Have you ever wondered how to make your voice assistant deliver a joke with more sass? The answer is using SSML. Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) is a powerful tool to optimize your conversational designs. It allows you to express personality through your design by changing your bot’s emphasis, pitch, rate, volume, and voice type. By using SSML tags, you can easily design your voice assistant’s personality. Botsociety makes this easy to customize for voice platforms–just follow this SSML Tutorial for all the details.

Love to learn through video? Check out the SSML tutorial video by our CEO on our Youtube channel, you can hear the effect each SSML tag has!

Step 1: Choose your platform

Choose your bot’s name.

Important note! Since these are voice-based traits you’re changing, SSML only works for voice assistants, like Google Assistant and Amazon Echo. So select a voice assistant platform.

Step 2: Choose your assistant’s voice type

You can first put a “User Says” input that will prompt your bot.

After clicking on “Bot Says,” this box on the left will come up.

To change your assistant’s voice and bring up the design settings, click on the dropdown (indicated by the pink rectangle) and then + Add new person

Here you can choose the different settings like the model type, language, and the direction of how the language is read.

The dropdown for the Voice gives 6 different options that you can test out by pressing play (fun fact: it will read out Blade Runner’s “Tears in rain” monologue).

Step 3: Play around with the SSML tags

Highlight the parts of your bot’s text that you want to change in terms of volume, rate, pitch, or emphasis. Play around with it–we tried to make it intuitive visually so you can remember what you have changed. To preview how your Voice Assistant will sound, click on the light play button in the bottom left corner.

These are some examples:

Here, I have highlighted “Look within.” and made the Volume “loud.” Visually this made the font size bigger.

Here, I put the Rate as “slow,” which visually increased the space between the letters.

Here I made “within” have a Pitch that is “x-low.”

Here, I made the Emphasis “strong” on the word “you,” making it bold.

You can also add a Pause with the left-most button under Emphasis.

Extra sound effects

Want to add your unique audio file for a sound effect? Click on where you want to place it and then click on the paintbrush icon and you can select your file.

Want to scrap every SSML tag you just did?

No problem. We have a Clear button for simplicity.

Step 5: You’re done!

Finish by clicking Add (or Save if you are editing). You can play out the entire scenario with the play button, as usual.

SSML tutorial final thoughts

Easy and fun, right? We love pairing the sound changes with visual changes, hope it helps intuitively! Now you too can have your bot deliver jokes more cheekily.

Of course, before making your bot too sassy, think about your users and what they would like.

Need help getting started with Botsociety? Start here.

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Gabriela Lean

Helping to empower creatives worldwide in imagining the future of human-computer interaction.