Controlling your voice

The meaning of your words is affected by how you choose to use your voice. For example, you might whisper if you want to say something that only one person should hear, shout loudly if you’re trying to get someone’s attention. You might use a sarcastic tone with a friend and a polite tone with someone you respect. You speak slowly in some situations and quickly in others.

Voice represented by a woman reading a book to her son, a newsreader, man doing a presentation and radio presenter.

When using your voice you can change your:

  • tone
  • pitch and volume
  • enunciation
  • pace, pauses and silences

Think about your listener and aim to keep them interested by varying your voice, avoiding rambling or speaking in a monotone. Speak a little more loudly and slowly to emphasise a point or draw your listeners in with a whisper.

You can use your voice to:

  • emphasise a point
  • draw in your audience
  • create humour

In this video, Simon Armitage explores the importance of how people use their voices:

Shakespearean actor Charles Dance shares some useful tips on how to get an audience to listen to you