Better Voice Projection and Modulation

When I was just starting off as a lector and commentator in our parish, I was looking for ways to improve. I took on assignments to challenge myself and learn more and become an all-around lay minister for the Lectors and Commentators Ministry.

Usually, the newbies would start of as Sunday lectors and then commentators. I took a step further and became a weekday lector and commentator. I also became a commentator for the sacrament of baptism. Later on, I became a commentator for wedding masses. I've also taken on commentator roles for funeral masses on a couple of occasion.

How to Improve One's Voice

One of the facets of speaking that I wanted to improve is the voice - the speaking voice itself. I've always been impressed by those radio commercials with the characteristically pleasing voiceovers, as well as the deep modulated voices of male radio disc jockeys.

My question then was how can I sound like them? Well, genetics-wise, there's nothing much I can do with the speaking voice I was born with.

But I thought, maybe there is a way to change how I projected my voice through modulation to improve it in a way that it sounds more pleasing to listeners. After all, don't these radio disc jockeys modulate their voices to sound better?

The Man with the Golden Voice

You've probably seen him on TV or on viral videos in social media. If not, his deep voice is probably one that is familiar since it's particularly pleasing for TV commercials.

The first time I heard the story of the homeless man named Ted Williams, I thought his voice sounded very familiar, like from an old-time TV commercial. "That a super awesome radio voice!", I said to myself. It's the kind of voice that I wanted to hear over and over.

From then on, that voice became my inspiration to improve my own.

Training the Speaking Voice and Practice in Weekday Masses

In the first couple of weeks that I've taken on the weekday masses as commentator, I was pretty sure that my voice was sort of adjusting to the rigors of twice a week masses, excluding the Sunday masses. It felt different considering that I was assigned mostly on the morning slot - 6 am.

After a month, it seemed like I was trying to strain my voice every time I spoke as commentator. I was using the "head voice" and I wasn't exactly sure if that was the technique if I'm to succeed in trying to improve my speaking voice as a commentator.

Then something struck me. There are only a few churchgoers during the weekday masses, most especially, the morning masses. Why don't I try an experiment? And this was to experiment modulating my voice.

And so for the next month, that's what I did. It felt a bit awkward at first. But then nobody seemed to notice a change in the way I spoke over the microphone.

Result of Voice Modulation to Improve

The first thing I noticed with my voice modulation experiment wasn't how I sounded differently. It was how I FELT differently.

Remember the "strain" on the voice I was referring to earlier? Well, after a month of voice modulation, I didn't feel that strain in my voice anymore. In fact, what I was thinking after the roughly one-hour mass service is over is "I could talk like this for several hours more!"

Why do I say so? Well, I think the secret is being able to talk in a low modulated voice and using the microphone for maximum results.

(See Part 2 for the continuation of this article)