Week 4: Performance



Developing a natural news reading style requires the reader to avoid any extremes (Zurko 2016). The reader should not speak too fast, too slow, too robotic, too chirpy, too accented, too nuanced, too high-pitched or too silent (Zurko 2016).

In the news script recording from week one, my voice was croaky, my speaking pace was uneven and there was almost no inflection in my voice. Based on this attempt, I paid greater attention to using inflection while also better controlling my pace in the second recording of this script. While I did not feel nervous when recording this, my nerves became apparent through my voice. I rehearsed the reading multiple times and listened to each attempt to improve on mistakes. I also tried other techniques such as concentrating on my breathing and speaking more slowly to control my nerves (Ames 2016). The most difficult aspect of this recording was being able to use inflection appropriately.

After listening to the reading by Kate Stowell and paying close attention to her inflection, I tried to replicate this, although, I still do not sound as professional as Stowell. I tried opening my mouth wider when pronouncing words to sound more round and precise. Widening the mouth when speaking is a technique that allows the voice to project further and makes words sound full and strong (Munoz 2016). I also tried lowering the tone of my voice. Considering that I already have a reasonably deep voice for a female, I found this challenging.


In the 2013 film ‘In A World’, the protagonist, a female voice coach becomes successful as a voice over actor, a role predominantly filled by males. The film sheds light on how females have squeaky ‘baby’ voices which deters authority and negatively impacts others’ perception of them. The movie highlights the point that the most successful voice over actor is one with a very low, deep sounding voice which sounds smooth and does not break nor croak. This is an attribute that is achieved far easier by men than women.

According to Ames (2016), nerves, articulation, volume, projection and breathing are all common elements that affect people’s speech. The film touches on these technical issues, as the characters can be seen performing exercises to overcome them.

The protagonist can be seen breathing deep into her diaphragm for a deeper sounding voice. It appears as though she draws the deepest sound she can and holds this tone throughout the voice over.

Techniques shown in the film include placing a cork in the mouth while pronouncing vowels to achieve a more rounded sound. By placing a cork between the teeth, it forces the mouth to widen and ‘open up’ the pronunciation of words (Munoz 2016). It can also cause the speaker to tighten their mouth and adjust their breathing which can help with nerves (Munoz 2016).

Another technique used in the film is poking out the tongue while speaking. This exercise gets the tongue moving around and helps with articulation (Dugdale 2016). The more the tongue is utilitised when speaking, the more clearly the words are pronounced (Dugdale 2016).

In addition to this, the protagonist’s father and rival appears to massage the area surrounding the jaw while repeating the words ‘my my my’. This method is used to relax the muscles and remove tension around the throat and mouth (Willoughby et al. 2016). By doing this, the speaker is less likely to show signs of strain or voice breakage during the delivery of speech (Dugdale 2016).

While these methods for improved speech may seem meagre, the overall results can dramatically advantage those whose speech difficulties adversely affect their educational, emotional and occupational development (Willoughby et al. 2016). In addition, those who are able to use their voice to the height of its ability are also more likely to overcome nerves and gain confidence in speaking to an audience.

While this film may be fictional, the techniques and detail given to achieving a great voice do exist and are executed commonly within industries that practice speech throughout society.


Ames, K 2016, COMM12033, Speech & Script: Performance, CQU, Rockhampton, accessed 23 March 2016, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/293232/mod_resource/content/6/COMM12033_Week4_Mod.pdf

Dugdale, S 2016, Tongue Exercises for Articulationhttp://www.write-out-loud.com/tongue-exercises-for-articulation.html

Dugdale, S 2016, Tongue Exercises for Articulation, accessed 30 March 2016, http://www.write-out-loud.com/tongue-exercises-for-articulation.html

Munoz, P 2016, Using The Cork, accessed 28 March 2016, http://patrickmunoz.com/voice-exercises/using-the-cork/

Willoughby, K, Chan, B & Marques S 2016, European Journal of Operational Research, Using simulation to test ideas for improving speech language pathology services, vol. 7, pp. 41-45, accessed 25 April 2016, http://vs7pm8vz2k.search.serialssolutions.com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/?sid=36520&genre=article&issn=03772217&title=European%20Journal%20of%20Operational%20Research&atitle=Innovative%20Application%20of%20O.R.%3A%20Using%20simulation%20to%20test%20ideas%20for%20improving%20speech%20language%20pathology%20services&author=Willoughby%2C%20Keith%20A.&authors=Willoughby%2C%20Keith%20A.%3BChan%2C%20Benjamin%20T.B.%3BMarques%2C%20Shauna&date=20160716&volume=252&issue=2&spage=657

Zurko, N, 2016, How To Read The News Like A Professional News Anchor, New York Film Academy, accessed 25 April 2016, https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/how-to-read-the-news-like-a-professional-news-anchor/


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