The voice is an important tool for inspiring and engaging audiences. To create an impact, to be clear, natural and expressive, the voice needs to be used well. Here, we talk about ways in which presenters can show more enthusiasm in their speeches.
Intonation and Melody
A speech that is absolutely regular, without variation in tone and melody, will bore an audience in just a few minutes. So when training for a presentation, decide which words and passages deserve extra attention and increase the tone to emphasize these points. But do this naturally! If something sounds exaggerated or false, your audience can turn against you.
Considering that your goal is to be heard and trusted by your audience, forget discretion and speak in a way such that everybody in the audience can hear you. To draw the audience’s attention to certain parts of a speech, try varying the volume – sometimes louder, sometimes softer – so that selected passages stand out from the rest. Even if you’re presenting with a microphone, don’t always speak softly. In this case, it’s preferable to distance yourself a bit from the microphone and speak more loudly than you would close up. A speech is not ordinary conversation, and a presenter can’t convey passion and enthusiasm if the words are delivered softly.
Don’t forget to articulate every word, to ensure clarity on your part and understanding on the part of the audience.
Even in the same sentence, emphasizing different words can change the focus of a message. Look: “I went to the office of that supplier,” “I went to the office of that supplier,” “I went to the office of that supplier,” “I went to the office of that supplier.” Remember Robert DeNiro in that famous movie scene? Changing emphasis can alter meaning and/or implication.
Carmen Taran notes that it’s the rare presenter who makes use of pauses. According to Taran, when pauses are placed in strategic spots in a speech, they can make the difference between a good and an excellent presentation. There are several purposes for which pauses can be used: to give listeners a chance to absorb something that’s just been said; to generate expectations about something that’s going to be said; to give the presenter a chance to think about what will be said next; to enable the presenter to breathe properly; and even to give a presenter time to think before answering a particular question.
If you often get negative feedback about the faster or slower delivery of your speeches, practice delivering a speech sometimes faster and sometimes slower, so you can arrive at a natural pace. If a speech is delivered too fast, it can hinder understanding and generate anxiety in the audience. If it’s delivered too slowly, it can tire and bore people.
There must be consistency between the presenter’s tone and the content being transmitted. Nobody can prove indignation while speaking softly, nor is it possible to demonstrate control of a situation if using a desperate tone. Make sure you internalize the content of the presentation, check to see if it’s consistent with what you believe, then set the right tone for that particular speech or part of the speech.
Don’t forget to apply these 7 tips on how to use your voice effectively for presentations and we guarantee you a better performance as a presenter, a better presentation overall and a more enthusiastic audience.