'You have really good stage presence!'
'Wow, you are so amazing! I could listen to your voice all day!'
'OMG! You have the X-factor!'
Have you ever wondered what on earth talent show judges, friends or family, your fans and audience members, or your producers mean when they make such exclamations? There could be a whole host of reasons, but one common one would be in your ability to inflect varying emotions with your voice. Now this may not be a comment you ever get. It may be the kind of thing you wish fans, friends and family would say to you. Nevertheless, I'm going to take you through an example of the opposite of this, in a potential scenario where you may have experienced boredom when listening to an artist singing.
Picture this: you've got the 'Unwind' playlist on on Spotify and a song comes on which starts with a gorgeous guitar riff, it's elegant, smooth, and beautiful to listen to. The vocals come in and they are, simply put, divine. Absolutely gorgeous. You can't get enough. The verse is beautiful and it's followed up by a great hook in the chorus. Then the unfortunate happens, as the next verse comes on you're bored! It's boring! You've heard this before. Next.
Was it the melody? Was it the lyrics? Was it the vocals? Of course the answer could be a combination of all three, but for the sake of this example, we're going to say that it was the vocals.
You can have a nice voice, you can have groundbreaking songs, but if you don't manipulate your voice to produce something interesting, you may not achieve that 'X-Factor' level of audience captivation.
But how can I do this? I hear you ask. I'm glad you did ask! I want you to have a think through the following scenarios:
Has anyone ever had to console you? Or perhaps you have had to console a friend or loved one. Do you speak in that same, warm, affectionate voice when you're talking to a shop assistant or when you're ordering a coffee? Or do you speak a bit softer, a bit slower, and a bit more 'drawn out'?
You're walking down the street and you hear someone shouting out at another person. They are quite far behind you and you can hear that they are quite angry by how they're shouting.
It's been a long day, you're exhausted. Every minute from 3pm you were reminded of that piece of cake left over in the fridge. You've been dreaming about it, probably to the point of salivating, and you're beyond ready to plow into it. You get home, go to the fridge, and it's not there. Your housemate or partner or one of your children has eaten it! You might get irritated initially, but eventually you sulk. You say with a rather small, drained and disappointed voice 'but that was mine!' or, 'all I wanted was the cake!'
With these three examples you can begin to understand how you use your voice to convey different emotions. This is fundamental for learning how to apply this to your singing voice.
To maintain interest and keep your audience listening to you, especially in this online performance era, you will probably need to evoke different emotions with your voice.
Understanding this is the first step in achieving that history making stage presence.