Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #319 – The 80% Rule for Big Voices

This happens fairly regularly when I start working with someone who’s been blessed with a “big” voice.

Almost without fail, these guys have been told all their lives what wonderful voices they have, and it’s really hard for a lot of them, especially in smaller markets, to resist “using” that big chamber too much, or in the wrong way, or for the wrong reasons.

Some thoughts to help you:

  1. You’ll never be “king of the hil’.”  There’s always someone with a bigger voice than you.
  2. Often, big voices, when they try to sound excited, come across too “over the top” because it’s not the range they’ve worked on the most.  It’s easy to slide into the “circus barker” delivery.  (Ick.)
  3. And almost always, the very lowest register of the Big Voice Guy isn’t very ear-friendly.  Yes, a big, powerful voice on a Classic Rock station’s Imaging SEEMS like the way to go, but really… not so much.  It’s become more of a cliché – even a cartoon, now.  So I tell those guys to AVOID the very lowest they can go.

When you chop off the “not really authentic” top of the range, and then lop off the “fake Morgan Williamson or James Earl Jones” wannabe sound, all you’ve really done is take out the 10% from the top and the 10% from the bottom that makes you sound less real, anyway.  That still leaves you with plenty of room in the remaining 80% of your range to do the real work – exploring and LEARNING about your voice… what your real strengths are, how to improve (but not overdo) your inflection, how to just “be the guy who would say that” instead of trying to “impress” someone with how beautiful your so-called “pipes” are.

And as I’ve said many times over the years in various tips, you automatically take away two areas of concern that only great big voices have – sounding either tired, or angry.

You can always “go to the well” for effect when you need it, but chances are you never will.  The guys with huge voices who learn NOT to “use” them, and just talk, instead, sound much more real and approachable.

Tommy Kramer

About Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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