That’s probably the number one question I get in coaching sessions – don’t I have to project in order to sound professional? No, you absolutely do not. In fact, projecting too much often causes other problems. For instance, if you have a higher pitched voice too much volume can actually make that voice sound higher. Or, if you use way too much you might end up sounding like Ron Burgundy or worse.
Keep your volume at the same level you use in person on the desk or out in the field. That’s right, don’t elevate the pitch or use extra volume at all for emphasis. That may sound strange but for most people that’s generally the right approach. Over the years, I’ve only had to advise a handful of people to use slightly “more” volume. Usually, it’s just the opposite – getting people to take volume down.
Here are a few easy tricks to control volume either while anchoring or reporting. First, if you’re out in the field talk to your photographer right before you go on and make a mental note of your level. Keep it there as you begin. Same principle applies in the studio. Talk to a cameraperson or co-anchor and notice your level then keep it there all throughout the newscast. Again, avoid any type of projection because it will make you appear unnatural.
You can achieve better expression by using more body language. That prompts stronger facial expression and the correct verbal emphasis. While cutting a track, going live or anchoring incorporate some casual gestures. We don’t necessarily want to see those gestures, just the impact on your voice and overall expression. Again, best policy – don’t punch with volume. Use your body language to form better expression.