When using your VOICE in presentations there are many tips on how to keep it in tip-top condition. Techniques to use before and after a presentation. (Do Connect with Meenakshi Sarup or me if you want to know more)
How about during the presentation though – what can you do or keep in mind when using your voice then.
Vocal Exercise – Well, just before you get into that presentation there are exercsises you can do to warm up your voice. Similar to ones done by singers and actors on stage, they work too for before a presentation. If you have no idea what how to do them or even what they are, do a search on YouTube for vocal or voice exercises.
What I like to do is sing. I sing as I am in the shower, as I am doing my make-up — and if I am driving – in the car too!
Vocal Variety – gosh, this is something I struggled with in my early days presenting. I would go into this monotone that could put any audience into a trance…or worse still, sleep!
I think at the time I thought it sounded official and prfoessional and kind-of-like a BBC Broadcaster. Hmm….maybe it works for the news, not so much when you are hoping people are connecting to what you are saying
With practice though i learnt to emphasise key words and phrases and add inflections, which really helped my audience as they listened to me speak. I learnt to listen in-the-moment. Even till today, when I “hear” or “sense” it (by watching my audience’s faces – yes even online), I find a way to switch it up.
Keep it conversational – my favoutite tip though comes from a former colleague that I loved listening to when he presented. He had been a trainer for years and I asked him what was it about his style that I liked. And he asked, “Do I sound much more different “
Of course! That’s when I realised i too had inflections and vocal variety when I chatted to friends. There was so much “colour” in my voice. However once I got into a presenting space, I got it into my head that I had to come across a certain way.
At the end of the day what is a presentation? A way to communicate and to share and to move people to where you want them to agree with you or do or know something. It is a way to create dialogue. it is meant to be a two-way conversation.
So keeping our voice conversational lends authenticity, credibility and creates connectivity with our audience.
What is the best TIP you have received about voice?
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