ROGER LOVE: “What we learn from science and psychology is that all of the fears that we have before we actually turn the camera on and we start speaking, we have great fear. We're so worried about people judging us harshly or not liking us or our content. So that fear is real. But the truth is, as soon as you open your mouth and the camera goes on, fear dissipates almost 98 percent within the first five seconds.”
INTRO: I'm Amy Porterfield, and this is Online Marketing Made Easy.
AMY PORTERFIELD: Reese Witherspoon, Bradley Cooper, John Mayer, Selena Gomez, Tony Robbins, and Suze Orman. What do all of these household names and celebrities have in common? They all work with the same voice coach and speech trainer, Roger Love. Now you may be thinking, “A voice coach and speech trainer? What is that?” Roger helps entrepreneurs communicate better and improve their presentation skills and turns actors into singers, like Reese Witherspoon from Walk the Line.
Here's an interesting fact that I think we all should be aware of as entrepreneurs. The words we say only count for a very small percentage of whether or not people actually believe us or care to listen to what we have to say. But tonality, on the other hand, is infinitely more important when you're speaking. So if you want people to trust you and listen to what you say, which, if you're an entrepreneur selling online, you should be saying, “Heck, yes,” then you want to pay attention to these things.
The good news is that I've got you covered, and this episode is going to give you the tools and know-how to improve how you show up and how you present yourself through your words, emotion, and tonality. You're truly getting a lesson from the guy who trains all the stars. In fact, I did a session with him, and the biggest takeaway I gained—well, actually, I'm going to share that, because when I introduce Roger, I'm going to share with him why I brought him on the show, and it was literally from one specific takeaway from the one-on-one training that I had with Roger. So I'm going to make you wait for that.
We're going to talk about the importance of how your voice is perceived by your audience and your ideal community, and why emotion is so important, and the strategies for using your voice the right way while selling, and how to be more confident, even if you're not confident, how to sound more confident when you're selling. You're going to love this episode and be able to walk away with things that you can actually implement today. Seriously. If you have a Facebook Live scheduled for later today, what you're going to learn on this session can be applied instantly.
We’ve got a lot to cover, and I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s bring on Roger Love.
AMY: Welcome to the show, Roger.
ROGER: Thank you so much. I love being with you. You are one of the smartest and best presenters that I know.
AMY: Oh, my goodness. That's, like, the nicest compliment ever. And I appreciate that because I've really been looking forward to this. So I said this in the intro, but you and I got an opportunity—you were so generous with your time—and we got an opportunity to get on a call, and you taught me so many invaluable lessons around my voice. And then we got talking about just voice in general, and I had made a comment to you that so many of my students, when they're getting ready to sell online, their voice gets a little bit shaky or tight, and they show up differently. And you were like, “Yeah, I see this all the time. I teach how to get around that.” And instantly, I said, “You must come on my podcast.” Is that how you remember it, too?
ROGER: Exactly. And the end result of today is I want your people to really walk away from listening to this with practical things they can literally do the second they hear me explain.
AMY: I love that. We try to make this podcast really practical. Like, you learn something, and you apply it right away. And I do believe that's going to be exactly what's going to happen here.
So, I got to back up, though, because before we get started, I started this podcast talking about some of the amazing celebrities you've worked with. And when we got to talk about that, when you and I just met, I just thought, I had no idea you had all of these experiences. So would you be able to share a story or two of just a memorable experience that you've had, working with such amazing celebrities?
ROGER: Of course.
AMY: Because we don't get that on the show that much. Most of my people I interview are not working with Bradley Cooper and Reese Witherspoon and people like that. So tell me some good stuff.
ROGER: Okay. I'm absolutely ready to share.
ROGER: And I think I should start with my very-first-ever celebrity.
ROGER: I'm sixteen years old. My voice teacher decides he's going to go to Canada to teach a masterclass. He says to me, “Why don't you come over on Monday after school and teach some lessons?” And I said, “That sounds like a lovely offer. Just one huge problem that I see off the top. I have no idea how to teach.” He said, “Don’t worry about that so much. I’m going to pay you a hundred dollars an hour.” I said, “I will be there. I’ll have business cards and maybe a personalized license plate by Monday that says ‘teacher’.”
AMY: I love this.
ROGER: So I show up on Monday after school, sixteen years old, and my first lesson happens to be a celebrity. Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys.
AMY: Okay, that's cool. That’s cool.
ROGER: And I am thinking, “What in the world am I going to teach Brian? Maybe I should just start with this. ‘Brian, I'm so sorry. I'm not really a teacher. Here's gas money to drive back to wherever you came from. You're a superstar. I'm sorry.’” But I decided to take another tact, and I just said, “Brian, nice to meet you. What problems are you having with your voice?” because I didn't know what else to say. And let's just say, six months later, when he came back, my teacher, all of his students decided they wanted to stay with me because, surprisingly to all of us, I realized, we all realized, I had this ability to listen to people's voices, suggest changes, no matter what level they were at—superstar or wannabe—to come up with ideas that could immediately change their voices, and when you change somebody’s voice, what I’ve learned over the years is you change their lives.
