24: Enhance Your Speech Communication and Voice Over Performance with Elaine A. Clark’s Real Talking Tips Podcast!

The speaker’s large and small Power Box is the 2nd of 4 in this Real Talking Tips speech communication micro-learning series. This time, rather than the speaker’s “stage area” being vertical, the big vs. small power box is horizontal or square. The width and size of the horizontal power box is dependent on the message. When the message is intimate and subdued, the smaller the speaker’s gestures and movements are within that confined area. Dynamic and inclusive messages require the speaker to use a wider and broader area to expand their gestures and the power of their voice. Once again, defining the appropriate size and shape of the power box focuses the speaker’s message, voice, and intended audience response.

To view this Real Talking Tip, click the video. To listen, select the audio podcast or your preferred audio player in the icon below.

The Horizontal Power Box
Using the High vs. Low Vertical Power Box results in a higher or lower voice and an up and down speaking style. The Big vs. Small Horizontal Power Box adds intimacy or broadness to the speaking voice. I’m voice over and business communication coach Elaine Clark, and welcome to the second in this four-part Real Talking Tips speaker’s power box micro-learning speech communication lesson.

Why is the Power Box shape important? The imaginary walls that confine the gestures and movements increase the intensity, direction, and focus of the spoken words and overall message. In Real Talking Tips episode 1, you were asked to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. If you wrote that your speech and performances are inconsistent, defining the power box area of your message can help address that issue.

If you’re a podcaster, voice actor, presenter, business executive, sales associate, or need to communicate better with your team, pay close attention to these next two sections.

Cartoon of a woman on stage with a box with words Big, Small and Powerbox

Power Box: Large and Small Stage

The width and size of the horizontal power box is dependent on the speaker’s message and the desired audience response. When the message is intimate and subdued, the smaller and softer the speaker’s gestures and movements are within that confined area. A small power box area can also be used to add intensity when the tension in the muscles increases and more strength is given to those little movements and gestures.

Presenters, public speakers, and voice actors usually position the power box at waist level. But, as discussed in Real Talking Tips episode 23, the hand placements can be raised to a higher position to achieve a higher voice or lowered to achieve a lower voice. In whatever small central body location you choose, the shape of the small power box is horizontal or square.

SMALL POWER BOX

I encourage you to follow along as we explore the small power box.

1. First, define the performance stage area. Use your hands to draw or outline the shape of the square or horizontal power box. To feel comfortable in that space, move your hands and gestures within that small area. Imagine the invisible walls prevent your hands from extending outside that small space.

2. Next, practice an intimate or compassionate voice quality by relaxing the hand muscles and gestures inside that small power box. Say the line,

“My hands are relaxed and the gestures are inside this small power box.”

3. Then, tighten your muscles, extend your fingertips, and use more deliberate and sharp movements. Within the same size small power box, say the line,

“The muscles in my hands are tense and my fingertips are extended in this small intense power box.”

4. Now, create a story arc with your hands within this small power box. By that, I mean that you start with relaxed hand movements and progressively add muscle tension to create a strong ending. Or, start with intense hand movements and loosen the muscles progressively to the end.

Practice these two examples.
– Strong to soft hand movements:

“This is the arc of the story.”

– Soft to strong hand movements:

“This is the arc of the story.”

LARGE POWER BOX

For a larger speaker power box, own the space that you plan to use.

1. Extend the hands out on either side of your body to establish a large size power box shape. With your hands, define the height of the power box as well as the large space inside.

2. Next, practice a gentle and inclusive broader voice quality by relaxing the hand muscles and gestures inside that big power box. Say the line,

“My hands are relaxed and the gestures are inside this large power box.”

3. For a more deliberate and dynamic voice quality, tighten your muscles, extend your fingertips with more deliberate and sharp movements. Within the same size big power box, say the line,

“The muscles in my hands are tense and my fingertips are extended in this large intense power box.”

4. To create a story arc with your hands within this big power box, start with broad gestures and relaxed hand movements and end with strong, intense movements. Or, begin with intense hand movements and progressively loosen the muscles to the end.

Practice these two examples.
– Strong to soft hand movements:

“This is the arc of the story.”

– Soft to strong hand movements:

“This is the arc of the story.”

You can use the power box to add emotional consistency to your overall message. Or, take the audience on an emotional journey from one emotion to a completely different emotion. Choosing your style, muscle strength, and the area for your gestures helps define and focus your message.

Cartoon of a small city - How to Choose Your Style Power Box

How to Choose Your Speech Power Box.
How does the speech power box apply to podcasters, voice actors, presenters, business executives, sales associates, or anyone who wants to communicate better with their friends, family, or team?
1. It helps engage the whole body.
2. The shape of the movements correlates to the size, emotion, and scope of the message.
3. Invisible power box barriers focus the message.

For some, the power box area will change shape based on each specific job or situation. For others, it will remain constant and the expected style your audience accepts and appreciates.

Based on your work or personal needs, here are two practice assignments:
1. Choose your style power box. Define the most effective Power Box size and intensity that matches the speaking engagement or voice-over recording.
2. If you have multiple styles, create “characters” that use specific shapes, physical locations, and emotions.

As always, the goal is to create muscle memory so your body knows what to do in various speaking engagements. With muscle memory comes trust, confidence, playfulness, and focus. Become a speaker “athlete” who trusts the body will do the right thing. Practice these and other Real Talking Tips to gain confidence and quit waiting for the brain to process the information and catch up with the body.

Elaine-Clark-VO-Real-Talking-Tips-Logo

Thanks for being part of the Real Talking Tips community where the goal is to understand, explore, practice, and improve speech communication! The most important thing is YOU and how Real Talking Tips, my books There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is and Voice-Overs for Podcasting, and my two apps Activate Your Voice and Adding Melody to Your Voice can improve your speaking voice, confidence, and message.

  • I only ask that you take a moment to click the YouTube video to Subscribe and Ring the Bell for notifications.
  • You can also listen and download the audio podcasts by clicking this icon in the audio player below the video to select your favorite way to listen.
  • To share this episode, use the social media links in the purple bar below.

Tune in to Real Talking Tips Episode 25 where we’ll explore a new “Power Box” speech area.