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Perform: Your Attention Please

We’ve spent this week talking about communicating through masks. By now, I hope you are coming around to the fact that the mask itself is really not a big issue. Today, we will engage with how you get your listeners to hear you — masked or not.

Like most challenges in voice and speech, some of the solutions are functional. In this case, making sure you are speaking with enough volume and focus for the room, or setting, you are in. When you are communicating at distance, your voice needs to be supported by enough air and directed towards the listener by your intention. Another factor is the general pitch of the voice. If you speak in an inefficient pitch range for you, your voice may not travel well in the room. If you think this is you, it might be worth checking in with a voice coach.

Aside from voice function, we have to actually have, or be able to get, the listener’s attention.

This is a non-exhaustive list to help you do that

  • Do they know you are speaking? This may seem obvious but you have to get their attention. Once you have it, then proceed.
  • Make sure you are taking pauses and breathing as you speak. People need a little time to process your words, individual inflection, and meaning. If you speed through, you will lose people.
  • Maintain active expressions even if they can’t see your face. We have known for decades that you can tell a person’s demeanor over the phone. We can hear when a person is smiling.
  • Give a little extra energy to the end of a sentence or question. Articulating ending sounds, especially consonants, can help people intuit parts of the sentence they may have missed. How much effort they give this task is related to how they care about this interaction.
  • Lastly, listen intently. The more breath and energy you give someone else, the more likely they are to extend the same to you.

I hope this helps as you engage in conversation out in the real world again. Try it and let me know how it goes.


This Friday at 12:30 pm EDT, Gina will be live on FB. These will be short voice alignment sessions aimed at voice skills building. Watch it on the GROW Voice FB page. I hope to see you there.


Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.

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