Did you know the one secret ingredient that can make or break an effective and profitable presentation?
Luckily it’s an ingredient all of us have but sadly not of all us use effectively.
What is that ingredient?!
It’s your voice!
Any parent will tell you that tour tone of voice can dramatically impact the response you get from a child, event before they can use language. So we need to become cognisant of this when speaking- and use it to maximum effect.
The 3 keys to using your voice dramatically
Becoming more impactful with your voice is not something that happens over night. But you certainly can develop this skill with a simple 3-step process.
First, become aware of voices: your won and others.
It has been shown that, where meaning is ambiguous, the words that we choose are only 7% of the message that we communicate. 38% of our message is due to our vocal tonality, and 55% of it is due to our physiology, our physical action.
So over a third of your outcome depends on your voice.
Create awareness of your own voice and use it dramatically.
Listen to how you use your voice, listen to the vocal range that you have.
Start to listen to other people’s voices, how they use them, and then start to bring awareness to the extremes that you use in your own voice. Do you have extremes of volume, of pitch? Do you use different timbes (or qualities – like breathiness, or gravelliness – technical terms I promise!!) Or is your voice a bit monotone?
You will make it easier to listen to you if you can work on your voice variation. When you’re easier to listen to, you can have more impact. And more impact will eventually lead to more responsiveness and sales if you indeed sell from the platform.
2. Practice Vocal Strength and Flexibility
If you start to learn how to use your voice in a powerful manner, then you’ll find that it will be more powerful for longer, and you will be able to preserve and conserve your voice.
I have a simple voice warm up that I do before every presentation, and if I’m being very good I’ll do it every day even if I’m not speaking. This expands my vocal range, and makes my vocal cords stronger.
They are muscles- so they need to be “worked out” to build strength like any muscles.
Three simple exercises you can do any time are:
- Conscious diaphragmatic breathing: consciously deepen our breathing and control the length of time you breathe out. Try breathing in for 3 and out for 10 as a start and see how long you can expand it.
- Humming- which will increase your resonance and eventually the carry of your voice
- Sirening – make the “ng” sound and siren from the lowest end of your register to the highest. And go up and down. This helps you to expand your range.
3. Practice your presentation with vocal overlays
This is a fun thing to do, especially if you have a keynote you do a lot. Write a list of different things- “directions” – you can do with your voice, each one on a separate 3×5 card. Such as: high pitch, low pitch, breathy, sexy, fast, slow, monotonous, staccato, Sean Connery, The Queen… get creative. Anything that might make you speak differently.
Put them all in a bowl.
Start your presentation and pull out one of the “directions” and try it that way for that part of your presentation. It increases your flexibility and you just might discover some creative ways to liven up your presentation!
If you’re committed to becoming, not just a profitable speaker, but also a memorable speaker, it’s key to get masterful with your voice.
Be the sort of person that when people leave the room they continue to talk about you, not just because of your content, but because of your style, your charisma and your ability to take them on an emotional journey.
So, What’s Next?
Well, at the very least my suggestion is for you go to have a little bit of fun this week . . . and go see a high drama movie. Here’s an opportunity for you to listen to the way these highly trained actors use their voice to create mood. Notice the high, the loud, the soft, notice the pace changes, notice the volume changes.
So I want you to spend the whole time listening to people with a new intention and then see how you can utilize this yourself.
And remember, have fun!