Flash forward to one of the most recent celebrities that I have had the great opportunity to work with is I spent six months working with Bradley Cooper, and I taught him how to sing for the movie A Star Is Born.
AMY: Okay. Right there. We have to take a moment. That is incredible that you were behind that, one of my most favorite movies, and his voice was incredible. So, Roger, that’s a big deal.
ROGER: Well, I mean, I loved working with him. But the reason I bring him up is that he came in right after we started working, and he said, “Roger, I love voice. I love what we're doing with voice and singing.” And I said, “Why?” And he said, “Because when you sing, when you use your voice that way, people know if you're lying. They can hear it.” And I thought that was so insightful and so true, because when you use your voice to showcase the best of who you are and showcase your confidence, people do know when you're lying, and the fact that he realized that so soon.
But you just never know what celebrity I'm going to get to work with. I just worked on a project with Brad Pitt. And I'm watching the Colbert show the other night, and there's Jennifer Aniston, who's talking about her voice teacher, Roger Love, and that her friend—happens to be John Mayer—got her another ten lessons as her birthday present.
ROGER: So that’s what’s exciting about being me. But I'll tell you I am equally excited about Jennifer coming in and taking lessons for her birthday as I am about every single person who comes through the door. And I don't mean this in a Pollyanna sort of way. I just mean that the idea that I get to change people's lives and careers and confidence by changing their voices, it makes me happy every day, no matter who walks in the door.
AMY: And I know that to be true of you. I know that you've worked with a lot of my friends, that wouldn't be Jennifer Aniston level, but you still treat them with such respect and kindness and give just as much to them as I'm sure you do to any celebrity, and I really do love that about you. And the fact that you're on this podcast right now, talking to all of us, I'm just so glad you took the time to do so. So once again, thank you for being here. Thanks for sharing some of those celebrity stories because that's rare. We don't get that on this show a lot.
But let's get into some things that I know my audience is going to find incredibly valuable, but I kind of want to start at the top. So tell me this. Why do you believe that you must be intentional about how you communicate? Why do you think that's so important as an entrepreneur?
ROGER: Okay. Because when it boils down to it, you're trying to move people to action when you're an entrepreneur. You want them to join you, to hire you, to follow you, to sign the deal that you've put in front of them. So to make any of that happen, you need to be able to move people emotionally. The basic oral-communication model that most people use is so outdated. We're still listening to what Aristotle said was rhetoric three thousand years ago. And that's word based. And it basically is about thinking that if you had the right words to say to someone, that you could close that deal, sell the product, create a great relationship.
But here's the thing. Words by themselves don't actually have any emotion. Check this out. I love my wife. I hate my wife. I love chocolate. I hate chocolate. You don't know how I feel about chocolate or my wife, because the words by themselves don't tell me. Where are we in society? We text somebody something, and we realize that the words don't have any emotion, so what do we do? We use emojis. Even though I said all these words, I told you I love you, if I don’t put a heart there or some other emoji, then, what? I’m going to be misinterpreted.
So basically, I help people create the right sounds at the right time to attach to the words to create the impression and the emotions you want. And how could you possibly be an entrepreneur or an influencer or a great communicator if you can't move people emotionally?
AMY: Mm. That is so good. So you're saying that you believe that somebody can be a stronger entrepreneur, make a bigger impact, if they were able to perfect their tone and their emotion with the words that they're using.
ROGER: That's exactly what I'm saying. It's because the brain processes spoken language first for emotion and then for logic. Let me explain. When you speak, sound is supposed to come riding out of your mouth on a nice, solid stream of air, and that sound and air is supposed to vibrate the bodies of any one or multiple any ones that are listening to you. That's why I always say that speaking is a physical connection, not just an oral one. So those vibrations come out of your mouth, and they get into the listeners’ ears. And the first part of the brain that they reach is called the amygdala. Now, the amygdala decides what information gets passed on to the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that processes the information, turns it into feelings, connects it to memories, and then decides whether to take action on any of that. So the language of the amygdala is emotion—sounds, not words. So if you don't have the right sounds, you'll never emotionally engage your listeners. They will not remember or care about anything you say. They’ll just tune you out because it never got far enough into their brain to actually be processed. That’s crazy, right?
AMY: It is. I mean, it truly is. But I guess what I'm thinking right now is, okay, so can you give us an example? How would you even teach something like that? How do you teach somebody to pay attention to their tone or the emotion when they're speaking?
ROGER: Okay. This is so easy. First of all, I like to remind people that they weren't born with the voice that they have right now. They were born with an instrument that they either learned how to use or they didn't. Grandma left you a Steinway piano, so you put it in the living room, and you either learned how to play piano or you use it as a frame holder. It's a very nice frame holder, but you're not using it to make music.
