As a speaker or presenter, always remember that your most powerful asset is your voice. Delivering a presentation with a strong, confident, and sincere voice is very important and will have a huge impact on audience perception. In fact, much of your credibility is based on your voice. For this reason, speakers should pay close attention to projection, inflection, rate, and articulation when they are presenting. The following techniques can help you learn to cultivate a dynamic voice that inspires confidence and captures audience attention.
Understand the Importance of Voice Projection
Voice projection refers to your ability to be heard loud and clear across the room. Don’t just assume that a microphone will solve this problem for you. When speakers have the ability to project and control their voice they exude confidence and poise. The audience is more likely to be engaged in the presentation when the speaker is loud and audible.
The Best Voice Quality Starts with Breathing
In order to achieve the best voice quality you must learn to breathe from the gut. Most people tend to breathe from their chest, so this is a technique that will require some practice. Try lying down on your back with your hands on your stomach. As you breathe in, your hands should rise with your stomach and return with your exhale. Focusing on your inhaling and exhaling can help you learn to breathe naturally from your gut, thus improving your voice projection.
Your Mood Can Affect your Voice
Your voice is responsive to your emotions and can hinder your voice projection and articulation. When an individual is nervous or under stress, their breathing patterns will change and this can be heard in their voice. Try to breathe deeply before speaking in order to help your body relax.
Practice Projecting Your Voice
The best way to learn how to project and control your voice is through practice. One way to do this is by finding a document or a few pages from a book. Read it aloud in your normal speaking voice and record yourself. Take note of your rate, inflection, and articulation and then try reading through it again. Remember to slow down, speak clearly, and pause occasionally. Practice this exercise often in order to improve your voice control.
Communicate Clearly with Your Audience
Aside from projection, another aspect of voice control is your ability to enunciate and articulate your words. This is extremely important because your audience will quickly lose interest if you are mumbling and they cannot understand you. One of the best ways to ensure that you are articulating clearly is to slow down. You should also be sure and open your mouth and give full attention to each sound.
Don’t Forget to Use Inflection
Nothing could be more boring than listening to someone for several minutes with a monotone voice. Rather, try to convey the information with enthusiasm and energy. Emphasize certain words to express importance and remember that dramatic pauses also convey confidence.
Before any important presentation or speaking engagement, it is beneficial to focus on breathing and practice with a vocal warm-up. Your voice can reveal a lot about you and can have a significant impact on your presentation. Remember to incorporate these helpful techniques in order to utilize the full potential of your voice.