Every time we open our mouths, we have an effect on ourselves and the way others perceive us. The ability to speak clearly and confidently can make or break a presentation, an important meeting, or even a first date.
Now, with the advent of Skype, YouTube, podcasting, Vine, and any number of reality talent competitions, your vocal presence has never been more necessary for success or more central to achieving your dreams. Roger Love has over 30 years of experience as one of the world's leading authorities on voice.
Making use of the innovative techniques that have worked wonders with his professional clients, Love distills the best of his teaching in Set Your Voice Free, and shares exercises that will help readers bring emotion, range, and power to the way they speak.
This updated edition incorporates what he's learned in the last 15 years as the Internet and talent competitions have completely changed the role your voice plays in your life. These are the new essentials for sounding authentic, persuasive, distinctive, and real in a world that demands nothing less.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The very last thing I thought I'd ever need was a singing coach. After all, I've never been able to carry a tune. But several years ago, a string of events led me to Roger Love, and I will be forever grateful for the changes he's made in my voice.
Let me go back to the beginning. In December of 1996 I got a bad cold, several weeks of postnasal drip topped off with Christmas time bronchitis and laryngitis. It seemed to clear up, and then, one night, right after doing a great three-hour show, I got up to leave the studio and found that I could barely croak out a "See you tomorrow" to my engineer. I was stunned! What had happened to my voice? I'm a radio talk show host and a virtual chatter machine except when I'm sleeping, so for me this was no casual loss. I have to have my voice.
My husband took me to the Speech Pathology Clinic at UCLA, where they used a special device to watch my vocal cords as they worked. As worried as I was, it was fascinating to see my cords undulating right there on the television monitor. The cords were red and swollen, but the diagnosis was a relief: it was simply laryngitis. They recommended two weeks of silence. Two weeks of silence! It was almost unthinkable.
I didn't go gently into that two weeks, this is my career we're talking about. And in spite of what the doctors said, that this was just a virus, I kept worrying that I might be dealing with a recurring or chronic problem. Let's just say that when you play the violin pro-fessionally, even a slight wrist problem can loom as a huge potential threat.
I was relieved to have a voice when I was finally allowed to talk. One problem,though. I couldn't figure out how to use it, or where it was in pitch and tone. Believe it or not, I had forgotten how to talk normally. Afraid that I'd have another relapse, I spoke softly and low, thinking that was the way to protect my throat. I was so careful that I became self-conscious about every speaking moment. I didn't dare risk inflections or volume, which robbed my presentation of all of its usual playfulness. A few program directors who heard me during that time remarked to my company that I sounded depressed. I probably was.
My husband thought I needed some rehabilitation to get back my confidence and vocal strength, and our exercise trainer mentioned that his daughter was taking singing lessons from a fellow who, she said, "is a genius at helping people with vocal problems." That person was Roger Love. I grudgingly went, feeling as though this would probably be about as useful as going to a witch doctor. I was wrong. At my first lesson, Roger asked me why I was whispering. I told him I was afraid of hurting my voice. He explained the interplay of vocal cords and air and told me that too much air (as in whispering) damages, instead of protects, the cords. I almost fainted. He went through a series of vocal exercises with me, an expression of great concentration on his face, as though he could hear each individual vibration. Frankly, I think he can.
He told me the state of my vocal cords (healthy) and that he could help me find and improve my normal speaking voice. Once a week for an hour, we worked at the piano with exercises I found challenging and a little embarrassing. He gave me a practice warm-up tape to use each day before the program. And he reassured me that I had a vocal apparatus of iron and that I should trust it. It took several months, but I regained both my confidence and my vocal strength and placement. Roger was patient and kind and boy, did he know his stuff! I am grateful for his expertise and humanity. In the years since our meeting, I have had only one head cold that took out my voice (thanks to my twelve-year-old son's generosity with viruses), and Roger was right there every day, doing exercises aimed at stretching the swelling out of the cords. I missed only one day of work, and that was simply out of caution.
Roger Love is incredibly knowledgeable and experienced with both the speaking and the singing voice. He knows what to do to help with just about any voice problem. That makes him a master mechanic. What makes him even more special is his sincere concern for people. He'll help you through emergencies and keep you going with pep talks.
It is a fact that his many years of experience with thousands of voices, combined with his G_d-given abilities, make Roger the incredible voice "therapist" that he is. If it's broken, he'll help you fix it, and if it's not broken, he'll help you make it better. I started out a cynic. I ended up a grateful student. I had never realized how much our ability to speak comfortably and correctly matters to our psyches and our effectiveness in communication. My experience with Roger's teaching has been productive and enjoyable. I'm certain that your experience with this
Table of Contents
Preface to the Expanded Edition ix
Chapter 1 Your Best Voice 3
Chapter 2 How Do I Sound? 18
Chapter 3 Breathing 34
Chapter 4 The Miracle of Middle Voice 51
Chapter 5 How to Practice 70
Chapter 6 Staking Claim to Middle 83
Chapter 7 Making Your Speaking Voice Sing 97
Chapter 8 Songs without Fear 113
Chapter 9 The Care and Feeding of Great Voices 130
Chapter 10 Essential Extras for Singers 150
Chapter 11 Standing Out in a World Shaped by American Idol 172
Chapter 12 Going Big When You Sing 185
Chapter 13 Creating Your Own Material: Yes You Can 198
Chapter 14 Essential Extras for Speakers 207
Chapter 15 The New World of Presentation 227
Chapter 16 Secrets of the Internet Stars 239
Chapter 17 Breakthrough Techniques for Stuttering and Spasmodic Dysphonia 253
Chapter 18 The Healing Power of Voice 262
A Note About the Author 299