So my standpoint is that we can all, at any point in our lives, we can decide to change our voices. We're not stuck with the voice that we have. The voice that we have is just an imitation of the people that we grew up with. If your mom spoke really nasal, and you wanted to be fed, you said, “Mommy, milk, please.” And if your dad spoke like this, fishing, and you wanted to go fishing, as soon as you could speak, you're like, “Dad, salmon. Salmon. Let's go.” So we imitate the voices that we grew up listening to. And then all of a sudden, we're adults, we're entrepreneurs, and we're still stuck sounding like our mom or our dad or our uncle, when somebody like me has to say, “Stop. You have an instrument. Let's tune it up. Let’s turn everyone into great speakers.”
And here's the thing. I say that the difference, really, between a great speaker and a mediocre one is, number one, they can control the way that people perceive them. And number two, they can move people emotionally, which we spoke about a little. And number three is they can control, they can influence the outcome of the conversation. And number four, I'll add that, is that you have to remember that—and I work with some of the most on-camera superstars in the world—almost everyone is nervous in front of a camera or nervous when they speak. So the difference being a great speaker and a mediocre one is a great speaker manages to convince the audience that they're confident. They don't actually have to be confident all the time. I say they just have to make the sounds of confidence.
So, concretely, let me share some of my sound strategies to be more confident, to be more engaging, and to look at the voice and listen to the voice that you're using right now and decide what tweaks you should make. First one is about melody, okay? When I say melody to you, you think of songs or music, and what is melody? Well, it's when the notes go up and when they go down and when they stay on the same. It's the pattern of notes that you would hear in a song.
Well, when we speak, we actually are creating melodies, and some of those melodies are good, and some of those melodies are bad, like monotone. People are speaking like this all the time, thinking they were just one note on the piano, and they don't even know that they do it. They're thinking, “I have so much personality. I'm so much fun. I'm really excited right now. Oh, wait, no. I'm really sad right now because it's just my one note.” Sometimes they may get really bold and go up to another note and then come right back to that monotone note.
So here's what you need to understand about melody. Are you monotone? Are you just really staying on one note, and then there’s no melody? because if you are, that is so boring. You're putting people to sleep. The average attention span of somebody is, like, eight seconds. Microsoft did a study. So eight seconds. How long is it going to take people to get bored if you only stay on one note and you don't have any melody? About two seconds because they're going to think they know what you sound like, and when they think they know what you sound like, they think they know what you're going to say next, and then you have lost them because no element of surprise and no mystery. So you have to focus on melody.
What should you do with melody instead of monotone? Well, there’s two other choices. You could use ascending melodies, which are melodies that go from low to high. Check this out. My name is Roger Love. I'm going from a low note to a higher note, as if I was playing the piano and going from the left side of the keyboard up to the right. Here I am down low, and now I'm going higher. This is called an ascending melody. People should use more ascending melodies because when I use ascending melodies, it makes me sound happy. It makes me sound engaged. It makes me sound confident. We don't use enough ascending melodies.
Most people are using descending melodies, the ones that go from high to low. It's my birthday. My name is Roger Love. It's okay if you didn't bring me any presents. And they're all sounding like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, and we were even taught to do descending melodies. My elementary school teacher and yours did and pretty much everyone else in the world told them when they get to a comma, they were supposed to go down. And when they get to a period, they were supposed to go down. And the only time they were allowed to go up to a higher note was when it was a question.
AMY: Yes. That’s what I was going to bring up, because sometimes when I go up at the end, it sounds like I've just asked a question when I'm not asking a question.
ROGER: Well, here's the interesting thing about that, my dear Amy. There is a difference between up talk and ascending melodies. When people do—and there were all these articles over the years. Don't go up at the end. You'll sound like you're making everything a question and you won't have any confidence. Those weren't written by musicians. Those weren't written by composers. Here's the difference. Up talk is when you slide up to the last note. It's okay. Today's my birthday. I really love being with Amy. So when you slide, it sounds like Valley talk or up talk, and it's a slide.
But as long as you don't slide, it never sounds like a question. It sounds like a statement. I love my wife. I am very, very fond of Amy. I'm happy to be here today. There's no question in that. As long as it's an ascending scale without scooping up, you're good as gold, as platinum, as precious metal can be. You need to stop doing the descending scales, stop doing monotone, and do ascending scales.
Listen to the difference of melody, okay? I'm going to say the same line twice. “You want to go to the movies?” “You want to go to the movies?” Those are the notes I picked, and you’re thinking, “Why would I want to go to the movies with you, Roger? I don't like scary movies.” I'm going to say the same words, and I’m going to change the melody. “You want to go to the movies?” “You want to go to the movies?” “You want to go the movies?” Just different notes, different melody. And you're like, “Roger, I would love to go to see the new Disney film that's rated G. I'll bring my kids. You bring your kids. We’ll make a whole day out of it.”
AMY: Absolutely. I did see very much a difference in both of those, yes.
ROGER: So, that’s one big, huge thing. We're not even thinking about melodies. We're not thinking about the volumes we use. We're not thinking about when to be airy or when not to be airy. We're not thinking about the pace, how fast or slow we go. These are all things that I got really good from seventeen years of teaching singers before I even started with speakers. And my job now, put the music back into people's speaking voices so it'll have the same result. I got good at teaching singers how to have millions and millions of people buy their albums. And then I figured I could do the same thing with speakers, entrepreneurs, businesspeople; help them figure out the sounds that would move people to take the action that they want.
