How to Play the Game of Tones: Oral Presentation Skills from Westeros

Posted by Bridget Beirne
April 4, 2014

It's time. This Sunday, Game of Thrones comes roaring back to our TV screens (well, "roaring" if you're into Lannisters...), and we get to pick up with the goings-on of the Seven Kingdoms. While not everyone can sit on the Iron Throne (Would you really WANT to? It looks so painful....) we all can take some oral presentation skills tips from the inhabitants of Westeros. (And beyond of course!)

Play the Game of Tones (vocal tones- see what we did there?) for yourself during the premiere. Grab some snacks (just don't mix the boar and the wine...) and keep score of how many times you notice the following vocal traits:

Give yourself 10 points every time:

  • Sansa talks through tears. Crying creates a lot of tension in the jaw/throat, not to mention that gross phlegmy feeling. You can hear all of that in her voice.

  • Joffrey speaks with a clenched jaw. Ahh, the young king. Perpetually petulant and full of vocal constriction.

  • Jorah Mormont growls through his text. He often uses that vocal fry to intimidate. Oh, Jorah. We're so concerned for your vocal health! Warm up before you make a presentation to your Khaleesi.

  • You know EXACTLY what Hodor is saying merely because of his strong vocal choices. He may only have one word, but he uses it beautifully!

Give yourself 100 points if:

  • Varys uses any lower tones in his vocal range. Like a rare bird, every now and again we get to experience a moment of the lower pitches of Varys's voice. Be glad that, in your presentations, you can use a wide range of pitches whenever you want.
  • Poor Theon Greyjoy gets to give his cords a rest and stop screaming. Poor Theon...
  • Cersei Lannister uses the amazing Power of Pause. Even without a withering look, Cersei knows that sometimes the best vocal choice is silence.

Give yourself 1,000 Points and a Lord or Ladyship if:

  • Tyrion knocks it out of the park by being the best speaker in Westeros. Easy points here, folks. That pitch range! That humor! His use of pause! A versatile voice that he uses to convey a range of emotions. Seriously. Team Tyrion.

  • Jon Snow speaks above a hushed tone. Sure, Jon is the strong silent type. And it's cold up on that Wall! But we want to hear you Jon. Really. Just up the volume a wee bit. Give yourself another 1,000 points if he yells.

  • If anyone sings "The Bear and the Maiden Fair". Just because it's a great tune. And a good vocal warm up to boot.

For your money, who's got the best vocal skills in the land? Who would you follow willingly into battle for their voice alone? Chime in and enjoy the season 4 premiere!

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