02: Do Your Resonators Buzz?

Hi, and welcome back. I’m Elaine Clark, voice-over performer and speech communication coach for over 40 years, author of There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is and Voice-Overs for Podcasting, app creator of Activate Your Voice and Adding Melody To Your Voice, and host of the Real Talking Tips podcast where we explore ways to strengthen the speaking voice and improve the way we interact with people through speech and body language.

Welcome to the second of 52 RealTalkingTips​ ElaineClarkVO​ Speech Communication micro learning lessons. This episode focuses on the voice, resonators, and speech improvement. Resonators have the ability to add intensity and depth to the voice. When specific letters of the alphabet and letter combinations “buzz,” the sound and tone of the voice improves. “Voice: Resonators” is the first of a 4-part Speech Clarity and Voice Quality mini-series.

Strengths and Weaknesses notebook

I hope you did your homework assignment from last week. Be honest. Were you surprised by what you wrote in your ‘Strengths & Weaknesses’ list? Or, have you always known those things about yourself. Owning and recognizing who you are and what makes you tick is the first step in making changes and patting yourself on the back for a job well done.

The focus of the Voice Improvement Real Talking Tips episodes 2-5 is on improving the quality, diction, breath-support, and richness of the speaking voice.

If you haven’t already done so, download the Elaine Clark app: Activate Your Voice. It’s only 99-cents and it’s an effective 5-minute speech workout! The four sections of the app include resonators, voice strengthening, articulation, and enunciation. [By chance, were any of these on your ‘Strengths and Weakness’ list?]

Each section you’ll be guided through a series of vowels, consonants, breath-support, mouth, teeth, and tongue movements. Using Activate Your Voice is a great centering method before going into a meeting, recording a script or podcast, or giving a speech. In fact, the mother of a Down Syndrome child who defiantly quit talking had her child use the Activate Your Voice app every day to make sure her daughter could still make sounds and form words once she decided to speak again… which she eventually did.

Real Talking Tips episode 2 focuses specifically on the Resonators – sounds that have a buzz. Resonators are the M, N, L, V, Z, NG, ONG, and R sounds. Each resonator placement is discussed and then you’re encouraged to follow along and sound out each resonator. It’s also recommended that you use the specific body muscles, movements, and gestures that are demonstrated to create and hold the resonator buzz. Increasing the volume over 10-12 seconds also increases breath support and supports a stronger speaking voice.

Come back and revisit Real Talking Tips – Episode 2 if you want to improve your speaking voice and get the maximum amount of buzzing action from each of the 8 resonator sounds, sustain each resonator for 10-12 seconds, and get louder as you push more air through to the end, utilizing the stomach muscles and demonstrated movements.