AMY: I am so grateful that you're giving specific examples and advice, because I really do believe, like you said, people can apply this right away. And that’s why I wanted to get into the issue that a lot of my listeners and students have, which is, as you know, they do webinars, they do masterclasses, they do live videos, and when they get to the point where they're ready to sell, their voice gets shaky, tight, lower. I think some of the stuff you've already talked about probably applies here, but I know you have tips and strategies to help people sell more online by using their voice. Can we get into that?
ROGER: Sure. Look, it's so common that when people are doing a webinar, and they're teaching, and they're teaching, and there’s content and content, they feel good about that. They feel that they’re gift givers. Here's the gift of the knowledge that I have. Here’s how you're going to fix your voice, or here's how you’re going to sell more. Here's how you're going to do what my specialty is. You feel good, and then all of a sudden, it gets to the close, and you think, “Uh-oh. I got to sell something now,” and you start to get nervous. Your personality changes. Your voice changes. The best of the best still have to deal with this, and they've learned end arounds. They've learned how to deal with that, because you're going to get nervous as you start to move into parts of the presentation that you're less comfortable about or, especially, attached to money.
So here's a thing you should know, first of all, about getting nervous and when your body starts changing and your mind freaks out. When you get nervous, what happens is your breathing gets shallow and fast, so you feel like you can't get enough air in, and you take smaller breaths. And then your mouth gets dry, and your pulse gets faster, and you start sweating.
But here’s the thing that people should remember. I call it getting-to-the-stage fright, and it could just as easily be getting-in-front-of-the-camera fright. What we learn from science and psychology is that all of the fears that we have before we actually turn the camera on and we start speaking, we have great fear. We're so worried about people judging us harshly or not liking us or our content. So that fear is real. But the truth is, as soon as you open your mouth and the camera goes on, fear dissipates almost 98 percent within the first five seconds.
ROGER: Yeah. Scientifically proven. The amount of fear that you have when you start dissipates almost 100 percent, about 98 percent-ish, as soon as sound starts coming out of your mouth, because what happens? You realize, well, you're here. You're at the mountain. There's only up or down now. You're not going to run off crying. You're going to just move forward. And you start focusing on content.
So first trick. Remember that when you actually get in the place where you're presenting, you're not going to have hardly any of the same anxiety that you felt in all of the worry before you got to that space. So some things to do. Knowing that breathing gets shallow when you get nervous, before you're going to pitch or right before you even start a presentation or a webinar, knowing that the breathing is going to get shallow and faster, your job is to slow down the breathing. So I'm sure you've heard of diaphragmatic breathing. It's sort of like if anybody else mentions diaphragmatic breathing, I want to throw mud on their car because you think you've heard everything that you could possibly know about diaphragmatic breathing from your yoga instructor or from your meditation expert.
But here’s the thing about diaphragmatic breathing that you don't know. The job is to breathe in through your nose because there are filters in the nose called turbinates. And when you breathe in through the nose, it becomes moist air so it doesn't dry out your throat. Everyone listening right now has to close their lips when they breathe in and breathe through the nose, and then their voice will be stronger and louder and thicker and more powerful, and they won't get dry, and they won't have to drink so much water on stage or feel like you're the Sahara Desert when it's time to pitch. So breathe in through your nose. That helps.
Then, you pretend you have a balloon in your tummy. Again, what most people know, you breathe in through the nose. Tummy comes forward. You won't be fat. You will be full of wonderful air. But then—here's the secret that people don't understand—your job is to only speak while your stomach is coming in. You have to imagine as if you had swallowed an accordion. Something I do not advise anyone to try. But an accordion has to go out. The sides go out. And then the sides go in for music to come out.
Well, the same thing happens with our lungs and the whole diaphragmatic process. Breathe in through your nose, pretend you have a balloon in your tummy, and then learn to only speak while your stomach is coming in. That slows down the breathing. First of all, it takes you a little bit longer to close your lips, breathe in through your nose. And then, it takes you a little longer to get the breath out because you're letting your stomach come back in slowly.
So that idea of doing diaphragmatic breathing slows you down, gets moist air in through your nose, sends the right amount of air out, and that’s a really, really good thing to think about whenever you’re nervous, to regulate your breathing, bring it slow or stop breathing in through your mouth, stop taking short breaths. That's just making you more nervous as you move from one piece of content to the next. Slow down your breathing, breathe in through your nose, take more time at commas and periods, and let your stomach come in while the sound is coming up. Most people are holding their breath the whole time when they speak, and then how's that going to help them get less nervous? When I hold my breath like this, I can't do it without tightening my stomach. And when I tighten my stomach, my neck gets tightened, and my head feels like I’m about ready to explode because I’m not really getting any air. That's not the way to feel relaxed. That's not the way to feel relaxed.
