Set Your Voice Free was page after page of life changing revelations to me. I picked this book up because I was trying to address a specific problem. When I speak in front of groups, nerves take over and I subconsciously close my throat, cutting off my air, making my voice weak, and losing my message in my process. I didn’t know that was what I was doing until I read this book. I just thought that my voice changed, but I didn’t know how or why. Roger has changed all that for me and I’m so excited to put his suggestions into practice.
A world class speech and singing coach, Roger has helped many famous and every day people find their voices. “The most profound discovery I’ve made in the past fifteen years is this: If you know how to control the pitch, pace, tone, volume, and melody of your voice- the elements that form the core of this book- you can consciously use them to guide the emotions of your listeners and magnify the impact of every communication you have.” loc 85-109, ebook. He goes on to list countless exercises and examples of just that. A consummate teacher, Roger includes almost every vocal problem imaginable in Set Your Voice Freeas well as situations in which one would need to put her best voice forward.
Like visual impact, Roger tells us that audiences form their opinions about speakers and singers quickly, taking only one second of vocalizing to come to their conclusions. So, he says, you want to utilize that fleeting moment to make the best impression that you can. It all starts with the breath: “The magic that I work with voices is built on a fundamental rhythm: the movements of the body as you inhale and exhale. Breathing smoothly and deeply works wonders for the body in general. … Once you learn to breathe as calmly and steadily as a child does, you are on your way to fabulous vocal reaches.” loc 808, ebook. Intellectually, I knew how breathing worked and, demonstrably, I’ve been breathing my whole life, but Roger gave me a complete education about what deep breathing FEELS and SOUNDS like. I can see how this book could be life changing for readers as it has been for me.
In addition to vocal exercises, Roger includes stage and bodily movement, mixing them with the voice to create the total package. “All stage movement can be reduced to a simple pattern, and when you know how to use it, you can simply and effectively maneuver in front of any audience anywhere.” loc 3270, ebook. Performers and speakers all types will find information worth knowing in this book. “When you begin to put yourself and your ideas clearly and thoughtfully into the world, with all the energy you feel, people will notice. Their new attention and interest may make you feel self-conscious, but keep using the techniques you’ve learned. You’ll be a more active, influential player in your life, instead of being pushed to the sidelines.” loc 4406, ebook. Everyone wants that.
Very highly recommended for anyone who speaks, sings, or wants to more mindfully express their message. Set Your Voice Free will help anyone who reads it turn his or her voice into a finely tuned instrument of communication. Perfect for beginners to well seasoned artists and speakers- it contains something for everyone. Some similar reads to help you put your best self forward: Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, orThe Art of Exceptional Living.
Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for a free advance reader’s copy of this book! And, thank you for reading!