Communicating and speaking with power is, well, power.
And in “Speaking Pro” vocal coach Roger Love teaches how to speak in public settings, including stages, boardrooms, and televised interviews with confidence, power, and charisma.
About the Author: Roger Love is an American voice coach with decades of experience. He has coached many celebrities and famous singers, including Selena Gomez, Gwen Stephani, and self-help guru Anthony Robbins.
He is also the author of “The Perfect Voice“.
Breathing Is The #1 Fundamental of Voice
Speaking Pro starts first with the basics.
Which is great, because it means you don’t need to purchase or go through a beginner’s course first. You get everything into one: the fundamentals of voice, the exercises, and warm-ups, plus how to speak in public.
Breathing and speaking with air support are two fundamentals of voice because, of course, it’s air that fuels your voice.
I was familiar with diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes referred to as belly-breathing, but I still took away some new information, including:
- Breathe in normally: Don’t fill your belly to capacity like it’s going to explode. This is something I was doing wrong in my exercises: I forced air in until I was filled to capacity
- Only stomach when your stomach is coming in: that’s how you will support your voice with enough air. A good exercise is to count two 2 as your breath in, then count to 8 with your hand on your belly making sure that it’s coming in
The 6 Building Blocks of Voice
Roger Love lists six building blocks of voice.
These are the “levers” that you will work on depending on how you want to come across and what you want to communicate.
So for example Roger Love explains than when you are the leader or want to come across more authoritative, you speak with a lower pitch, lower melody, and higher tone (ie.: less air).
On the other hand, when you’re in a meeting and you’re not the leader, you don’t want to “outshine the master“.
So you speak with lower volume (you don’t want to overpower him), higher pitch (you don’t want to sound more alpha than he is), and faster pace (you don’t want to take more time than the leader).
PITCH: How high or low your voice sounds
- Speaking within your best pitch range will ensure that your voice sounds genuine
- Your voice pitch can provide an instant connection or disconnect with your listeners.
PACE: How fast or slow you speak
- A slow pace can communicate that you’re lethargic
- Too fast of a pace may sound restless.
- Controlling the pace of voice can help you appear intelligent, creative, spontaneous and surprising.
TONE: Determined by the amount of airy or edgy sounds you make
- An edgier tone can make you appear more forceful or strong
- A more airy tone can appear gentle or submissive
- A certain amount of airiness can be useful for suggesting that you’re friendly and accessible but it can easily undermine your credibility.
MELODY: A string of notes that are attached to one another
- To rise above the competition, you can use melody to connect with listeners and showcase your amazing content
- Used correctly, this can bring words to life, entertain, and engage audiences
- Monotone: a form of melody using only one note is not advised
- You’ll get best results if you spend time consciously varying the types of melody you use
VOLUME: How loud or soft you speak
- Volume enables you to control how others perceive your confidence and the importance of what you are saying
Middle Voice Allows You Reach & Connect Both Men and Women
The “middle voice” didn’t exist before Roger Love came up with the theory.
So, what’s this middle voice?
The middle sits in between “head voice” and “chest voice”. The head voice is higher, and more associated with femininity. While the chest voice is lower, and more associated with masculinity.
A good middle voice can go both into head and chest.
When you can draw from both chest and head voice, you get two big benefits:
- Your voice is “fuller”, and freer to move up and down
- You connect with both genders, more easily
That second point is was the most interesting for me, both from a persuasion point of view, and from this website’s perspective of self-empowerment.
Indeed, one of the values this website espouses, is that there is more power in understanding and being able to leverage both the feminine and masculine within the same individual.
And that’s something that our current culture largely misses on, encouraging women to behave more like men to be successful at work, and the manosphere encouraging men to neglect the feminine qualities.
See for example Elizabeth Holmes, trying too hard to talk like a man:
As Roger Love says, you shouldn’t see to defy your natural voice. You should work on your voice and make it sound as good as you can. And then embrace that.
The Emotion of A Speech: Start Happy, Than Grateful
And you want to start happy because it captivates and it draws people in.
And they will be wondering: what is he so excited about?
But happy is not about smiling or cracking jokes. As a matter of fact, Roger Love recommends you do not start your speech or talk with a joke.
“Happy” is about your voice tonality.
