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Jon Beaupré is a voice and performance consultant for radio and television performers. Under the name Broadcast Voice, he provides private training and workshops for reporters, anchors, sports and weather casters, and others working in electronic and broadcast media. He teaches in the Broadcast Communications program at California State University at Los Angeles, and conducts workshops and seminars with the Associated Press Radio and Television Association. He has been a fixture on the convention circuit, teaching workshops at a wide range of specialty journalism and broadcast conventions and stations on both coasts of the U.S.

Hit the Books


I’ve always felt it was important for serious journalists to be constantly building their libraries of reference and text books. Like any field, journalism has new developments all the time, and this is just as true in the areas of voice and performance.
I thought I would take a few lines this week to tell you of some of the books you might want to
consider for your permanent broadcasting and
journalism library. Bonus Books has just released the third edition of Ann Utterback’s landmark text “The Broadcast Voice Handbook.” While I often find Utterback to be a bit of an old fashion play-it-by-the books type of teacher, there is no one who has gathered all the various categories of inquiry into how and why you use your voice as a broadcaster, and what to do when you have problems. The vast scope of what she covers and the depth in which she covers it are without peer in the industry, and although the fourth edition has added yet another ten dollars on the $30 purchase price, it’s one of the books you won’t ever remove from your library. (Broadcast Voice Handbook; Bonus Books 345pp)

Valerie Geller’s wonderful, inspirational guide for news, information, and talk radio performers has been out for about eight years now, but it remains one of the meatiest, information packed and engaging reads on the subject to this day. She has since added a kind of aircheck work book as a companion to “Creating Powerful Radio.” Even if you work in television, you will probably find sound advice and smart ideas on how to construct segments, what makes for interesting stories, and some insights into what makes a good interview. (Creating Powerful Radio, M Street Publications 230 pp)

San Diego audio whiz Jim Alburger works considerably more with voice over and advertising clients than with reporters or anchors, but his lively and informative book “The Art of Voice Acting” is as entertaining as it is informative. He spends considerable time on the business of making a living from your voice, as well as the nuts and bolts of what auditions are like, how to prepare scripts, and what agents and casting directors can do for you. If you are looking for an additional way to make a living from your voice, you may want to consider some of the ideas that Jim has included in his engaging text. (The Art of Voice Acting, Focal Press232 pp)

"Freeing the Natural Voice" is a classic for voice students and voice teachers. While author and teacher Kristin Linklater is considered perhaps the finest and most influential teacher in the country, and while she works almost exclusively with actors, her concepts on the foundation of breathing, articulation, diction, and especially how closely connected interpretation is to that technical performance have made her a much beloved icon. While this book is the least expensive on the list, it is perhaps the most profound in it’s implications in finding your voice, and developing a range of skills that will serve anyone who uses their voice in their profession. (Freeing the Natural Voice, 210 pp)

There are, of course, lots more books you should have in your library, but if you are building that library, you should seriously consider having these books as part of that library. We’ll tell you about some of those other books in future installments. In the meantime, just keep breathing!

*Book images courtesy