The Private Man

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Fix Your Damned Voice

There isn’t a great deal of Game discussion that goes into the details of how a man sounds when he speaks and the confidence, or lack thereof, that is projected by that sound and speaking quality.

This is not a discussion of making public speeches. That’s oratory and I’m not asking a man to give a speech with pebbles in his mouth (ancient Greek history reference). This is also not about word choice and vocabulary. It’s about the sound and rhythm of how a man speaks in ordinary conversation.

When a man opens his mouth to speak, he’d better be ready. Remember the classroom scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? “Bueller… Bueller…Bueller”. Don’t be that guy. Here are some pointers and generalized advice:

1. Don’t be a low talker. Speak loudly enough so that you can be heard. If anyone (who isn’t hard of hearing) listening keeps saying “what?” then you’re speaking too softly. Rather than getting annoyed with the listener, just speak a bit louder.

2. Don’t be a shouter, either. Of course, if Game involves loud clubs, yelling is almost a necessity. The answer to that? Don’t user verbal Game in loud clubs. Duh.

3. “Um” and “Er” are the killers of perceived confidence to the listener. These monosyllabic interruptions are simply irritating. A confident man must be in control of his words. “Um” and “Er” shows a complete lack of control. Ask your male friends if they think you’re using too many vocalized interruptions like that. If yes, here is a good way to get rid of them – buy a desk bell (like in old hotels) and invite some friends over for beer and pizza. Assign one person to ring the bell every time you say “um” or “er” as the conversation flows. For the first 20 minutes, it will be fucking annoying to hear that bell. But after 30 minutes or so, you’ll find yourself cleaning up your vocalized interruptions. You’re welcome.

3. Speak not too slowly nor too fast. Again, ask your male friends about this. “Dude, you talk too slowly” might be the response. Listen to those male friends. If you’re speaking too quickly or too slowly, listen to your own words as you speak. It’s not easy to do and could actually interrupt your train of thought and what you are saying. Working on your voice takes practice.

4. Avoid the monotone get some rhythm. Use your voice almost like an actor. Raise and lower the tone of your voice when you’re telling a story or making a statement. There is a rhythm and a beat to good speaking. Knowing when to use a short pause (one beat) or a longer pause (two or even three beats) is crucial. Remember, this is not about making speeches. It’s about coming across as confident in ordinary conversation.

5. Try to keep a regional accent under control. A thick, regional accent can often be used against you if you’re in “polite” company. Those thick accents can all too easily reveal a humble educational background. This means you, Johnny Milfquest (inside joke with another blogger).

I don’t pretend to be a speech therapist. As well, if you’re challenged by a high voice or a serious stutter, I can’t really help. Regardless, a good voice can go a very long way to presenting a confident frame.

Next up, you might sound great but you suck at picking words.

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13 thoughts on “Fix Your Damned Voice

  1. Good advice all. I’d add a 5a, though: Don’t affect an accent or dialect or patois. Yeah, I know, most of us got past doing that to be cool back in grade 8, but you’d be surprised at the otherwise rational adults who still give this a try. Stop. If you’re not Sean Connery or 50 Cent or Dr. Phil, don’t try to sound like them. You won’t fool anybody, least of all someone who grew up around that manner of speech. This is one of those few times where “just be yourself” really IS good advice,

  2. wingman on said:

    also – do not speak too much.

  3. This is really good advice.

    Funny you mention actors. Hugh Grant was on Question Time last night and it was interesting how his voice is irl compared to the characters he usually plays.

    Here’s part of it

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  6. Also, guys: No uptalking. It was bad enough when just women were doing it.
    If you’re still in school, consider college radio. I wasn’t that great at the time but it did teach me to speak more effectively.

  7. A.B. Dada on said:

    I know some voice actors who actually had testosterone injections to lower their voices.

    You can do it naturally by working out with heavy weights (especially squats). If I listen to some of my audio recordings from my lowest T points in my life, there is an obviously higher register in my speaking than today.

  8. This goes into more details than I originally thought. It doesn’t only address fillers but overall oral skills.

    In my post, I’d spoken about dude who have weak-sounding voices and use the wrong choice of words at the wrong time; like @ a job interview.

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