You make “happy” by going up with your tonality, speaking a slightly higher volume, and adding melody -“a ton” of melody, says Roger-.
As you progress, says Roger Love, you want to move into gratitude.
Gratitude speaks still a high-ish volume, but decreases the melody and slows down the words. Most of all, it stretches out the vowels.
This should all be done in the very beginning, before you move into the main content.
After you captured people’s attention, then you can move into the content.
As Roger Love says:
Give happy. Give grateful. Then you have their hearts, and then you have the rest of the time to deliver the rest of the speech.
Delivering Emotions: Avoid Acting To Make the Audience Feel
Some speakers try to deliver emotions by feeling them and acting them.
But that’s not what Roger Love recommends.
It comes across as fake when you try to embody your emotions. Trying to be angry as you “act” angry can end up looking silly.
Instead, you should focus on making the audience feel the emotion themselves, without necessarily embodying the emotion yourself.
There is much more power in showing controlled emotions, rather than overly re-enacting them.
And I agree with that.
Speaking With Charisma: Bringing Your Speech to Life
This was one of my favorite parts.
And I think this is what differentiates the great, charismatic presenters, and the average -or poor- ones.
The charismatic ones add “flavor” to their speech by changing rhythm, melody, or volume of certain key sentences or words.
Roger Love says there are three ways to emphasize anything in a sentence:
- Pace: faster or slower, also stretching out specific words or shortening them
- Melody: ascending, descending, or flat
- Volume: softer or louder
In Speaking Pro Roger Loves shows exactly how to make the keywords in your speech, and how to deliver them:
This will be useful to anyone, but especially to those who tend to deliver flatter and more monotone speeches and presentations.
Working the Stage to Connect With the Audience: The 5 Stage Spots
Roger Love explains how both singers and presenters should move on a stage.
To draw everyone in, you want to speak to your center, to your left, and to your right.
And when you are making your most important point, you want to step forward.
When you step back though, you should never give the audience your back. Stepping backward might also seem unnatural.
A better way instead is to go again to your right, then walk diagonally back to your left, and then again to the center, back to square 1. And you can start the process again.
Roger Love shows you how to execute this move while walking on an actual stage, which is great to learn.
Mastering Audience Participation
This was another great lesson in Speaking Pro.
Roger Love is not just good at teaching voice, but is also good with people and psychology. And it shows here.
Some of the takeaways:
- If you’re inviting people on stage, don’t wait for them to come to you, walk towards them: the stage is your house, and you want to meet them at the door
- If they are too scared, keep holding onto their hand and maybe put a hand on their back to provide a human connection
- If a guest on the stage says he’s angry and he disagrees with what you said, let them vent and answer gracefully
Roger Love showing how to encourage a shy or fearful individual you’ve just invited on stage
This lesson was also good to develop emotional intelligence.
How to Handle the Applause
Those among you who took speaking courses or who attended Toastmasters will know this.
But 90% of people don’t, so here it is for you:
- When the audience applauds as you’re walking up to speak, stand in your starting position for a second and just smile. After about two seconds, begin speaking
- After you speak, stand there and smile. The applause is a gift the audience wants to give TO you. If you walk off stage too soon, it’s as if you’re not willing to accept the gift of applause that the audience wants to give you
- When the applause starts to fade, bow or nod, say “thank you” and walk off the stage smiling
How to Interview Well
In this section, Roger Love explains how to interview in studios.
He explains both how to interview well as the interviewer, and as the interviewee.
Here are some takeaways:
- When your interviewer looks at the camera, you should, too
- Don’t fidget or draw attention to yourself while your interviewer is introducing you: that’s when he’s touting your horn, help viewers keep the focus on them, as they shine a spotlight on you
- When they ask you a question, begin answering the question while looking at the interviewer. Then, move your glance to the cameras. Continue to rotate your glance between looking at the interviewer and at the cameras based on the way your answer naturally segments itself
- Point your body at the camera and only rotate your head, shoulders, and upper torso towards your interviewer.
- Use melody to signal to the interviewer that you’re finished answering a question. For instance:
- Going down in melody signals that you’re done speaking
- Going up or staying on the same note communicates that you have more to say or are not yet finished with your response
How to Master Business Meetings
Some authors say that when you’re pitching your ideas to a room of people, you should zero in the only person who’s got the most power.
