How To Find Your Vocal Brand And Sound Great On Camera and Your Podcast

Okay. I want you to think about this for a minute. Close your eyes. When you can only hear someone and you can't see them, their voice is how you connect. And if it's not welcoming or you don't feel a connection, how long are you going to stay engaged? Not very long.

What makes me really sad is when I see so many people invest a ton of time and energy on how they look and on their message, and then they're not intentional about how they sound.

Your podcast is a big part of your platform. In today's ever increasingly crowded podcast community your voice is what people recognize and connect with and it's what makes you stand out. So with podcasts and video being such an important part of your brand platform today, it really pays to pay attention to your voice.

I found this great quote from voice coach Timothy Noonan really sums up why you need to invest some time in your voice. Tim says “vocal branding is the strategic and purposeful use of your voice to strengthen and enhance brand experiences so that your products, brands, and user experiences sound as compelling as they look and feel.” He continues.

“Your content is judged on the facts, your identity and character on your voice. It’s all about relationships. Whenever we speak, we express the relationships that we hold with ourselves, the things we're talking about, and in particular the attitude that we hold toward our audience.

Wow. I love that. Our voice is about our relationship with ourselves in our audience… and that's what on camera presence is all about. This really gives me goosebumps. Okay, let's get started, my interview with voice actor Jeff Gelder is below.

Val: We have a wonderful guest to help us learn about local branding, why it matters, and how you can develop your own vocal brand. This is a big topic, so we're going to scratch just the surface and give you some tools to get started so that you can find your own vocal brand.

My guest is voice actor and veteran radio personality Jeff Gelder, and he's going to share some of his vast experience with us about developing your vocal brand and how you can work to make sure you sound your very best on camera and on your podcast. I first met Jeff when he moved to San Diego more than 30 years ago, and during that time I've watched his rise to become a fixture in the San Diego radio market.

Jeff is a big believer in the power and influence of the human voice and that's a passion he actively practices as a voice actor and emcee through his company Geldrerhead productions in addition to his on camera live events and doing lots of time behind the microphone.

Jeff has worked with Sony, ESPN, Dell, Jenny, Craig, and Toyota, and interviewed celebrities from Olivia Newton, John to Woody Harrelson. When Jeff is not on the air recording audio books he serves as the president and founder of the Children's Holiday Magic Project, which is near and dear to his heart. It’s a successful nonprofit which benefits children who have to spend their holidays in the hospital. Jeff and his volunteers distribute more than 10,000 customized CDs full of songs and stories to bring joy and smiles to these kids during the holidays. Welcome, Jeff. I am so excited to have you here today and get to share your expertise.

Jeff: Thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be here.

Val: I’m happy that you're here and I want to just dive in. The term vocal branding is being more widely used, and like I said today, we're only going to have time to scratch the surface of what goes into developing a vocal brand. Today I want to introduce the concept and provide some foundation for our listeners. How do you define a local brand?

Jeff: Vocal branding is a little bit of a trendy term now, but I think it's a very important one. It's creating your signature if you will, of your voice. So if you're doing a podcast or a radio show host then your brand voice is your signature and it needs to be very consistent so people know what to expect and they know how it makes them feel when they hear your voice.

Val: because the human voice is how we express emotion and it tells other people what's going on inside of us. And it also supports the images for your brand too. So it's kind of like the same way that graphic brand design. We use shapes and colors and different types of images to evoke a brand identity, a vocal brand employs our voice.

Jeff: I think it's a way to enhance your graphic design, your logo and your business with a branded voice that people become accustomed to. In my business I recommend to my clients that you use my voice not only for your commercials but on your on hold message for your training videos and other places you might need a professional voice. Be consistent, have that same voice, and then when your client or customer ears that voice, they immediately think of you.

Val: Yeah, unconsciously sometimes we don't even realize that. But if you think about it, when you're on hold, that voice is how you connect and think about that company.

Jeff: Absolutely. See how you feel sometimes after you've listened to an annoying voice for 30 seconds or two minutes, versus a calm voice or maybe a funny voice or a voice that's giving you really great tips on how to make your life better or things like that.

Val: And and no two voices are exactly alike, so your voice really represents who you are and what you stand for and it's what people expect to hear when they hear from you. Would you describe yours for me what is it? What is your vocal brand? I love it. It's,

Jeff: that smooth, consistent voice that reminds you of the finest espresso.

Val: Oh yeah. Okay. Very good. My next observation here is that, I work with a lot of people who don't like the sound of their own voice either on video or when they've recorded a podcast. What exactly is the science behind that?

Jeff: Well, I know what it has to do with the eardrum and how you listen to how you hear your voice on the inside versus listening to it on a speaker and a recording and how somebody else hears it. So it's very different. You hear it in your head and it's kind of an echo chamber. You hear it on a speaker and it as totally different inflection. Anyone can learn to love their voice. It may take awhile. It took me quite a while actually when I got on the radio to to actually learn to like to listen to it, but I also learned it's not just that you don't like it, that maybe you need some kind of training or some coaching or there's different ways you can make it a little more pleasing even to yourself and also like we're talking with the branding is having that visual. What is it your voice reminds you of. What is that visual? You know, you get to choose. Wait a minute. I want my voice to sound like a really fine cup of espresso.

Val: Oh, okay. I never really thought about it in those terms. Now, one of the things that we were talking about was when you hear your voice on the recording, that's what you sound like, not what's in your head and if you're telling yourself, oh, I don't like the way I sound and you're getting feedback that, hey, it sounds good. What do you tell people?

Jeff: Well, yeah, absolutely don't pay attention to what you're hearing in your head while you're speaking. You want to listen to that voice in the recordings and then, get some feedback and if they say they like it, then pay attention to that and start enhancing that. Take their words of advice or have a vocal coach. Little things that can make a big difference and it's just the way you come across in the way your voice sounds.

Val: I read a great quote from a couple of thought leaders in their field who I stu