Overview of Digital Storytelling Tools and Techniques

Voice Projection

voice projectionVoice projection means the strength of speaking whereby the voice is used loudly and clearly. We use voice projection when public speaking and announcing.

The four main factors in voice projections are:

  1. Breath Control
  2. Posture
  3. Comfort
  4. Delivery

Breath Control

Normal talking may use air from the top of the lungs. Proper voice projection uses steady air flow through the expansion of the diaphragm.

In good vocal technique, well-balanced respiration is especially important to maintaining projection.

Posture

postureSlouching kills your energy and vocal range.

If you are sitting in a chair sit on the edge of your seat. Make sure your back is straight up and your head and neck are slightly forward.

If you are standing it is recommended to stand up straight with the feet shoulder width apart and the upstage foot (right foot if right-handed etc.) slightly forward. This improves balance breathing and range.

Comfort

Tension can deter from speaking clearly.

Try not to be nervous or self-conscious about speaking. The more relaxed you are the better you’ll be at speaking clearly.

Delivery

Clear delivery involves confidence, tone and articulation.
Confidence comes from being comfortable yet purposeful in the story you’re telling.

  • Try to act naturally and don’t be afraid to use body language. Small appropriate gestures will colour your voice and help you in telling your story.
    When you are speaking too loudly, it distracts your audience and your voice will distort if recording.
  • If you are speaking too quietly, you can’t be heard and it’s hard to fix after recording.
  • Don’t rush. Speaking too fast may lead to you stumbling over words. Take your time and pace yourself.
  • Consistency is another factor. Changing your voice’s tone throughout the story will confuse and detract from your story.
  • People can hear the difference from a story that’s told with conviction. If your words are powerful make sure they’re heard.
  • It helps to envision a “personal listener.” Someone you would like to tell the story to.

These are a few tips that will help you sound better but the best advice is to be yourself. Strive to be natural and personable.

Excercises

There are a few simple things you can do to ensure voice projection.

Hydration

If your throat is parched and dry it can affect your delivery. Drink some water before voicing anything.

Stretching

stretchingAny kind of stretches especially in your jaw and neck region will help immensely.
Try these…

  • Massage your jaw and neckuntil they feel relaxed.
  • Yawn or stretch your mouth open as wideas you can.
  • Smile very widely then quickly pucker your lips.

Vocal exercises

  • vocal exercisesPractice your voice range before announcing anything.
  • Inhale then hold then exhale as you count up.
  • Practice reading a copy of your text while deliberately over articulating.
  • Practice reading a copy of your text at different speeds; first as fast as you can, then very slowly.
  • Practice reading copy of your text at different volumes; first as loudly as you can, then very quietly.

Equipment

Microphones

The best idea is to keep your mouth fairly close to the microphone about 1 foot or 30 cm.

If you find yourself “popping Ps” or “hissing Ss” try angling the mic at 45° to your face.

Levels
Being too loud will cause distortion or clipping.

Being too quiet will have “noise floor” where the background noise mixes with your voice.

To make sure you have a good and consistent level during the recording use the input level display on your recording device. The input level should hit between -12 and -6 db.

Copy – Text Narration
Typically, a script for recording is in 12-point type in all caps with double spacing between each line.

This is to make sure you’ll be able to see and read
it clearly.

Write out any difficult words phonetically or how you say it not how you write it like “Phone-Etick-lee”.

Write out any numbers or abbreviations like “two thousand thirteen”.

Generally it’s a good idea to keep track how long your recording will be. We can do this by how many lines are used.

  • :30 = 7-8 typed lines
  • :60 = 12-14 typed lines
  • 3 min = 36-42 typed lines

Go over your script before reading. Rehearse what you are going to say and know where to put the emphasis.

Understand that how you read is just as important as the information you are reading.