Look, when I started doing big stage shows with people like—Brendon Burchard and I, we put on a program, a three-day event, called World's Greatest Speaking Training that we started about eight years ago. And I mean, I was creating content and all my programs and selling them online, and I wasn't focusing on being on stage. And when I first got up to go from content to pitch, even my personality changed a little bit, and I got so serious. Maybe it was because it triggered all kinds of emotions when I was a kid, and we didn't have very much money. So the bottom line is that you don't want to stop the flow of air. You don't want to stop the relaxation of the body as you move from one subject to the next. It's all just you being free and making great sounds and being able to show people that you're confident and authentic and emotional all the way through your webcasts and all of your shows and your content creation.
AMY: Okay. So one thing that I've actually maybe steered my students wrong, so I'm kind of mortified about this, but when you and I had our training session, I told you that I teach my students, even when they're not on camera, when they're talking, I want them to smile because there's energy, and when you're smiling and your voice is more projected and you stand up a little straighter. And this is how I've taught them how to do webinars for years and years. But you actually said smiling when you're talking isn't necessarily the best thing to do. And I thought, “Oh, no.” So could we talk about that?
ROGER: Yes. And so I agree with you, and I have an adjunct comment.
AMY: Okay, good. Okay.
ROGER: So the answer is smiling is wonderful. Showcasing happy is the greatest thing you can do as an entrepreneur and as a performer. When you walk into a meeting or you start a webinar or podcast and you exude happy and grateful, immediately people are thinking, “Wow. That person is happy.” And now you've just bought yourself another eight seconds because it took them eight seconds to decide you're happy. Then they're thinking, “Why is Roger so happy?” Now you’ve just bought another eight seconds of attention. And then, they're thinking, “Why is Roger so happy?” And then they wait for me to talk more about things. And then, they're thinking, “Hm, maybe I am not happy all the time, and I should be more happy like Roger.” So, I mean, literally the greatest thing you can do as a presenter and as an entrepreneur. I've made more deals by walking into meetings already happy, king of the world, not thinking that I need their check, their money, their anything to make me any happier. I’m the happiest person they’ve ever met. It immediately shifts all of the power from them thinking, “He's unhappy, and he needs me and my check,” or to “Wow. We'd be so lucky to spend more time with Roger because he's so happy, and he makes the whole room happy, and he makes me feel happy.”
Anyways, back to smile. A long-winded thing to say. Smiling is wonderful. But when you smile, it makes the corners of your mouth go wide. When the corners of your mouth go wide, the voice sounds more nasal. I'm doing it right now, and the reason it sounds nasal is that the sound is supposed to go and flood into the mouth and then bounce into the cheeks. But when you go wide and your teeth come close together because you're smiling, the sound hits the teeth, does not bounce into the cheeks, and then goes a little bit more towards nasal.
So you don't necessarily want to sound nasal when you're speaking, even if you’re nasal and happy, because nasal is a little bit more of a sort of, not a perfect sound. When somebody sounds nasal, you're thinking, “I don't necessarily want to kiss them on the mouth. Maybe they have a cold or a nasal infection or a sore throat. I don't want that.” So nasal isn't the lead voice in a movie. It's not the lead character. It's the sidekick. “I'm the funny one, and I'm nasal.” So nasal has its own connotations, not all of them perfect.
So I say smile when you're not speaking. Smile when you're listening to other people. Smile when they're responding to you. Smile with your eyes. Smile with your voice. I’m not smiling right now, but my voice is using ascending melodies, like I taught. You want to sound happy, but smiling isn't the only way. Smile plenty when you're not speaking and then less when you're speaking, and then add all of the happy to the sounds of your voice.
Here's some other things that I want people to think of, how they can sound better. We talked about ascending melodies. We talked about diaphragm breathing. I want to dispel the myth about being louder as being bad. People who get on camera, people who get a microphone, all of a sudden, they speak and they hear themselves very loudly. And they think, “Well, I don't want to be too loud because if I'm louder, I'll sound angry, and I don't want to sound angry. Buy this. Listen to me.” The last thing in the world, I want to sound happy all the time, but I don't want to sound angry ever.
So people are afraid of volume. What they need to understand is volume is one of the main components in the sounds of confidence. If you don't sound loud enough, strong enough, thick enough, they don't think you're confident enough, and they hear the smaller voice, and they attach that to whatever you're selling, whatever you're pitching. They attach your lack of confidence and lack of strength in your sound to maybe you have less confidence in the content, in the products that you're selling. So if you come across weak and airy, thinking that more air is more care, and you have a soft voice, they're thinking that you don't have the confidence, and then that's making them think that you don't even have confidence in the products you're selling. So volume, people need to speak louder.
The reason they don’t—like I said—they don’t want to sound angry. So here's how you avoid anger when you're louder. When you're angry, you have to have three sounds, and they have to all be together. You have to be louder. You have to be monotone because nobody has any time for melody when they're angry. All the words just come out of it. “I’ve been meaning to say this to you for so long, Amy, and now I’m going to just let it all spew out.” So you have to be louder, you have to be faster, and you can't have any melody. Who's got time for melody when you're mad? You're not trying to make happy sounds. You're just mad.
