The Oh Fudge! Podcast is Go
While the pieces of the Oh Fudge! Podcast started falling into place last week, all the pre-production tasks were completed this week making production on the show a go.
Speaking comes natural to humans, but the minute a microphone is placed in front of someone, nerves kick in and the person starts speaking funny. The same thing happens when a script is place in front of someone – it is as if the person becomes a robot and forgot how to speak naturally.
National Public Radio – NPR – published a video on YouTube in 2017 titled, “Three Tips for Training Your Voice.” In the video, voice coach Jessica Hansen and other members of the team give tips on how to avoid low vocal energy, vocal fry, and scripted voice.
Low vocal energy, Hansen said, comes from poor breath support. To overcome low vocal energy, there are a few exercises you can do that will open the rib cage and get the breath flowing. Hansen suggested pretending to sound like different dogs. Chihuahuas take shallow little breaths, Labrador retrievers pant when they breath, and saint bernards take long deep breaths. By pretending to breath like these three dogs, the speaker can get air going throughout the lungs and get the body ready and loose.
Another exercise Hansen suggested is to hold out a finger and pretend it is a birthday candle. Then, try to blow the candle out with five short breaths. The coach suggests practicing this every day to teach the body how to keep breaths equal – this helps to sustain breath energy through the sentences.
Vocal fry is when the voice sounds like a frog, and it can hurt the voice. To prevent vocal fry, Hansen suggested taking a deep breath and blowing out through the lips like a motorboat, raising and lowering the town that comes out.
If you have never heard someone speak with vocal fry, here are a couple of examples:
Then, of course, there is the scripted voice I mentioned above. To get past sounding like you are speaking robotically, Hansen suggests reading the script in various voices. For example, try to read the script like you are talking to your best friend, then like a cowboy, a toddler having a temper tantrum, and the greatest opera singer in the world. The whole point was to have fun and enjoy what you are doing.
Glen Halbrooks addressed the issue of speaking for tv and radio in his piece from 2020 titled, “How to Develop Your Voice for TV or Radio.”
“To build a natural-sounding broadcast voice, listen to yourself,” he said. “Record a conversation you have with a friend and compare it to how you sound on the air. What you want to hear is the tone of your voice.”
After reviewing how to speak for a podcast, it becomes easier to imaging how you will sound in the production.
But before you can fully imagine that, having a roadmap for the show is important. The creation of an outline will allow you envision your show from start to finish.
My suggestion is to write it down on paper. As a writer, I sometimes need to create brainstorms with lines and circles to get a bunch of ideas together. The same concept is true when putting together your podcast format.
The Oh Fudge! Podcast will start with an intro, which will then lead into an opening monologue giving a history lesson of the seven dirty words. After that, the word of the day will be presented along with definitions, synonyms, and how the word will be used in a sentence. With a better understanding of the word, the audience would then be ready for a story from me about my experience with the word before jumping into survey results. Once survey results are given, I will pose the question of whether the word is so bad and then go into songs and audio clips where the word is spoken. To close out, I ask the audience for their thoughts on the matter and give out an email address for feedback, before playing the outro.
Down on paper, each item is in a box, and a number is placed next to each box to give it order.
With the outline mapped out, I can then move into writing the script.
The way I write a script may be different than some. I chose to approach script writing the way I learned how to write for broadcast.
Each section is split out by track numbers with the number of seconds expected for each track. Each audio clip is also included.
Two of the three scripts were written this week. Although both use the same format, each is different in nature. One script is for the word “Shit,” while the other is for the word “Piss.”
With outlines and scripts written, the next step is to record the scripts, which will take place in the coming week. Once the scripts have been recorded, the audio clips can be broken down and mixed with the various sounds that go along with the podcast. The pieces are all there, now is the time to get it done.
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Halbrooks, Glenn. (2020) How to Develop Your Voice for TV or Radio. Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-develop-your-voice-for-tv-or-radio-2315406
Hansen, J. (2017) How to Get a Radio Voice in 3 Easy Steps – YouTube. Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSTqKi7Wuq4