Often referred to the best Colorado Wedding DJ, Matt Martindale with Amore’ DJ Entertainment is the industry expert often brought in to teach other DJs at national conferences. Here is a write up that was included as the feature article in the nation’s leading DJ publication, MobileBeat talking about the value of voice personality training. https://www.mobilebeat.com/emagscurrent/172/
Enhance Your Performance: Voice Personality
by: Matt Martindale
July 2016 – Spotlight on Performance
Regardless of how you entertain, it’s all about presentation. The quality of your presentation today, is tomorrow’s reputation – so we must always be careful! Take the time to master the art of performance with the surgical precision in knowing where you need to focus. For a lot of DJs, it’s their voice. Most have great technical knowledge, and are good at reading the crowd, but many lack the ability to command a room with their voice. Your voice tells a story about you. Your voice will either attract others to you and your message, or detract from it.
The goal of voice personality training is to equip your voice to tell a positive, engaging story, to hold interest, to capture an audience, while sounding intelligent, and communicating with precise articulation.
With two other very successful divisions of our Colorado DJ company (a Colorado photo booth division, and a Colorado wedding lighting & décor division), a client occasionally hires a different DJ service for their event, yet chooses us for the lighting and décor, or our photo booth. In the last week, I had the opportunity to preview two other “experienced” DJs under those conditions. Upon reviewing the other Colorado wedding Dee Jay’s performances, I would give one a letter grade, of a C-, the other one D+ at best; only because they both were able to select good dance songs and read the crowd fairly to “save” the wedding receptions as the night progressed. However, their voice personality and mic handling was absolutely dreadful. Neither wedding Dee Jay was able to command any attention and left guests literally standing in the room bored and clueless. Each Dee Jay spoke with no inflection, continued at the same monotone pace, had very poor articulation, almost to the point their words seemed like a “lazy mouth” that left words slurred to nothing more than an indistinguishable gibberish. Their voice clearly communicated that they didn’t want to be there on the rare occasion they did speak on the mic. I then chatted with them after the event. One was a club style DJ, experienced in beat mixing who brought a “an experienced MC” with him for “the speaking stuff” (and he was terrible on the mic with a vocabulary of no more than 20 words the whole night because it was so repetitive); the other company was single operator and proud to boast he was a 10 year veteran at weddings and current radio fm DJ on a well known station. Neither, on the mic, was impressive. Sadly, neither represented the bride, groom, families or had any grasp as to the seriousness of performing at a wedding celebration.
Seeing both Colorado weddings personally, got me thinking about what I did for our multi-system company back in 2,000.
What I did, was novel in the industry…a DJ industry first. I first heard legendary Denver radio personality and professional voice trainer, Roy Hanschke, speak at a conference. He was fantastic! I then sought him out privately, and hired him to train our multi-system DJs several times.
Roy and I soon became friends, and in 2002, we worked together to introduce the first voice training product to the Mobile Beat world in Las Vegas for the DJ industry. That was the birth of the “Voice Personality 10 Minute Trainer Series” and “Applying the Voice Personality Series to Entertain” that swept the country by storm.
After experiencing both of these DJs, frankly, I think all DJs (including myself) could use a refresher on the power of voice personality.
Successful communication depends on both the words you choose to say, and, more importantly, how your voice says them. A message has a better chance of being heard, correctly understood and remembered if your voice says it well. Your speaking voice is one of your greatest assets, or, it can be your biggest hindrance. The idea is to develop your voice so that it gets (and holds attention) and also communicates a positive image. Most people don’t notice an average voice. What they do notice is a poor voice, or a great voice. Where does your voice fit in?
From the original Voice Personality series we featured at Mobile Beat Las Vegas in 2002…the key to improvement is to always focus on awareness, analysis and practice (adapted specifically to the type of performances you do). Awareness is where it begins. At your next performance, record yourself from the very beginning to the very end of your event. Record everything your audience hears.
Now what? Before analyzing your recording, I strongly suggest you find and listen to Roy’s series completely prior to reviewing your recorded performance to ensure that the Voice Personality Trainer Series is fresh in your mind. It can be found here:
Colorado Wedding DJ Expert Lays it Out:
On your mic handling, is there mic feeback, pops in the mic? Do you have to compete with the music to be heard. Was the microphone too close to your mouth sounding distorted or muddled?
Does your enthusiasm sound genuine and does it sound natural? Is it evident, or does it sound “fake” and forced? Is a smile evident in your voice? Does it sound like you are having fun, but are professionally in charge?
Are the words crisp and clear? Do you capture attention and communicate intelligence, or does your voice personality project “lazy” mouth and inability / ineptness? Are sentences rushed, or certain sounds of specific words left off? Were you hurried or nervous? Did your breathing get shallow and then rushed or leave off parts of words?
Is 1/3 of the sound in the nose and 2/3 of the sound in the throat? Does your voice sound “guttural” or “nasally?” Does your voice sound pleasant to listen to? What else can you tell about the intonation of your voice?
Now, carefully listen for the inflection tools, like: varied pace, pitch, varied pace, pause, varied volume, emphasis and elongation. Are you making lots of good and purposeful choices on what’s being said?
Deep breaths from the diaphragm, with good posture, affects the pace at which words are spoken. Is your breathing shallow, or deep?
After just a 5 or 6 times of repeating this process, you’ll become increasingly aware of breathing, articulation, intonation, and inflection in every element of your speaking voice. You’ll start to see patterns. As you do, write them down. In fact, I noticed that most performances I critiqued essentially had about 80 percent of the same content in spoken word, and a lot of the identical words, phrases, etc, so, why not script it and practice it? This way, I could focus on a better presentation, and thereby, master the art of performance. The best way to do this, is to focus your improvement in this order: 1) articulation and breathing; 2) intonation; 3) inflection; 4) lastly, crafting what you say into a familiar script – adding wit and humor so it works EVERY time.
I did it. It has allowed me to master the art of performance with a precise and surgical science in knowing where to focus for a perfect and consistent award winning performance…13 times now!
That’s what we do!
Make a statement or tell your story.
Showcase your own style.
Brand your wedding.
CREATE memories together!
Matt Martindale – Amore’ DJ Entertainment, Wedding Lighting & Décor, Interactive Photo Booth
*Professional Wedding MC / 13 Time Award Winning Colorado Wedding DJ Expert™
*WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award Winner (Top 5 percent of all Wedding Professionals Nationally)