The sound of your voice and the feeling you convey with it have a huge impact on your audience. Listen to PowerSpeaking, Inc. Marketing Strategist and voice coach Donnie Hill talk about how you can overcome two common voice mistakes: delivering in a monotone and using “up talk.”
Here are some additional things to think about:
Believe it: The sound of your voice matters a lot. The Wall Street Journal cited a 2012 study that analyzed 120 executives’ speeches and found that, “The sound of a speaker’s voice matters twice as much as the content of the message…The speakers’ voice quality accounted for 23% of listeners’ evaluations; the content of the message accounted for 11%. Other factors were the speakers’ passion, knowledge, and presence…” Citing another study published in the Journal of Voice, “People who hear recordings of rough, weak, strained or breathy voices tend to label the speakers as negative, weak, passive, or tense. People with normal voices are seen as successful, sexy, sociable, and smart...”
Who cares? As a quick test while you rehearse your content, ask yourself two questions:
- Does my voice sound like I’m interested and truly engaged in this content? and
- Is my voice interesting to listen to? If the answer is “no” on either count, you’ll probably put people to sleep, no matter your content. Make your voice reflect the importance of and passion for, your content.
Power your voice through breath. Too many presenters power their voice from the throat or upper chest area, forcing the vocal chords to work harder to push out sound. Speech therapists recommend instead that you power your voice from the diaphragm. Just before it’s time to present, start breathing deeply and slowly from the diaphragm area. The deeper, slower breaths will calm your central nervous system and help you project your voice with more power.
A word about diet. Consuming dairy products often produces mucus, causing you to clear your throat frequently (a big distraction). So, skip dairy just before a presentation.
On the journey with you,