Starting Foundations Voice and Diction Objectives To develop a more effective speaking voice through relaxation, proper breathing, and good posture To learn habits of good diction in order to develop distinctive, effective voices To use voice quality, pitch, volume, pause, and rate effectively in interpreting character, mood, and meaning. Basics and expectations of 'talent' Effective communication of intended message Delivery style that creates a connection with the intended target audience Effective and/or pleasing vocal qualities (cont.) Basics and expectations of 'talent' Delivery style that matches the content and message intent Attention-getting style of voice and/or delivery Accomplishes goal(s) of talent and/or client and/or supervisor Communicator personality, and ..... ? Voice and delivery basics Accent vs. dialect Correct pronunciation (phonetics? compare foreign language issues) Projection, rate, resonance, articulation, vocal variety, inflection and emphasis, tone / timbre / pitch, nasality, hoarseness, breathing through your diaphragm, optimum pitch Voice and delivery basics Singing comparison -- can everyone sing? Can anyone be talent? The technology: Correct use of microphones, addressing the camera in video productions. Focus Activity Who’s on first? Relaxation Proper sounds are made through vowel sounds and vowel sounds are made through a relaxed and open throat, jaw and lips. A tense or tight throat will cause hoarseness when you try to project your voice in practice or performance. Warm Ups Breath Control What is the difference between regular breathing and breathing for speech? Regular breathing The inhalation and exhalation periods are of equal length. Breathing for speech Requires a very brief inhalation period and a slow, controlled exhalation period. In breathing for speech, you should inhale through the mouth since this allows for more rapid intake of breath than through the nose. Controlled breathing is more important to a performer than deep breathing. Breathe from diaphragm? What does that mean? Means that the chest cavity stays relatively still, while the lower ribs rise and fall slightly. Requires less chest breathing Allows you to breathe more deeply Provides the control you need to project long passages without running out of breath. Practice this daily t be a good performer! Four characteristics of the Voice Must be used for effective voice: Quality Pitch Volume Rate Quality/Tone Individual sound of your voice You CAN learn to make the most of what you’ve got by keeping your throat open and controlling your breath. If your voice sounds harsh or raspy, it usually is the result of a closed throat. If your voice sounds breathy, you are probably using more breath than you need. Voice quality may also be affected by emotion Depends on the shape and size of your vocal mechanism, which you will not be able to change Tone is the vocal element you use to create different emotional colors when you speak or sing. Tone Exercises Pitch Relative highness or lowness of the voice at any given time Pitch is determined by the rapidity with which the vocal folds vibrate Most persons use only four or five notes in ordinary speaking, but a good speaker can use two octaves or more Pitch gives meaning to speech. Excited, interested, enthusiastic = higher pitch on important words to emphasize them and lower pitch on unimportant words to subordinate them Conflict increases, excitement stirs, comedy builds = higher pitch Variety in pitch is called INFLECTION Without variety in pitch, speakers are unable to hold the attention of their audiences. Overcome this by practice and conscious attention As a performer, you must learn to control the number, length, and direction of your pitch changes. Observe others – notice what different emotions do to the pitch of their voices Volume The relative strength, force, or intensity with which sound is made NOT loudness! Depends upon the pressure with which the air from the lungs strikes the vocal folds. Explosive and Expulsive What is the difference? Explosive – sudden sharp breath pressure – commands, shouts, loud laughter, screams Expulsive – pressure held steady, breath released gradually – used for reading long passages without loss of breath and in building to a dramatic climax Volume is used in combination with other voice characteristics to express various feelings Pause and Rate Use the punctuation in your speech for help in determining pauses. Logical and dramatic pauses demand thought and feeling on your part or you will not have your audience thinking and feeling with you. The speed at which words are spoken is called RATE Steadily increasing speed creates a feeling of tension and excitement Slow, deliberate delivery impresses the hearer with their significance. Diction/Articulation Diction refers to the selection and pronunciation of words Proper breathing technique, great tone, and perfect pitch will make no difference at all if you have poor diction Poor articulation is generally the result of carelessness and sluggish speech In performance, every word counts, unlike in everyday speech If your speech is to be an asset in your daily usage, you must use clear, correct, pleasing speech that carries well. Practice reading aloud daily Record and analyze your speech and the speech of others Vowel Sounds Spelling is not reliable for pronunciation Letter A Father Cat Came IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) Created to represent the sounds found in all languages Helpful when working with dialects Confusing Vowel Sounds Each word should sound different!!! Consonant Sounds Voiceless consonant – no vibration Voiced consonant – vibration Plosive, Fricative, Nasal – air is stopped and suddenly released Fricative – air passage is narrowed Nasal – mouth is completely closed; air through nose Plosive Avoid these common habits of sloppy speech: “Didn’t you?”, “Wouldn’t you?” and “Did you?” should be separated to avoid saying “Didncha?”, “Wouldnja?”, and “Didja?” Mumbling, muttering, or dropping words at the end of sentences and letters at the end of words Using the vocal apparatus, especially the tongue, in a lazy manner, resulting from indistinctness Being too meticulous, artificial, or theatrical Voice and Diction in Performance It is an performer’s responsibility to avoid spoiling lines by blurring pronunciation, muffling enunciation or speaking with a nervous rhythm Five Principles to Guide You: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Vowels are the sounds performers can work with in interpretation. Vowels can be lengthened, shortened, and inflected. Verbs are the strongest words in the language. Except for forms of be, verbs should be stressed. Look for “color words” in your copy – those that are vividly descriptive. Look especially for those words whose sounds suggest their meaning (onomatopoeias) such as crash, stab, grunt, splash. Rarely stress negative, pronouns, and articles. When a word or phrase is repeated, stress each repetition more than the preceding repetition. Tongue Twisters Rubber baby buggy bumpers To make the bitter batter better, Betty bought better butter, beating the better butter into the batter to make the batter better. The dedicated doctor diagnosed the dreaded disease as December dithers. Fickle fortune framed a fine finale for a fancy finish. Could a creeping cat keep crafty claws clear of kitchen curtains? Many mortals miss mighty moments more from meager minds than major mistakes. Some people say I lisp when I say soup, soft soap, or something similar, but I don’t perceive it myself. Round and round the ragged rock the rugged rascal ran. Which is the witch that wished the wicked wishes?