by Richard Jennings
When you speak or sing, it’s your job to be understood. The listener needs all of the information to make sense of what you’re sharing.
Usually it’s the consonants that get lost. Most often, the ones at the end of the words. Here are a few thoughts and things to practice that will help you make sure your listener gets all the information you put out.
Listen to yourself! Make sure you hear those little percussive and plosive sounds at the end of your words.You might want to pull out your phone and record yourself as you do this helpful exercise. Let’s just take the title of this essay. Say out loud:
All of the sounds in all of the words.
Pay attention to the release points of the consonants.
All - There’s a voiced “luh” sound at the end of “all”.
Of - There’s a voiced “vuh” sound at the end of “of”.
The sounds - There’s a voiced “dzuh” sound at the end of “sounds”.
In - There’s a voiced “nuh” sound at the end of “in”.
All - See above
Of - See above
The words - There’s a voiced “dzuh” sound at the end of “words”.
In great detail, you should be saying:
All-uh of-uh the soun-dzuh in-uh all-uh of-uh the word-zuh.
This is just one of the many exercises I work with you, my students. Doing this will enhance your awareness of how you actually sound to others. The goal is to be understood
Listen to recordings of artists who’ve had long and successful careers. You will hear those final consonants at the end of those beautiful long, held notes. Their voice teachers, recording engineers and producers are constantly pushing them to communicate All of the sounds in all of the words. Listen to a great public speaker. You’ll hear the same. That’s what a pro does.