So the sounds of anger are monotone, so don't do it; fast speaking, so don't do it; and volume. But if you have volume, and you have melody, and you don't rush the words out, you'll never sound angry. You'll only sound confident. So slow the heck down, add more melody, and increase the volume, and you already sound like you're a more confident person, a stronger speaker. Stop thinking that you're a—even a masseuse, if they sound all airy like this, then what's the client thinking? Obviously, they don't have strong-enough hands to do deep massage.
AMY: My husband would think that. Absolutely.
So, Roger, I'm so glad you brought the topic up of talking too fast into this conversation, because that is something that my students do a lot. They get nervous in the selling, and they talk, talk, talk, talk, talk really, really fast. Nobody can understand what they're saying. And so you're giving us all permission to slow it down. And I'm glad you've done so. I want everyone to hear that, and I'm going to back that up to say that when people are thinking about buying from you, they want to know what they're buying. And when you’re rushing through the selling portion, they're very confused as to what they're spending money on. And so I love that you brought that up, because I'm going to support it from a selling standpoint. You're supporting it from, you're going to increase the trust. People are going to pay attention more if you actually slow it down. Are we on the same page?
ROGER: 100 percent. And let me add some stuff to that, too.
AMY: Oh, great. Please do.
ROGER: Because we 100 percent agree. Here's the thing. A great composer spends just as much time writing the rests as they do the notes. So when you're writing music, here's where the notes go, and then here's the rests, where there’s supposed to be silence. Now why is that so important? Well, in the silence is anticipation. In the silence is process. And how does that affect the speaking voice? When you speak really fast, you don't have a lot of commas, and you don't spend a lot of time at silence after a comma or a period because you're afraid you're going to lose them, and you're just thinking you're getting paid by the words. You’re speaking really fast. You're taking short commas, taking short breaths. You're not giving people any silent spots.
Here's why that's so bad. When you're speaking, people are not processing how they feel about what you're saying. When you are speaking, they are just gathering the words, trying to remember the words you say. And then when there's silence, when you get to a comma or period, that's when the listener's brain goes from a simulation of the words to how do I feel about what that person just said.
ROGER: So the last thing you want to do is rob people of process time, because if I say, “I really like red, I really like yellow, I really like green, I really like chartreuse,” you didn’t have a chance to think. But if I said, “I really like green, and I really like yellow,” and I left a little spot after “I really like yellow,” people are thinking, “I like bananas. Maybe I like strawberries better. I really like green.” Space, silence. “I like green. Sell a lot of this product. Yeah, they're going to love my pitch.” We're not getting paid by the word. We are getting paid by moving people to feel and understand and remember the things that we say.
So, here's how you fix that freight train running down the track, an uncontrollable speed. You make your commas and periods have longer silence. When I'm speaking, I could speak as fast as I want, but when I get to a comma, in my head, I'm counting “One, two, three,” before I would even think of starting the sentence again. One, two, three. And then when I do start the sentence again—one, two, three—every single time I get to a comma—one, two, three—I'm giving people the process time—one, two, three—to think about what I just said. One, two, three. So you don't necessarily have to slow down the words; you have to increase the silence at commas and periods. I say silence is golden. We've all heard that phrase. Silence is where you will win them over. Silence is where you give them a chance to feel something and process what you just said. So the person who's rushing, it isn't that their words are coming out too fast. It's that the words can come out as fast as you want if you give them a little bit more time at the commas and a little bit more time at the periods to think and feel about what you just said. Do you see what I’m doing, demonstrating that with you?
AMY: Roger! This is good! I never looked at it that way. And I want to repeat something he just said, that when you do these pauses after the commas, after the periods, you are giving people time to feel the emotion. And when we do a webinar, we want people walking away feeling something. I mean, that's the most important part. We want to evoke emotion. And so we're going to need those pauses.
ROGER: Exactly right. And people are just so worried about losing their audience’s attention, but they're actually contributing to overloading their listeners with words that don't actually bring people to action because they felt something. I mean, any song, if it was [upbeat notes] that’s different than [slow notes]. In the silence, you can’t wait for the next [slow notes]. But if you run them all together [notes], it’s different.
AMY: Oh, that’s good. I've never heard you explain it that way. So very glad I asked that question, because I think a lot of people right now, they're just shaking their head. Like, “Yes. Okay. I get it. I get it.” And I'm curious to know how much of this can become second nature, because I'm thinking about it still. You know, Roger, you taught me some really great techniques, but I'm still thinking, breathing through my nose, belly out like a balloon, and then talking as it goes in. Like, it's still very fresh in my mind how to do it. Does that become second nature?
AMY: Oh, thank God. Okay.
