I can remember meeting Patrick several years ago for our first voice coaching session. I told him that I host a podcast about funeral services called Funeral Radio and that I wanted to improve my presence on the microphone. It always has amazed me how some people like Joel Osteen or Morgan Freeman sound on air. They seem to have been given the gift of a full and resonant voice. After several sessions with Patrick and the development of a love for the voice, I have come to realize this is not true. These public figures have developed their voice over years of practice. They prepare their voices with mental and physical tactics to give them the strong and supple voices their audiences have come to enjoy. Getting started with Patrick’s coaching was an eye-opening experience and it showed me that I too could have a great voice. In every session, we started with a warm up and this was the part that really shaped my preparation with each podcast.
Whenever I’m preparing for a podcast, I always take time IN PRIVATE to exercise my voice. This is one of the most valuable take-aways I got from Patrick’s coaching. My first exercise is a yawn. The yawn is more like a drawn-out yawn, or ‘AH’ that allows me to open, stretch and relax my voice. This brings the voice past the extent of what it would normally reach on air, so that the range of my voice is being pushed. But more importantly it just gets the juices flowing.
I follow up the voice exercise with a facial exercise. So, when my yawn comes to an end, I follow-up with a super relaxed shake of my face and lips. Think of pushing your lips out and letting your lips and cheeks sway from side to side. This is exercise is just downright run, relaxing and feels amazing! It also gets your face ready for some heavy lifting.
I always take at least 15 minutes to get ready for a podcast. One of the things I like to do is forget about everything else going on and meditate. This puts me in a place where I’m only thinking about the podcast and topic. As the minutes count down, I get more serious about my role as a host and maintain the right state of mind through blocking distractions and exploring the guest.
Posture and Breath
Sitting up straight and trying to sound good is probably one of the mostly useful bits of advice I received from Patrick. Having a great voice is a choice and physical changes are required to get the most out of your speech. During my podcasts, I’m always sitting up straight and on the edge of my chair.
It’s amazing the quality of my presence and shows, when I take the podcast seriously. I sometimes go to the extent of thinking this is my last show and what would I want to leave behind. I’m never going to do my best work unless I’m living with intention. One of the best ways to have a better sounding voice is to have intent in your speech. You’re speaking dammit!
Be Loose, Have Fun and Entertain
I’ve found that my best podcasts are ones that I am not afraid to have fun and be open to the conversation. You may take your listeners on different forks in the road, regarding your conversation and that’s ok. Allowing yourself to preface an introduction or dig deeper on something that adds value to the conversation is going to make your content stand out and it’s going to add pitch and tone to your voice.
Tyler has been a friend and client of Patrick Muñoz for several years. He hosts podcasts on Funeral Radio, a podcast network for funeral professionals. He is also founder of Always Memorial, where he hosts the Funeral Celebrant Podcast and Amazing Departures. Learn more about Tyler Fraser here.