IELTS Speaking Voice

The IELTS Speaking Voice is one of the IELTS speaking secrets that are going to help you to achieve a really high score in the IELTS speaking test.

IELTS Speaking Voice

One of the main ways to make sure to give a great impression in the speaking exam is to talk in a manner that makes the examiner want to listen. Your tone of voice plays a key role in having people not only listen to what you’re saying but understand it as well. Tone is comprised of a few key elements: pitch, volume, pace, and emphasis.

People have an instinctive reaction to the tone of someone’s voice and you want that reaction to be positive. Think of someone you’ve heard that has an inviting quality to their voice. A popular example is actor Morgan Freeman. He has a rich, deep, expressive voice that naturally draws attention. His voice alone has given him access to an immense amount of opportunities, including the narration of several documentaries. Contrast that with the voice of someone you don’t like to listen to: they’re often monotone, nasally, and unappealing overall. Even if what they’re saying to you has value, you’re less likely to accept their message based on the tone of their voice.

So, when thinking about your own tone try to emulate the voices of those who successfully capture your attention. This does not mean you should be doing an impression of someone else, but simply working within the natural range of your own voice. You should not have to strain yourself or your vocal cords to achieve a desirable tone.

People who speak in a deeper voice are considered to have more authority than others according to research done by the University of Pittsburgh. Some theorize this connection comes from when physical power was used as a measure of authority and a deep voice generally went hand in hand with a stronger body. So, when you’re looking to command the attention of others it’s important to use the lower range of your voice, without going so far as to put on a cartoonish voice. 

Speaking deeply doesn’t mean speaking flatly though. It’s important to change your tone as you speak to maintain interest and convey emotional information. Without a variance in tone, it becomes nearly impossible to communicate your excitement and enthusiasm.

Perhaps the easiest technique for holding people’s attention is to simply speak slower and to emphasize the most important words in each sentence. Not only does it give you more time to think through what you’re saying, it gives the listener more time to let your message sink in and truly understand it. It takes effort to actually listen to what someone is saying, so giving your listener more time will help both of you immensely.

Don’t be afraid to take a long pause between thoughts as well. A silent moment expresses confidence much better than attempting to fill the silence with “um” or “uh”.

When prepping for your test, just remember to talk low, slow, with emphasis, and with a varied tone.

Vocal Warmups

  • Breathe through your diaphragm
  • Stay relaxed around your head, neck, and shoulder areas.
  • Make a conscious effort to do this initially, but you’ll notice how, as you form the habit, it will become more automatic.