Screech and Shrill! How to Sound Great on Video

Screech and Shrill!
How to Sound Great on Video

Bianca’s note: Hey, guys, these are some of the topics I cover in my new book – How to Present on Video. Also, I am experimenting with a different format – let me know if you want more tips like these.

Viewers will tolerate poor visuals in a video but they will click away in an instant if your audio is irritating and yes, that includes your speaking voice.

It’s all about the Bass Baby!

There is no point having a great face, good posture and compelling video message, only to undermine it with a shrill, screechy, or angry voice. Screechy sounds trigger a stress or irritation response in the human brain (a pre-wired evolutionary survival mechanism) that can create a negative connotation with you or your brand.

The Power of a Voice

Think of the speaking voices of Morgan Freeman, Dame Judy Dench, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons – how do they make you feel when you hear them speak? That is the power of a voice. Used well, the voice can be a fine instrument. It can move and inspire people. It can create massive change.

The same can be said for trained singers vs those with poorly trained voices.

Genetic Survival

As part of our genetic survival mechanism, we are unconsciously programmed to react negatively to unpleasant sounds like the screeching warning calls from animals to alert us when a lion is nearby.

Think of a voice that is shrill, screechy, loud or jarring. How does it make you feel? Most of us will feel irritated, instinctively turning our heads away trying to mentally tune them out – that’s your brains pre-wired evolutionary survival mechanism kicking in.

When presenting on video, our vocal quality can help or hinder our message. The impact of our message may “fall on deaf ears” simply because they find some element of your voice irritating to listen to.

Over time viewers may unconsciously associate you or your brand with pain or annoyance.

With that in mind, I have made this video your listening pleasure. Do wear headphones and listen with the volume up.

Let me know how it felt and how many times you heard the word “cakey face” in the video (that’s my voice by-the-way and a test to see that you endured the whole video).

Take the test

Psychological Manipulation

Did you know that horror genre filmmakers use these sounds to great effect aka the jump-scare (often combined with a visual) for this very reason? To keep the viewer on edge priming them to feel fear (and if they are successful), triggering the primitive (Moro) startle reflex in the viewer. This primitive reflex is hardwired into our DNA to help protect us from a threat.

Ah, the beauty and psychological, manipulation of filmmaking! Love’s it!

Be a Pro, not an amateur. You’ll stand out amongst the noise (ha!).

Cheering you with your video creations!



Bianca Te Rito is the founder & CEO of – Video presentation coaching to make you look great on video. With a unique mix of business savvy, combined with a professional background in TV/Film production (spanning 20+ years) – working in front of and behind the camera. Bianca provides an exclusive, personalized virtual consulting service for business owners, start-up entrepreneurs, thought leaders, authors, public speakers and VIPs to help them present themselves, their product, service or brand message to their target audience in the most effective way possible on video.  Bianca works virtually with a variety of clients from all around the world, including professional service firms, established business executives, rising stars, VIPS to best-selling business authors – who want to deliver effective online video presentations.

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Posted in Look Good Online with Video by / May 13th, 2017 / Comments Off on Screech and Shrill! How to Sound Great on Video