ROGER: But it can't become second nature if you don't do certain things. First of all, you should be recording yourselves more. And I mean, not just when you do a webinar. You should be recording yourself and then listening back and saying, “How many times did I do an ascending scale? How many times did I go down? How many times did I just stay on the same note for sixty-three words in a row, and I fell asleep, and the audience didn't know because they were asleep? How many ascending scales did I do? How many fillers did I do?” We need to talk about fillers. But you need to start recording yourself and then listening back for the things we're talking about. Do you create enough volume? Are you doing ascending melodies? Are you doing monotone? Are you speaking too fast? Are you rushing through the commas and periods as if they didn't matter?
AMY: Okay. I was going to ask you the question, what am I supposed to be listening to when I listen back? That's exactly—you just answered it. But let's talk about those fillers, because that was my next question. I get asked about, how do you not say um and uh all the time? And Roger, I have no idea. I say it, but I say it very rarely. It's just not something that I've had a challenge with. But many of my students do, and I don't know how to answer that question for them. Please help us.
ROGER: I would love to help you. I'll tell you a little story. We have two children—they're young adults now—my wife and I. And when we had our first girl, Madison—we have a boy and a girl—and when Madison was born, we had this amazing idea, my wife and I. We were going to make her realize or think that fillers are swear words. And so every time she'd say an um or an uh, we would react as if it was worse than the F-word and it was the worst swear word of all. And then we trained the same thing to our son, Colin, who came along eight years later. And then they both safeguarded themselves. You'd hear them talking, and my son, Colin, would say, “Maddie said a bad word because she said um or uh.” And we thought we were the most brilliant, parent-communicator teachers in the world until, guess what? What happened is as Madison became a teenager, there was a word that started happening as a filler that I hadn't anticipated, and it was the word like. Like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like, like.
AMY: Oh, this is me. Okay. This is me. Growing up in California, Roger, it's very, Southern California, very normal.
ROGER: Hello. You can't watch The Bachelorette or The Bachelor and not have every other word be a like. And it's not a word when you're not using it as a word. So then I had to fix Madison's filler of like.
Anyways, why do we use fillers? We use fillers because we are of the misconception that if we had silence, people would, we would lose their attention. So actually, speakers add fillers as placeholders to say, “I'm still speaking. I'm not done. Um, I'm not letting you off the hook,” because they're afraid if there was ever silence, the person might start texting or looking at their emails or turn the webinar off. So we've already talked about this. Now we know silence is amazing, and silence is the greatest gift you can give to your listeners and to you, because they're going to process and feel about what you said and then be so ready for you to say something else that's going to make them feel.
Okay. So, first of all, like I said, we're doing it as placeholders. We need to realize that silence is much more important. Second, the way that we breathe and the way that we speak when we breathe, we've gotten used to just short little words, a few words here, connected on a little burst of air. And then there's separation, when we're speaking, in between a lot of words. And I teach people to speak and connect all the words together until they get to a comma.
So, here's the difference. Most people talk like this, and they just, a few words, and then there's a little stop. Anyways, so they're preparing the ground for a small amount of air, little bursts, and lots of holes, which they um, which they like, um, uh have to fill. If you learn to connect the words together and you only stop when you get to a comma, then you're speaking like you're singing. Nobody buys a song that is like, So, um, before you go, like, is there some, uh, thing I could have said to make it all stop, uh, hurting? Excuse me, if I, like. Nobody sings like that.
So I teach the people to connect all the words together, that the sound doesn't stop until you get to a comma. Then when you get to a comma, there's no sound, and you silently count one, two, three. And then only open your mouth when you have a word to say. So it is the speaking in bursts, like this, with just a few words attached and then stopping that is causing the problem. It's an air-flow problem. You learn to speak like people sing. The hills are alive like the sound of—no. The hills are alive like the sound of music—comma—with words they have sung for a thousand years. I don’t interrupt the air flow. The words ride out. That's one technique.
Second technique is I literally—you're going to laugh—I have people speak on a solid stream of air, and when they get to a comma, I have them put their hands in front of their mouth. And I don't let them take their hands away from their mouth until we have a word to say. I tell them to practice like this. Okay. I'm going to say this now, and I get to a comma. Speak no evil, like the monkey. I have my hands literally in front of my mouth. Do that for a little while. Record yourself focusing on solid air flow; focusing on counting silently—one, two, three—when you get to the commas and periods; and only jumping back into the sentence with a word. Those are two immediate ways to help eliminate fillers.
AMY: This is fantastic. Every time I get asked this question moving forward, I'm going to literally get the timestamp of this podcast episode and say, “Go listen to this.”
ROGER: And tell them to count their fillers. Tell them to speak for a minute or so, and then count how many fillers. Record themselves, speak for a minute or so about breakfast or anything that makes them excited, and then count how many fillers. When you substitute fillers for silence, you're not going to believe how much more connected the audience is to you.
AMY: Yes. And that's what we want. At the end of the day, you are looking for that connection. People are craving that connection from you. And I believe that so many of my students have beautiful, important things to say, that the last thing I want them to do is be using these fillers and losing the trust of their audience.
ROGER: We agree.
AMY: I'm glad that we brought that up, because it is something that comes up a lot.
