The Sound of Your Voice

“In a World…” currently playing in movie theaters, earned a well-deserved 91% positive rating from the Rotten Tomatoes website. As Rotten Tomatoes describes it, the film is primarily “a romantic comedy about a struggling vocal coach who strikes it big in the cutthroat world of movie-trailer voice-overs.” With main emphasis on the competition for voice-over industry, the vocal coaching aspect is depicted only briefly, at the beginning and end, as bookends, but that is where the film provides a lesson for presenters.

At the beginning, the main character, Carol, played by actress Lake Bell (who also wrote and directed the film) coaches professional actors to optimize their voices. She has one of her clients practice with a cork between her teeth to improve enunciation. (A 21st Century version of Demosthenes’ pebbles). But the very brief closing scene has Carol (after winning an important voice-over contract) returning to coaching. She convenes a voice training session for a group of young women. Before Carol starts her lesson, she gives the girls a pep talk about the importance of making a strong impression by sounding mature and not like Valley Girls.

Brava! Exactly my sentiments. If you’d like to read my take (and solutions) on the subject, you can find it in my prior post, Valley Girl Talk.