Become A Better Presenter Part 4
Using Your Voice
When you are giving a presentation how you use your voice will make a world of difference to how your speech sounds to your audience. Here are some points to bear in mind:
• You need to speak loudly enough for all the audience to hear you clearly regardless of where in the room they are sitting, otherwise they will soon switch off. Ask a friend to stand behind the audience while your speaking and if they can’t hear you, they should put their hand up.
• If you have a large audience then make sure you have a microphone, and that a sound check has been completed so you can be heard clearly without needing to raise you voice.
• Before you start your presentation have a drink of water so you don’t dry up. Some people prefer warm water rather than cold as it’s less irritating to the throat. Keep a glass of water handy throughout the presentation and take sips as necessary to remain comfortable.
• Vary the pitch and volume of your voice during the speech, nothing is more boring or more unnatural than a monotonous voice. When you rehearse have someone to listen and comment on this so you know if you are over or underdoing it, or hitting it just right.
• Vary the pace of your speech too – slow down for important points and speed up to add animation to a story. Use pauses too to give additional emphasis to key points, these will be effective in both underlining the information and regaining the audience’s attention if it has started to wander at all.
• Articulate and pronounce your words clearly and correctly, you don’t want the audience to be in any doubt about what you say.
• Speak fluently, too many ums and ers will irritate the audience and they will switch off or worse; start to count your ums!
• Record your presentation and listen to it, to see how you sound. It won’t be exactly as you hear yourself while you talk, but it will teach you a lot about what you need to change or improve.
In the next sections we’ll discuss the INFORMATION you should and shouldn’t include