So, here's the great news. Anybody who's listening, they're thinking, “Wait a second, Amy. You got to have a training session with Roger Love. That's so cool. I want a training session as well.” And Roger's done something really cool. So, Roger, let my listeners know what you put together.
ROGER: Well, I never like to come to the party without the best gift that gets unwrapped. I always want to be the best gift giver. That makes me happy, and I literally have spent my life trying to help people figure out what sounds should come out of their mouths. So I want to make it as easy as possible of them making these changes. I want to help people use their voices to achieve their most ambitious goals. For some of you listening with us today, that could mean finally loving the way your voice sounds instead of hating your own voice or disliking it, and loving the way your voice sounds on course videos, feeling proud of your performance with what you've created. For others listening, maybe you're the voice of your company and you want to wow prospects on Zoom meetings or in person so you can grow your business and your reputation. When you start focusing on your voice and your communication skills, I'm telling you that the potential is limitless, and very few people are thinking about their voice. They're only thinking about their voice when they've lost it, and then they call me and say, “Roger, I’ve lost it,” and I fix it. But we need to start thinking about their voices before we lose it. Most importantly, whatever you want to achieve with your voice, that's what—Amy, I’m going to speak for both of us—that’s what we want for the people that are listening.
So, here's what we did. There's a $50 gift certificate waiting for you right now at rogerlove.com/amy. Amy. Why not, Amy? All lowercase Amy. You're going to claim—you go there after this, you claim your gift certificate—rogerlove.com/amy—and you're going to use it to get your hands on the voice-training program that's perfect for what you want to achieve with your voice. Do you want to work on virtual? Do you want to work on stage? You want to work on camera? Do you want to work on audio only? So relax. Even if you think you're tone deaf right now and that you couldn't possibly add the kind of music that Roger's talking about to your voice, my program has helped tens of thousands of students like you. You are not tone deaf; you're just tonally challenged. All you have to do is follow along with me, listen to what I do, imitate the sounds that I make, and you will hear improvement, a lot of improvement, by this time next week. So go to rogerlove.com, the best place to start, by claiming their gift certificate or just go to rogerlove.com/amy, get your $50 off. And by the way, my programs are really, really affordable. I can't save the world by changing millions of voices if I don't make it affordable. So $50 is going to go a long way to making a huge change in your voice. It’s not going to break the bank, but it's going to exponentially increase your chances of using your voice to achieve the success that you want.
AMY: Oh, well, I absolutely love that you're giving a gift certificate. Some of my listeners are going to find that so valuable, take you up on it right away. So go check it out, rogerlove.com/amy.
Roger, thank you so very much. I appreciate your friendship. I appreciate your generosity on this episode, sharing so many tactical steps that people can take to right away implement in their webinars, in their presentations, and everything they do. So I really appreciate you. Thank you for being here.
ROGER: Amy, I appreciate you. You're such a great example. Your melodies, your volume changes, the sounds of emotion in your voice. These are things that people think you were just born with it. You were born with a great voice. I can hear that. But you worked on your voice and your presentation as much as you worked on your content. But you made your delivery so good. So you're such a role model for all the things that I teach. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you for sharing what I know with your people, and thank you for being such a great presenter, like I said at the beginning.
AMY: Thank you, Roger. You have a wonderful day, and I'll talk soon.
ROGER: Okay. Talk to you soon.
AMY: This was such a special episode. I'm nervous, I have to tell you, I'm nervous to talk right now after learning from Roger, because I know I've got a lot to implement. But I'm glad that I know these strategies and tactics and I can keep applying them and practicing with them because I know it will make me a better speaker, whether I'm live, on stage, on a podcast, no matter what. He’s such a wealth of knowledge. and because he's got this voice thing down, he's really fun to listen to as well, right? Would you agree?
So whether you have a masterclass coming up, you've got a podcast, you just want to sound more confident when you're talking to your clients, whatever it might be, I really do hope you take the time to apply what you've learned here. And for some of you, you might want to take it one step further and have a session or two or more with Roger. Many of my friends have worked with him as well, and believe me, they absolutely love what they've learned from Roger.
Now here are a few action steps. Number one, I want you to actually book a Facebook Live this week if you don't have one on the calendar, or an Instagram Live or wherever you're going to actually just speak live on camera. And I want you to take one thing that you've learned here, and I want you to practice it while you're live. Because believe me, if we do not practice this stuff, it's never going to sink in. So you've got to be able to make mistakes and mess up along the way. But little by little, the techniques we've learned here today can be just second hand to us as we're presenting live, no matter where we are.
I can't wait to see what you've taken here and see how you apply it to your own business and what you do in your business, because more than anything, I want you to feel confident in all you do. And also, I want all your hard work, all that content you're creating, all those hours that you are live on video and you are sharing your message and your gift, I want them to count at the highest level possible, and the way that they can count is that if you can evoke emotion. And today we've learned that it's more than just the words, but it’s that tonality and the emotion we're able to create. So here's to you creating even more emotion in all that you do so that you can serve your audience at the highest level.
All right, my friends. Have a wonderful day. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.