It’s your instrument and most people don’t really know how to use it. But it can greatly influence people’s perception of both you and your brand. Projecting your voice is so much more than just speaking louder. Follow these 10 tips to make sure they hear you – in every sense.
This article is part of the series ’10 Tips for…’.
1) Rehearse in the place where you’ll make your speech
If you can, it will be like a full dress rehearsal and readies you for the real thing. If you can’t use the venue, use somewhere like it.
2) Project to people at the back of the room
Imagine the breath that you’ll need to make your voice get there and do it.
3) Learn to breathe from your diaphragm
The deep, slow, powerful breaths will give you all the oomph you need to project.
4) Practice hitting the end consonants of the words
‘She sells seashells on the sea shore’ is unintelligible to an audience unless you do.
5) Use punctuation
Use the punctuation (verbal or actual) to pause for breath. It will help your delivery and allow the audience to catch up with what you’re saying. Practice a comma for a short pause (say ‘one thousand’ inside your head) and breathe, full stop twice that, paragraph three times ‘one thousand’ again.
6) Rehearse the pauses
Rehearse the pauses too because confident use of them will help you to deliver your key points, with real impact.
Emphasise the 2 or 3 key words in a sentence to deliver the real meaning in what you say.
8) Rehearse HOW you say it
Rehearse changes of pace, emphasis, tone and drama until it feels right for you. That’s what rehearsal is for, not simply so you remember what to say, but how you say it too.
9) Delete the problem parts
If there are words, phrases, or parts of the speech you just can’t say in rehearsal, cut them out or change them because, one thing is for sure, you won’t be able to say them in the real thing.
10) Speak with your real voice
Speak with your real voice, not your ‘phone voice’ or your ‘actor’s voice’. Your own voice with its accent, inflection, pitch and tone will deliver the most credible message to your audience.
This article is part of the series ’10 Tips for…’. Watch out for our next article where we will be looking at setting up on the day.