Train Your Voice to Sound Like a Queen
It’s One of the Most Important Parts of Preparing to Win
Training your voice to sound like a winner is one of the most important parts of preparing to be a titleholder. Yet is shockingly overlooked by many pageant contestants. Unfortunately, many young women don’t realize that a voice can be improved with help from a speech or theater coach.
“Speech therapy is wonderful,” says Cheryl Prewitt Salem, who worked hard to improve her voice in order to win the 1980 Miss America title:
“I went to the speech teacher at my university. It didn’t cost me a thing. He volunteered a couple of hours a week to help me with my diction, intonation, and placement-not to help me lose who I was, but to change my voice enough that I was comfortable with it. You never want to change who you are but to be the best you can be.”
In addition to working with experts, a pageant contestant can improve her voice by recording herself chatting on the phone or in another relaxed situation, study the tape of her voice, and work to make improvements. For example:
- You need air to speak well. Take a full breath before beginning to speak.
- Speak at a moderate pace. Fast speakers sound nervous.
- But don’t speak too slowly either. Very slow speakers sound boring.
- Enunciate the end of each word.
- Don’t let your sentences “fade out” softly.
- Soften any regional “twangs” (they sound too nasal). Women’s southern accents often have this tendency.
- Don’t end a sentence on a high note as if you were asking a question.
- Practice copying the voice styles of professionals like Diane Sawyer.
Speaking Habits to Avoid
Dr. Lillian Glass’s research on voice revealed that verbal habits like those listed below irritated two-thirds of listeners, so work at avoiding annoying verbal traits and phrases such as:
- she’s like (“She’s like, it was so funny.”)
- he goes (“He’s goes, it was so funny.”)
- ya know (“It was, ya know, so funny.”)
- I mean (“I mean, it was so funny.”)
- Like (“It was, like, so funny…”)
- ta (to) (“I am going ta major in…”)
- s’cuse me (excuse me?)
Don’t sabotage your chances by turning off the judges with your voice. Speak like a winner.
Listen to these gorgeous speaking voices below:[clear-line]
Related: > Part 1: Is Your Voice Turning Off the Judges?[clear-line]