Ralph Smedley wrote a book about how to use your voice and the exercises to do for improving it. I had the change to find it on Amazon a few years back.
What got me was one of the first chapter of his book:
The most important: have a friendly voice!
When you feel confident, playful, in phase with your audience, the voice shows it.
When I thought "what they will think if I tell them this?" the voice become flat.
When in love with the audience, "in friendship" complicity with them, the voice come out great.
I looked up some of my old recording, that confirmed those observations to me again.
So of course, it is great to make exercises, to play with the voice, to train it for different tones, rhythms, pitches, paces and intonations even, but finally, the day of performing, we are there with the audience and in the moment, forgetting our voice, our body.
All there in the moment, with the audience and the story. To transmit it the best we can that time.
To be friendly, we have to feel friendly. To feel friendly, we have to know at least some from the audience or feel as our friends. Each time I can, I do speak to at least one or more people from a new audience so we feel already "knowing" each other. With two benefits. They feel also as my "special pals" and I feel they are mine when I am on the stage. It does help a lot.
Here are plots by Doug Lipman for his class "growing a story":
How some of our different "oral elements" are contributing through a story telling. From all, in oral story telling, words are only one of them. So much more goes on. In normal circumstances we do it without really "staging" them. Or, experimenting just with one to see the difference. Remembering to exaggerate one movement, or one sentence or move a little at one time. When it is too staged it becomes artificial, and the audience senses it immediately.
Yes, we do have to practice, to rehearse, to learn bits of it well, but once there let go and be there.
There is a strange thing with pathways levels and projects, as for now. If you click on how you feel "after" it thinks you finished it! And it is not true. Back-pedalling does now work. You have just to wait and not click on Evaluate, the task when you tell how you liked a project, before finishing giving the speech expected.
I remind myself, "do not rush!" enjoy each project as it comes, delight in it, as I tell in my standup comedy routine "take your time and do not rush to the end". Even if, not knowing what will come, not being able to read through the next level and next level tasks, in my path, pushes me to go a bit faster. Ah, my curiosity! We really should be able to read all the tasks of our path. Then we could go, I do believe slower through each level. But understanding well path.
I will or not be able today to tell my story used for voice variety, all the way to Manilla.
And probably, I will stick with telling an old Hungarian Folk tale (translated by me and adapted) for the Storytelling project, next week, instead of making a new story, as the story I try to tell in the future story takes time to "grow". It is only half baked.