A lot can go into making a podcast.
Once you've done the prep, sourced the interviews, and found the perfect music – including a saucy little stinger or two during the episode – it's easy to forget about arguably the most important thing when it comes to presentation.
Warming up your voice is essential, not just for singers but for any professional vocalist. Here are a few tips to get you into the groove.
Humming and Singing
Try humming and even a singing a few scales – don't worry if you don't think you're any good, this is about getting you warmed up.
Try a few `lip trills', also known as ‘horse lips', by blowing on a P or B sound through soft lips. This helps to warm up and relax your mouth and lips.
You should find it easier to pronounce certain words and vowel sounds, and this takes some pressure off your vocal chords.
Relax Your Jaw
Your jaw controls the sound of your voice so you have to take care of it, too. Massage your cheeks with the palm of your hands until your jaw opens naturally. Try this a few times and it should actually feel easier to talk for an extended period.
Most of us only use the air at the top of our lungs, and we just refill them every few words or so. The problem here is you can be quickly out of breath after speaking a long sentence.
Plus, if you're not using your diaphragm, you're not using your voice's full potential. Let the air out!
Try not to forget to breathe normally during recording, and keep your shoulders low and your chest relaxed.
If you feel out of breath, stop talking and let some air in and out before you resume. You can always edit the pause out later.
Of course, you're going to be able to breathe better if your posture is good, and it's the same whether you record sitting down or standing up.
Imagine a camera looking down at your head from above – is it aligned with your back and shoulders?
It's important for your airflow not to be restricted to give your voice the best chance of flourishing.
If you record standing up, keep both feet flat on the ground, about shoulder-width apart. Keep your shoulders back and your chin up.
The rule of thumb is that every part of your body should be aligned the same way.
If you record sitting down, it's pretty much the same guidelines, but also keep your back off the chair, sitting toward the edge of your seat.
Avoid Cold Water
It seems so natural, doesn't it? A little sip of cold water to keep you fresh. Well, actually cold water can actually make your vocal cords clam up!
Truth be told, it's best to avoid caffeine and and nicotine for the same reasons. Your best bet is warm tea – not hot – or water served at room temperature.
Dairy's off the menu, too. It can coat your throat and make it more difficult to push out air through your vocal cords.
Let me know if that helps you or if you think I've missed something important. This has been episode 3 in the series – have you read episode 1 and 2 yet?
Podcast Presentation Skills Series Guide
Introduction – Hints and Tips
Chapter 1 – Formal but Friendly; hone your style and delivery in front of the mic
Chapter 2 – Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking
Chapter 3 – Learn to Breathe!
Chapter 4 – Get the Most From Your Interviews – preparation and control
Chapter 5 – Know Your Audience – what do they already know and/or want to hear?
Chapter 6 – Storytelling techniques – docudrama, magazine, the journey, retrospective
Chapter 7 – Talk to your audience – before and after. What do they like/ or want to hear?
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