30: Improve Your Speaking Voice with Real Life Advice from Speech Communication, Business, Podcast, and Voiceover Coach, Elaine A. Clark.

Ready to sprinkle in a wiggle, sizzle, jazz hands, and voice shimmer when you say keywords? The 4th of 11 Word Emphasis – Real Talking Tips speech communication mini-series lessons – gets your hands, head, shoulders, toes, and derriere ready to move! Listen, watch, and practice along. Create a specific sound, pitch, and attitude. Add more variety to your speaking voice. Each element of the Word Emphasis Chart [introduced in Real Talking Tips Episode 27] adds speech variation and attitude to spoken words and phrases! Wiggling different parts of your body is also a fun warm-up that can put a twinkle in your eye before talking, recording, or meeting someone.

In the last three Real Talking Tips – Word Emphasis episodes, we added a • dot , Arrow Up arrow it up icon and Caret Up up caret icon, Arrow Down arrow down2 and Caret Down caret it down2 to key words and phrases. Practice along with this Real Talking Tips podcast, my Elaine Clark Adding Melody To Your Voice app,

Click the video to watch or select the audio podcast by clicking start or selecting the audio player in the icon below.

Each element of the Word Emphasis Chart adds variety and attitude to important words and phrases! An engaging speaker uses not only their voice but their whole body to inform, motivate, and connect with their audience. The job of an effective speaker is to create active listeners. So, you’re not just talking TO someone… you’re having a conversation WITH each individual person. You may have noticed that many people use VOLUME and LOUDNESS to get the message across or make a point. Nuance and variety in speech is much more effective.

The Word Emphasis Chart draws attention to how we speak and move everyday so it can be used strategically in conversation, speech, meetings, podcasts, and voiceovers. So far, we practiced adding a • dot , Arrow Up arrow it up icon and Caret Up up caret icon, Arrow Down arrow down2 and Caret Down caret it down2 to key words and phrases.

In this 4th of 11 Word Emphasis Real Talking Tips mini-series, it’s time to add a wiggle wiggle. A wiggle in the voice is a wavering sound that adds a fun movement on a word or a little shimmer and haze to the voice.

wiggle key

So get your jazz hands ready and wiggle your head, bottom, shoulders and toes.

Add a Wiggle - Cartoon Classroom Scene

Word Emphasis #4: ~~ WIGGLE ~~!

When we wiggle our body it’s usually accompanied with a smile. Wiggling is fun and playful and our body and muscle memory remember that. Let’s start by connecting with that playfulness so not just your mind… but your body gets the message.

Here are 5 ways you can use the body to add a wiggle and shimmer to the speaking voice.

  • Wiggle your head side-to-side.
  • Alternate raising and lowering alternating shoulders, like you’re doing the wave.
  • Wiggle your bottom.
  • Wiggle your toes.
  • Raise your hands and shake them like you’re doing Jazz Hands.

Are you smiling? I hope so. Wiggling different parts of your body is a fun warm-up that can put a twinkle in your eye before talking, recording, or meeting someone. Sort of like singing and moving to the ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes’ song as a child. The pitch of the voice and attitude changes as the wiggle moves from the Hands…. Head… Shoulders… Bottom…and Toes. The voice pitch is higher when the movement is at the top of the body and lowers progressively as it drops from the head to the toes.

Want to add a shimmer or sprinkle in a hazy quality to the voice? You can wiggle the head slightly and send the voice to the back of the throat.

Try it now as you shift the speech and wiggle focus from the front of the mouth, to the middle of the mouth, and to the back of the throat.

  • Front wiggle.
  • Middle wiggle.
  • Back wiggle.

While all three locations have playfulness and wiggle movement, the closer the voice originates from the spine and back of the oral cavity, the more haze and shimmer there is in the voice.

Put Some Sizzle in your WIGGLE


Wiggling when we dance or get excited feels fun. It can also feel awkward if speaking in front of a group. Not to worry. You don’t have to go crazy with it. A little wiggle goes a long way. You want to reserve the wiggle for special words or phrases so it adds focus to key information rather than the whole message. Practice along as you add the wiggle movement on the actual physical body location of the wiggle word. We’ll start at the head and progress down to the toes. As you follow the directions below, take note of the pitch and attitude shifts as you speak and wiggle those different body parts.

  1. HEAD: When I wiggle my HEAD… my voice rises.
  1. SHOULDERS: When I create a wiggle-wave with my SHOULDERS… the voice lowers slightly and gets a little playful.
  1. HANDS: As I raise my hands to waist level, I wiggle them to create JAZZ HANDS.
  1. BOTTOM: When I wiggle my BOTTOM, my voice pitch drops and adds a little intrigue.
  1. TOES: Inside my shoes, I’ll wiggle my TOES to bring the pitch lower.

Now let’s add a haze and shimmer to the voice. On the key word ‘shimmer’, move that word to the back of the throat and tongue area as you wiggle your head slightly.

  1. BACK of VOICE: From forward to back, I’ll move my speaking location to a relaxed back location, wiggle my head slightly, and let it SHIMMER.

Don’t be afraid to use jazz hands, a vocal shimmer, or a wiggle in your voice. It adds playfulness and focus to key words and phrases. Just sprinkle the movement and sound in.

Join me in the next Word Emphasis lesson as we use specific movements to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out key words.


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