Video: NPR's reporters don't all have perfect, radio-smooth voices, but they all sound natural and confident on air. In this video, vocal coach Jessica Hansen gives you three NPR-approved exercises to help you speak into a microphone while sounding more like yourself.
All of these exercises will make you feel ridiculous, by the way, so toss your dignity out the window (or just lock yourself in a soundproof closet). First you'll pant like a dog and blow out imaginary birthday candles; this helps you breathe deeply and powerfully so your voice will sound strong. Then, you'll practise a lip trill in an exercise that will stop you from slipping into vocal fry when you don't mean to. Then, things get really fun as you learn to put personality — several personalities — into a dull script.
Find more tips on honing your voice and telling great stories at NPR Training.