Mindstate Motivation Blog

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Speaking Out Requires Focus From Within

b2ap3_thumbnail_MP900289528_20140226-205037_1Many people suffer from an inability to present themselves well in a public speaking setting.  They freeze-up and don’t project their thoughts with confidence.  Frankly, there is nothing worse than a lack of confidence for the speaker or for the speaker’s audience. The fact is the audience wants a speaker to succeed because it makes it a valuable experience when they are compelled to listen to a speaker and act on his or her ideas.

Obviously, the content of any presentation is an extremely important element to grabbing and holding the attention of an audience. For the purposes of this post however, I’m going to focus on an equally important element for being a highly effective public speaker.  The element to which I refer is the overall vocal quality of the presenter.

Years ago in the heyday of radio when RCA Victor was one of the top manufacturers of radios, the marketing slogan they used was one of the most recognized in all of marketing at the time.  Their printed advertisements showed a dog in a posture of listening to a “Victrola”and the slogan was, “The voice of the master.”  They were conveying the importance of the quality of the sound their radio would produce.

And, so it is for you when presenting before an audience.  There are four elements of your vocal quality on which you should focus.  They are as follows:

Varying your pitch makes your delivery more powerful.  In general, people are capable of an eight note range but tend to use the top four.  By developing the use of deep abdominal breathing, you gain more access to the lower tones which help you project authority, confidence and presence.

Talk about an artist’s palette of colors, your tone of voice can be just as diverse.  Tone can generate any number of feelings from a sense that you care; to one that you don’t care; to warmth or cold; to dull or bright and energetic.  There are literally hundreds of ways through tone that you can convey a different intent or mood.  Tone helps to deliver the real you to your audience.  Audiences want to feel a connection with their speaker and tone can go a long way to helping establish that connection.

Various groups have different needs when it comes to the pace of your delivery.  Also, at various times during your presentation, varying your pace draws people into your message.  In general, your pace should be energetic but not too fast.  When you have a tendency to use what have been called “filler words” like, okay, uh, or um, train yourself to use pauses in their place.  The pause allows you to gather your thoughts and the audience is much more comfortable than they are with a series of “filler words.”  Besides that, your audience needs time to absorb what you have said through what are called pauses for effect.

Finally, you must be sensitive to the hearing needs of the people in the rear of your audience.  Through the above techniques and proper voice volume they will feel included and will engage with you.  Volume like pitch and tone needs to be varied to add interest.  The previous two items considered; you also must adjust your volume to the size of the room and your audience.

All this is to say, successfully speaking out (Public Speaking) requires you to focus within on the above four vocal elements.

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