Your PowerPoint is only one thing—a visual aid to help you explain your message. Don’t skimp out on improving your main presentation tool: your voice.
Let’s get into the different important characteristics of an effective presentation expert voice, and how to best improve each of them.
An audible voice isn’t necessarily loud. Audibility is being heard with little effort from your listeners. Adjust your volume to the particular speaking situation. You shouldn’t use a deep, booming voice in a private conversation, nor should you whisper at a public speaking event.
Practice to get to the perfect speaking volume. Try speaking in front of three different groups: one of fifty, one of eight, and a single person. This trains your voice for different audience sizes while also building your confidence.
According to marketing guru Jim Joseph, your tone of voice can greatly affect people’s perception of your brand. A voice that is resonant and well-modulated is pleasant, while a high-pitched and raspy voice is unpleasant.
Speak in your most audible yet relaxed voice, neither sounding too strained nor bored. Get constructive feedback from friends or family members. Alternatively, record yourself speaking and note problem areas for improvement.
Fluency refers to language’s smooth, easy, and effortless flow, which you can achieve by speaking at an appropriate rate. You can also do this by using pauses.
Your rate of speaking depends on the ideas you’re discussing.
Slow down when emphasizing important points, and speak a little faster through your speech’s more routine parts. A pace that’s too slow bores an audience to sleep, while a ridiculously quick pace exhausts and tunes out your listeners.
Flexibility refers to variations in vocal qualities to express different moods, emotions, and meanings, including pitch, volume, rate, and quality.
Use what you’ve learned from the previous characteristics and put them all together in various ways for each presentation. Rely on experience and personal judgement to adapt to different situations.
Even the best-designed slides can’t talk directly to an audience.
It’s still your responsibility to communicate with them. Don’t neglect your most important communication tool and pave your way towards consistently successful presentations.
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“Engage a Disinterested Audience Like a Presentation Expert.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 5, 2015. Accessed May 13, 2015.
“Fluency: Concepts and Research.” Big Ideas in Beginning Reading. Accessed May 13, 2015.
Joseph, Jim. “Your Tone of Voice Can Boost or Bruise Your Personal Brand.” Entrepreneur. May 28, 2014. Accessed May 13, 2015.
“Your Voice Is The Most Valuable Presentation Tool.” SlideGenius, Inc. January 27, 2015. Accessed May 13., 2015.
Featured Image: “The Voice” by Ed Schipul on flickr