If you are preparing for a presentation, you’ve most likely dedicated time to preparing your content, putting together the perfect outfit, and rehearsing. However, there is one aspect of your image you may have neglected: the effectiveness of your voice. The way you articulate can have a huge impact on the way others perceive you. If you want to speak clearly and express your emotions, then you need to learn to control your voice, change your tone, and use pitch variation for better stress and intonation. Here are a few tips for improving your speaking voice so you can nail your next presentation.
What is the difference between pitch and tone?
Pitch and tone are two different components of sound. Pitch refers to the degree of highness or lowness of your voice. While some people naturally have a higher or lower pitch, it can also change based on our emotions. For example, when someone is excited, they usually speak with a higher pitch. Tone refers to a vocal sound made when someone speaks and includes pitch, quality, and strength of the voice. Tone can also demonstrate emotions conveyed through the voice. When we are angry or annoyed, for example, we speak with a harsh tone.
How can tone and pitch be used in a presentation?
- To Place Emphasis
During your presentation there will be times when you really want to emphasize a certain point. These important points need to be clarified so the audience understands that they are important. We can stress importance by changing the tone and inflection of our voice. Try putting emphasis on particular words to grab the audience’s attention by raising your pitch and strengthening your tone.
- To Convey Emotion
If you are passionate about something, you can show it through your voice. When you use inflection, you can convey a wide range of emotions such as sadness, anger, excitement, fear, or humor. The tone of your voice also can also convey different feelings to your listeners and this is a great way to captivate them and engage them in your message.
- To Demonstrate Authority
If you attend a presentation and the speaker introduces themself loud and clear with a nice low tone, you are likely to assume that this person is confident and credible. Now, if that same person has a very high pitch and speaks softly, you are more likely to assume they are nervous or unsure about speaking. The tone and pitch of your voice can change the way others perceive you, so be sure and speak with the right tone to demonstrate that you are an authority on the topic and a credible speaker.
- To Add Vocal Variety
We have all sat through a class or presentation at some point where the speaker had a monotone voice throughout the entire presentation. More than likely, this left you bored, uninterested, and on the verge of falling asleep. The most successful speakers are those who change the tone and pitch of their voice throughout their presentation. Vocal variety increases your charisma and makes you more interesting.
- To Make it Conversational
When we are speaking in normal conversation, we are always adjusting our pitch and tone without even thinking about it. You want to do the same in a presentation so you don’t sound stagnant. When you use inflection and vocal variety, your presentation feels more like a conversation between you and the audience.