Vocal Qualities

You have heard numerous vocal qualities from those who speak to and around you. Each of those voice qualities have a name and have been studied. Some are unique to cultures like the clicking of the South and East Africa tribes. Or the glottalized sounds of the native speakers from India and other countries.

Understanding these qualities will help you better master your own voice.

To start, learn a few of the basic voice qualities listed below. Listen for these qualities in the voices of those around you. What qualities do you like. Which do you dislike. Which could enhance your ability to be a dynamic (positive in attitude and full of energy and new ideas) speaker.

Consider too, which of these qualities do you have? Which would you like to change or improve?

Vocal Qualities

Airy voice

Breathy Voice (the sound of air is apparent)

Chesty Voice

Bleat or Flutter (will make you think of a lamb's cry)

Glottalized (a clicking noise is audible during speech)

Thin Voice

Hoarse (a raspy, harsh, grating voice)

Honky (extreme hyper-nasality)

Hyper-nasality (have someone pinch their nose closed and then speak)


Pressed (harsh, loud quality)

Rough (uneven, gravely voice)

Strained or Distressed (low air flow from lack of lung air tidal volume)

Wobble (irregular or wavering variation of sounds)

Now it is time to go to work. Your lesson, start to listen to the various voice qualities. There are more. These will get you started.

Note: Definitions thanks to American Heritage Dictionary. If you do not use this dictionary as a public speaker, you should. It is not always accurate (languages are alive and constantly changing) but it offers the best set of tools that can help you succeed.

Your Voice The main voice improvement home page.

Speechmastery.com: The Public Speaking Vocal Qualities Resource

Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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