But I agree with Roger Love instead when he says that you should look at everyone while you speak.
As Roger says:
Never assume that anyone in the room doesn’t have influence
Furthermore, if you overdo it and ignore people too much, you risk coming across as an asshole.
Here are some tips if you are presenting your ideas in a business meeting:
- Look at people randomly: if you create patterns, you become predictable and you dull your speech. If you people know you’re not gonna look at them, they might get distracted
- Speak loud, at around a 7 on a scale from 1 to 10. But add melody, so it doesn’t seem like you’re angry
- Be on the happier side of the spectrum, which shows you’re not needy. You all have you need in your life, no matter what they decide. And you’re there to add value to their lives.
If you’re not the leader of the meeting
Roger Love understands power dynamics quite well.
As Robert Greene says, if you’re not the leader, it’s a good career strategy to take precautions not to make the leader feel threatened.
So, when your boss is in the room:
- Look a bit more often and longer to the leader
- Lean forward towards the leader, avoid sitting back
- Speak with a lower volume than the leader
- When it comes to pace, speak faster than the leader, let him be the slow alpha male of the room
- Make your gestures smaller than the big boss, allow him to take center stage
If you’re a total newbie and you’re sitting far away from the heavy hitter, it’s OK to move more and talk a bit more excitedly.
It’s good to show some passion.
- Use bullet points, don’t memorize: you need to have incredible acting skills to memorize a speech and make it sound natural and authentic. Better to prepare an outline of bullet points instead
- If you sit, make sure you keep your back straight and your chest open. If you cross your leg, med double sure that the upper body of your language is fully open
- The Mehrabian study
As a fastidious social scientist, I would note that it’s not always true that the words you choose only account for 7% of your communication.
- Some videos could have been higher resolution
Some of the videos might have been uploaded at higher resolution maybe. This is something I’d recommend the Roger Love team to look into. The current resolution is not a handicap in any way, but with higher resolution video, it might be even better.
- Some real-life examples?
One of the philosophies of this website is to teach with real-life examples. So I would have liked to also see some real-life examples of poor voice in a presentation, or of good use of voice.
On the other hand, Roger Love is so good at mimicking voices, that he is able to embody good and bad examples with his own voice.
- Great overview of effective public speaking
Speaking Pro covers public speaking from a voice point of view, of course, but also body language, connecting with the audience, as well as speaking with power and authority.
And does so across several different speaking environments, including business meetings, studio interviews, and speeches.
- New exercises even for foundations of voice
Even though I went through the basic voice course “The Perfect Voice“, I still learned a couple more good voice exercises.
For example, counting to 2 to breathe in, and counting to 8, while your stomach comes back in.
- You can download the mp3
God, I love this option!
- Professionally formatted
Speaking Pro is a premium course, and comes with the bells and whistle of a premium course, including a professionally formatted PDF.
See here an example:
You can see the PDF example here.
- More than just voice: very good on power dynamics
Obviously Speaking Pro focuses on voice and that’s where most of the added value comes from.
However, there was much more than voice, and Roger Love is very good at understanding people’s psychology as well as power dynamics.
His advice on putting people at ease, bonding and developing rapport, as well as communicating with power and political savvy is all spot on.
Speaking Pro Review
Speaking Pro combines the basic exercises of The Perfect Voice, plus all the added value on how to speak effectively
That “effectively” includes both how to bond and connect with the audience, how to speak power, charisma, and authority, and how to speak in a politically savvy way that makes your boss feel good.
I think than not just entertainers and public personas, but also most businesspeople would gain a lot in going through Speaking Pro.
As I repeat many times here, public speaking and presentations are part of the “executive skills” that will help you get into the boardroom.
Speaking Pro Discount
Speaking Pro is a premium product and there is no official discount.
But I will offer you one.
Here is how:
- Purchase Vocal Pro through my link
- I will get a commission at no additional costs to you
- After 30 days, the length of the guarantee, write to me
- Tell me the day you bought the program, and give me your PayPal coordinate -or any other popular payment processors
- As soon as I get the commission, I will send you 10% of the total course value as a thank you for visiting my website and sharing the love for self-development