Acting - Vocal Skills

How you use your voice is the key to a good performance. Your voice has the power to communicate much in terms of characterisation to the audience. Your voice can communicate the age, temperament, personality, nationality and status of your character. Being clearly audible is essential during your performance, as not being able to hear you ruins the performance for your audience and will lose you vital marks in your exam. Factors you need to consider when using your voice are pace, pitch, articulation, accent, tone and volume. Ensure these are all varied to communicate different emotions and meanings to your audience.


To be successful

Advice or tips to help you


· Speak clearly (diction)

· Try not to mumble.

· Record yourself saying your lines. Listen back to it. This will clearly show you what words you are not saying clearly.

· Speak loud enough so that the audience can hear you.

· Get another pupil to stand at the back of the performance space to ensure that they can hear you.

· Always face the audience when you are saying a line.

· Always direct your voice downstage - towards the front. This should ensure that your voice will carry into the audience.


· Communicate the subtext through inflection

· Use your vocal skills to convey the irony of a scene.

· Experiment with different ways of communicating meaning of the same line. Use different inflections to see if the meaning of lines can be changed. Ensure you understand what your character is really saying


· Using pauses and pace to help convey the emotions of your character through your voice

· Consider how to get the full meaning of the line across. Vary your pace to convey the best meaning.

· Vary the delivery speed of your line to create tension and heighten the emotion of a scene

· Use pauses for effect. The audience needs time to consider what has been said. Also the actor you are performing with needs time to consider their response.

· Practise your piece with as many pauses as possible to see how much tension you can create. Remember the script is written line after line, but you don't have to say it like that; you can add a pause.


· Choose a style and stick to it

· Use accents in your performance if you are able to sustain the accent throughout the performance.

· Practise your accent to ensure you can sustain it throughout your performance. Losing the accent could affect your mark.


· Use pitch and tone for effect

· Vary the pitch and tone of your voice to avoid your voice being monotone.

· Make sure you understand the meaning of the lines your character is saying. If you do, then the inflection you use will ensure that you voice is not monotone.

· Use the correct tone so that the audience can appreciate the type of character you are and your intentions.

· Think about what you are saying and how you need to say it. Record yourself saying the lines in different ways to see which is the most effective for your performance.