural.
Similarly to pauses, stretching words creates the impression that you are thinking. Stretch such words as “aaaaand…”, “soooo….”, “I…”.
It occurs naturally in our day-to-day interactions, don’t shy away from implementing it in your voice-overs and speeches, when we speak naturally our voice and rhythm tend to fluctuate a lot. Stretching will help you to shift the rhythm and pace and eventually not sound like a monotone robot.
As simple as it sounds, breathing is one of the keys for getting rid of monotone voice.
Shallow breaths cause your voice to sound tiny and weak. Learn to breathe correctly and your voice will start filling up the room and give you more room to work with.
Learn how to breathe through diaphragm. When breathing you should feel your belly filling in due to diaphragm pushing down and making space for more air to come into your lungs.
You can read this article on how to strengthen diaphragm for more information: https://voiceovertip.com/how-to-strengthen-diaphragm/
Facial expressions affect how you feel and how you sound. If you want to convey happy emotions when speaking, try smiling. Do the opposite when you need to sound sad.
It’s hard to sound sad when you are smiling and vice versa. Use it to your advantage when you need to convey a certain emotion. Voice will follow the body.
Apply body language
Even if you are just standing in front of a microphone and nobody sees you, don’t be afraid to use body language.
You want to embody the character you are playing. Conveying appropriate body language will help you to feel closer to the character you’re conveying and get rid of a bland monotone voice.
Change the pace
Don’t stick with one pace. If you are speaking about something sad or melancholic, do it slowly. However, if you are trying to depict an action scene, rush your voice to convey urgency and haste.
Keep varying the pace depending on what you’re speaking about.
Practice reading script
Practice makes it perfect. You may know all the tricks on how to make your voice not to sound monotone, however, it is a practice that will help you to do it without ever thinking of it.
Keep reading various books and scripts to practice sounding vivid. Take famous movie quotes, or dialogues from books and try to repeat them to your best capabilities. Add your own personality to it.
For more challenge, try reading instructions and manuals. If you can make it sound interesting, you’re doing good.
Your voice may sound monotone due to a lack of resonance in your voice. Try doing vocal exercises to extend your vocal range and improve your voice quality.
Here are a couple of exercises that will help you to develop a more pleasant and richer voice:
- Lips rolls
- Tongue twisters
- Tongue rolls
- Neck stretching
For more exercises and tips regarding how to make your voice sound better read the following articles:
Recording yourself is a great way to assess your flaws and how you can improve. When reading scripts or preparing a presentation just record yourself.
Work on flaws that you notice and record over again to see whether you improved. At first, it may look daunting and silly, but it’s paramount to get better at this and lose a monotone voice.
Change the distance from the microphone
If you are recording or speaking into the microphone, you can make use of the proximity effect, especially if you’re using a dynamic microphone.
Proximity effect makes your voice sound deeper the closer you get to the microphone. Which means you can change how you sound without even changing the pitch, microphone will do it for you.
Also, the closer you get to the microphone the more intimate it will sound. When you get closer to the mic it seems as if you are speaking closer to the person who is listening.
Just be careful not to breathe hard into the microphone as that will cause plosives.
Finally, if you are recording your voice-over, don’t overly compress it. Some compression is okay, however, try to limit the compression ratio to 4:1 or less.
Adding too much compression to your voice will make it sound dull and monotonous.