How to Add Emotion to Your Alexa Skills Using Speechcons

One of the challenges you face when building Alexa Skills is that Alexa’s voice can sound a little robotic. So how can you add some emotion to Alexa’s voice?

Speechcons

Speechcons to the rescue! Amazon defines speechcons as:

Speechcons are special words and phrases that Alexa pronounces more expressively.

Adding speechcons to your skill is straightforward – here’s a short, step-by-step tutorial.

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Adding Speechcons to Your Skill

Step 1: Check out the speechcon list for your language.

Step 2: Pick the speechcons that you’d like to use in your skill.

Let’s assume you want Alexa to say the following when the user completes an action:

Bravo

Step 3: Add SSML to your skill’s code – here’s the format:

<say-as interpret-as='interjection'>Bravo</say-as>

Step 4: Depending on your skill, you may also want to add a break right after the speechcon – here’s the code for that:

 <break strength='strong'/>

Or if you prefer, you can specify the duration instead, as shown below:

 <break time='1s'/>

Randomize the Speechcons

Saying Bravo after every completed action will sound boring and monotonous. You can fix this by including several speechcons in an array and randomly picking one of the speechcons to play.

To see (hear?) this in action, check out our skill Know Your Animals, it’s a fun trivia game about animals!

Got questions/thoughts? Post a comment…

2018-06-10T15:57:46+00:00

About the Author:

Hey I'm Michael, I live in California. I've worked in the tech industry for about 20 years, mostly in silicon valley. My other interests include video games, sci fi, and hot sauces! Thanks for stopping by.

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2 Comments on "How to Add Emotion to Your Alexa Skills Using Speechcons"

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j lee
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j lee

The code for break helped me out, thanks!

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