Podcast Coach Tim Wohlberg
Tim Wohlberg on Apple Podcasts

One of the top questions I get asked is, “How do I improve my podcast voice?” Sometimes this question comes after someone confesses, “I hate my voice.” This might be after podcasting for a while, or it might be the reason they aren’t podcasting.

So, I thought I’d share my top tips for improving your vocal performance as a podcaster. But before I do, let me say this: you are your worst critic, and chances are your voice isn’t a make-or-break factor when it comes to building your authority for your brand. If you have great content that serves your listeners, people will listen even if you sound like a second-rate muppet.

I mention this because the number one tip to getting over the “I hate the sound of my own voice” barrier is to stop putting so much emphasis on your voice and shift the focus to serving your listeners.

With that in mind, here are my top 5 tips for improving your podcaster voice:


1. Breathe Properly

I know this seems ridiculous, but I hear podcasters failing to control their breath all the time. Just like a singer needs to think about where in a song they are going to breathe and how they are going to breathe, a podcaster also needs to pay attention. Start by increasing your breath awareness in what you’re currently doing when you record. Are you running out of air? Are you taking gasping breaths? Does your voice get high-pitched when you get rolling? Do you have a weak voice that is quiet or prone to vocal fry? These are all signs that you are running out of air and need better breath control.

How do you improve your breathing as a podcaster? The secret is MORE AIR. Start by being more intentional. Breathe into your diaphragm (not your chest) and exhale slowly as you speak. These deeper breaths will allow you to project to the back of the room – yes, even in your studio. Your diaphragm should be doing the work on the last part of your exhale. Using the force of the exhale will give you access to your full voice. You need to make sure you have enough air to do that consistently.

One of the best ways to get more air in is to stand up. So many podcasters sit when they record, and this doesn’t allow them to get a full breath because their diaphragm and chest cavity are compressed, especially if you relax into your seat and assume a hunched posture.

When you stand, you can breathe deeper and engage your diaphragm to get that fuller-sounding voice. Plus, standing allows you to express yourself more (because your hands are freer for gesturing), and you have more energy. For more on the benefits of standing when you record, check out episode 005.


2. Improve Your Recording Environment

The second tip for improving your voice as a podcaster actually has nothing to do with your voice. You can instantly sound more like a pro by improving where and how you record your voice. I’ve talked a lot about mic placement and creating a soft room to record in (listen to episodes 042 and 169), and you’d be right to fire me as your podcast coach if I didn’t mention it in a discussion about improving your voice. This is something that everyone can do no matter what kind of vocal cords they were born with.

My quick tip is to record your podcast in a soft, cozy space. I’m talking rugs, curtains, pillows, and even plush toys. The key is to give the sound (your voice) a soft place to land so it doesn’t bounce back. You don’t have to break the bank to do this — when I’m on the road and need to record, I clear out the closet and load it with pillows and blankets (even couch cushions) until I get a nice soft space for my booming voice to land.

As for mic technique, first, be sure to select a good dynamic mic (not a condenser mic), and then make sure that you are positioning it correctly so that it picks up the nuances of your voice. Any voice sounds better when it’s rounded out and recorded correctly. All of this will actually translate to you sounding more like an authority when you are deep in people’s earballs. For so many who hate the sound of their voice, making these improvements instantly makes their voice more listenable.


3. Drop and Demonstrate Certainty

There is nothing more authority-boosting than a confident voice. It’s true that studies show that a deeper voice is seen as more authoritative, but before you pull a Maggie Thatcher, you can grab some of that authority without slipping into an inauthentic, fake deep voice. The trick is to drop your voice at the end of a sentence. Simply come down to your lower register after you’ve made your point. Think of your voice falling off the cliff. This is in direct contrast to upspeak, which brings your authority into question because every sentence sounds like a question.

Be sure to click play on this episode to hear what a huge difference this makes in how much authority your voice carries.

When you do, you’ll hear that upspeak instantly makes my voice sound less authoritative. You could have the sexiest, fullest, silkiest voice in the world, and if you don’t drop down and demonstrate certainty, you aren’t going to earn that authority.


4. Rehearse

Tip number 4 is easy but time-consuming — which is why so many podcasters skip it. Rehearse. If you want to sound like a pro, you need to sound like you aren’t reading your podcast for the first time. Whether you have a full script or a scripted intro and outro, give it a test run. Read it out loud. You’ll discover what trips you up. Sometimes how you write is not how you talk but you won’t catch this until you are saying the words on the page (in a rehearsal). If you discover it’s not in your authentic voice BEFORE you hit record, you can fix it and show up more confidently when you do record.

Rehearsal also allows you to warm up and focus on diction – I love to give my mouth a workout by reading my script with a pen in my mouth to force me to enunciate properly. When you take time to rehearse, you will be more familiar with what you’re saying, and you are way less likely to boot it around. That means you will feel more confident, and it WILL show up in your voice.


5. Assume Edits Will Happen

And my final tip is: Edit! Start by assuming edits will happen. This gives you permission to fix as you go. If you stumble on something, screw up a pronunciation, run out of air, upspeak by mistake, or just don’t feel good about how something came out — redo it!

It’s simple. As soon as you hear something you know you will want to fix later (because you are assuming you will need to edit), then keep rolling but:

– Stop reading/talking.

– Take a breath.

– Note the time (to save you or your editor time finding the flub).

– Think about what went wrong and how you want it to sound.

– Go back to the last sentence you delivered well and repeat it.

– Carry on with full authority and conviction.

Boom. Instantly improved your delivery. Remember, reset, redo – don’t power through. Say it with me! Reset, redo – don’t power through.


You might be surprised how few of my tips on how to improve your podcast voice actually have to do with your voice – that’s because most of the time, you can’t significantly change your voice without it sounding fake (or being inconsistent from episode to episode). If you want to sound like a pro, enhance your natural speaking voice using breath control, adopt a more authoritative delivery, enhance the sound of your voice with tech, and change your recording routine so you make time to rehearse and then fix your delivery as you go because you know you’re going to edit it later.

All of these tips will lead to you sounding more like a pro and collecting adoring fans who love you for the content you share, not because your dulcet tones rock them to sleep every night.


Need More Help?

Now, if you need some help dialing in that content and making sure that you are delivering the gold (even if you don’t have a golden voice), then what you need is my Podcast Tune-Up.

Click HERE to register right now, and in less than 2 months through one-on-one coaching, we’ll have your podcast cranking out some positive ROI.


Podcast Coach Tim Wohlberg
Podcast Coach Tim Wohlberg
Podcast Coach Tim Wohlberg

Almost there. Where can I send your smile poster?

You'll also get access to all my free resources including my PRE-RECORD CHECKLIST. Plus my weekly tipsletter with even more tools to improve your pordcast performance.


Pre-Record Checklist for Podcasting

Almost there. Where can I send access to the checklist?

You'll also get access to a few other resources my clients use. Including my PERFORMANCE POSTERS. Plus my tipsletter with even more tools to improve your podcast performance. 


sharing is caring

Almost there. Where can I send your share poster?

You'll also get access to all my free resources including my PRE-RECORD CHECKLIST. Plus my weekly tipsletter with even more tools to improve your pordcast performance.


Almost there. Where can I send your access to the blueprint?

You'll also get my tipsletter with even more tools to make your podcast engaging.