Everyone has different perceptions of various sounds and voices. If a voice fascinates an individual, it does not always mean that everyone else will be attracted to it. However, captivating voices are described in similar ways. They have unique qualities and provoke many emotions within the individuals. The type of voice that I find most captivating is motivational voices. As part of the Duke Women’s Golf Team at Duke University, motivation is a common force that guides me to become a better student-athlete.
The voice that I found captivating to record was our team’s strength and conditioning coach named, Alex Merrill. During our team’s workout sessions, he frequently motivates us, which pushes us to work harder. As a result, my teammates and I are able to put all our effort into every workout and become physically stronger. This exhibit focuses on different characteristics that make voices motivational, and compare/contrast two different motivational voices.
As a strength and conditioning coach, Alex must be confident with his words and guide the players to perform many physical exercises correctly. If a platform on a stage is a place for singers to express their voice, the weight room serves as a stage for Alex. In other words, he must know what he is doing in the weight room since he is the one in charge of each player’s strength and health. During every workout session, he projects his voice to fill up the entire training room, motivating us to work harder. When he focuses on a player, his voice becomes very calm at first but gradually increases in loudness and intensity as a player completes each repetition. Moreover, the pitch of his voice becomes higher to show the enthusiasm when he sees a player perform a perfect movement. However, when he tries to motivate the entire team, his voice starts at a louder volume and is very precise. Since every player has different exercise routines, we are all working on our own things in the weight room. Alex simply unifies the team by frequently encouraging all of us at the same time. It provides a sense of verbal support from each and every player.
Another motivational voice that I used was a portion of a speech by Eric Thomas called “How Bad Do You Want It? (Success).” His voice was very different from Alex’s voice. Even though his voice also increased in sound, unlike Alex, he started off in a very stern and thick manner, which gradually turned into a shout. Usually when a person is speaking in a very loud voice, they clearly want to be heard. Since Eric Thomas’ speech is to a bigger audience, the louder the sound, the greater the impact it would have. He tries to clearly express a motivating message to his audience. The content of his speech is very strict as if he is scolding the listeners for their lack of effort. His method of motivating people is to shout to the audience to make them realize that they are not working hard enough. His toughness provokes a sense of authority and power, encouraging the audience to get motivated.
A voice is a gift that everyone treasures because they are able to express their uniqueness to others who find a particular sound appealing. My trainer, Alex Merrill and the motivational speaker, Eric Thomas, are both very influential people who have the ability to use their motivational voices to captivate everyone’s attention. Each of these following entries provide an understanding of how motivational voices are captivating to athletes from the influential effect it has on them.
In this audio, Alex is giving the Duke Women’s Golf Team a short speech at the end of their last workout of the season. His speech represents a motivational voice that is spoken very calmly, which is ironic because the general stereotypical motivational voice is spoken in a very loud and energetic voice. Alex begins his speech by talking about the start of the semester and gradually moves along to the position the team is in now. As he transitions from past to present, he explains the progress the team has made by repeatedly complimenting on the work ethic. Every word he speaks is emphasized and very clear. Each sentence flows smoothly and they are precise and to the point. Even though his voice is staying in a mutual tone, it makes in captivating because there is a deep exertion of authority that can be perceived throughout his speech. It emphasizes the confidence that is heard in his voice, convincing the players to remain attentive to his speech.
The interesting part about this recording is that the listeners can hear the team come together at the end, without having to visualize a picture. As Alex says, “Let’s go hands in,” it quickly forms a sense of unity within the team. It automatically brings an ecstatic emotion to the atmosphere. At the end when every player on the team says, “Go team,” all the voices come together as a form of acknowledgment to Alex’s motivational message.
In this short recording, we hear Alex motivating the entire team in a span of 3 seconds. The entire dialogue, “Good job ladies, keep it up! Things are looking crisp!” conveys the impression that a motivational message does not necessarily have to be long. This short encouragement instantly influences the players to become animated during the workout. Furthermore, his deep and strong voice that is coming from his chest allows the exertion of the short message to have a big impact on the players. The sound level of his voice is louder than normal, allowing it to fill up the entire training room for every player to hear. Moreover, the pitch of his voice slightly goes higher, which projects the positivity out to the weight room. It provides as a sense of support for the players to be pumped up throughout the whole workout. His short message has the ability to awken the drive in the players to perform at their best.
Here, Alex is demonstrating and giving instructions to a player named, Leona Maguire. The exercise that she is performing is called hang cleans. The movement requires big hip extension as she scoops up the barbell towards her chest by snapping her wrist back, finishing in a squat position. Alex’s voice in this recording is motivating because of the gradual increase in loudness and intensity, called the crescendo. He starts off explaining the exercise to Leona. As she begins to perform the exercise, he instructs and compliments after each repetition. The tone of his voice increasingly gets louder as she completes one rep after another. This crescendo effect creates a remarkable sensation, motivating the player to perform the perfect exercise.
In addition to the increase in volume, another interesting factor about this recording is the way Alex precisely emphasizes certain words at the right time. For example, he says “hips” and continues to say “hips” for every repetition. The timing stimulates the players desire to excel in the exercise. Moreover, the instructions and compliments after each rep energize the players by providing a sense of support.
In this recording, Alex is observing two players, Leona and Lisa Maguire, as they are performing an exercise. The way he compliments their movement at the beginning of the audio is very unique. The optimism in his voice when he says, “Good job Leona, nice Lisa,” can be heard from the way he emphasizes their name. He holds onto the last two words ‘na’ in Leona and ‘sa’ in Lisa, which provokes the feeling of satisfaction from their performance. Additionally, the pitch of his voice is increasing when he holds onto the last two words, which shows the amount of enthusiasm in his voice. At the end of the recording when he says the word, “excellent,” his voice sounds as a source of approval, especially because of the way he repeats the same word. It also sounds as if he is very content with their achievement of the exercise. From beginning to end, he is cheering for the two players and constantly providing a sense of encouragement.
This is an excerpt of a motivational speaker named, Eric Thomas, who inspires many athletes to strive toward success. He asserts his speech in a very powerful manner by starting off producing his voice from his chest and gradually moving up to his head. During this transition, both pitch and volume increases. In the beginning, his voice is very stern and thick but towards the end he begins to shout and it becomes raspy. In addition to pitch and volume, the speed also escalates throughout the speech. This shows the build-up of passion Eric Thomas is trying to express. Furthermore, the way he addresses his motivational speech differs from simple compliments. Instead of delivering positive encouragements, he is scolding the listeners for their lack of work ethic to become successful. This provokes the arousal of variety of emotions and stimulates the desire to succeed. Lastly, his tough voice provides a sense of authority and power, convincing the listeners to fall into the deepness of his message.