Ooooh, such a good article/video on the phenomenon known as “vocal fry.” I hadn’t known there was a name for this speech pattern, I just knew that it was driving me crazy. Could this be you? It’s not just a female phenomenon.
And while you’re at it, here’s PeaceBang’s advice on another annoying vocal tic.
And here’s an excerpt from a rant on vocal issues that I wrote after being totally bummed out by a seminarian presentation wherein the aspirant to ministry dressed and spoke in a way that absolutely did not support her obvious intelligence and leadership potential:
[A seminarian who] spoke with her head down, failed to be heard even with a microphone, and in all ways presented as such a demure being as to hardly have the right to stand up in public at all.
Here is an obviously a hard-working person who ostensibly aspires to some kind of ministry work. I wanted so much to walk up on the stage, pull her shoulders back, hold my hand against her diaphragm and command her to put some BREATH under her vocal efforts, and beg her to stop dropping the volume at the ends of all of her sentences to the extent that her voice went from baby soft and pleading to absolutely and totally inaudible.
… La voce, darlings!! La voce! I am still hearing far too many woman ministers using cutesy tones, pouting, flinging hair, shrugging (which is a non-verbal way to discredit what you’re saying), failing to speak out with full voice, and undermining their own authority by using girlish vocal tics like giggling, dimpling, and pitching the voice up at the end of every phrase in the pulpit. Stop it. Right now.
I knew you didn’t need to be reminded, but just in case you needed to be reminded. It’s never a bad idea to check in on our own vocal weirdnesses now and then. We all have them and you don’t want to be neurotically critical of yours, just be sure that you’re not inadvertently undermining your message through poor delivery and distracting vocal issues. And I don’t mean a speech impediment or other natural vocal uniqueness. I mean techniques like vocal fry that can easily be remedied by awareness and a few sessions with a speech coach.