Radio Voice


Radio voice really isn’t all that different from writer’s voice. It revolves around the same basic ideas. In the same way that a writer must develop their own style and voice based on who they are, a radio journalist/host must also do the same. I actually found an eHow article about How to Develop a Good Radio Voice. One of the tips of things not to do was: “Don’t be Howard Stern. Imitators are a dime a dozen, and without his fame and reputation, you’re more than likely to come off like a jerk. Develop your own voice and leave Howard to his.” I think that this is very telling—each person has a unique voice and that is what makes radio interesting to listen to. The more effective the voice of the speaker, the more we are drawn in and the more engaged we become.

One of my favourite radio hosts is Jian Ghomeshi, because of his voice. His voice is conversational and natural, that it makes listening to his interviews a real pleasure because there is a genuine two-way conversation going on. Often with radio interviews the interviewer simply asks question after question, and this just isn’t anywhere near as enjoyable to listen to; it is hard to get into. With Jian, however, he engages the person he is speaking with and responds to what they have to say, making it much more interesting and engaging for the listeners. You don’t get the sense at all that what he says is scripted, and in fact he regularly stumbles over his words and speaks very quickly—this is all part of his voice. More importantly, however, is his personality.   His personality is what creates his voice; it is very distinctive, unique and easily recognizable over the radio. By allowing his personality to come through and become his voice, he allows the audience to connect with him on a much deeper level hence engaging them.

I often find it a very interesting experience when, after listening for a long time to a certain radio host on CBC, I see a picture or video of them. I am often surprised, because just from listening to their voice I have created an image of them in my mind–just like one does when reading about a character in a book–so when I see them they never look as I expected. This shows that voice over the radio works very much in the same way as writers voice, it connects with the listener in different ways and stimulated the imagination.


Works Cited

Sir Ken Robinson on Q TV.” YouTube. Q TV, 6 Oct. 2009. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.

Heleva, Pete. “How to Develop a Good Radio Voice.” eHow. eHow, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.