Have you ever been to a meeting, seminar, or workshop where the speaker is so monotonous that you just want to run out of that room? Do you keep looking at your watch over and over hoping and praying for a break? Are you sitting there physically but your mind has wandered to thousands of other places? And even though the speaker is sharing great content, is it extremely difficult for you to sit down during the talk? I’m pretty sure he’s been to at least one of those meetings, seminars, or workshops. But have you ever wondered why you felt so tortured? Good! You felt tortured because how a speaker sounds is just as important as what he says! In fact, it takes a very nice voice to bring a speaker’s words to life.
A Duke University study found that CEOs with deeper voices ran bigger companies, made more money and kept their jobs longer. And that’s why business executives, celebrities, and politicians often work with vocal coaches! But what about you, what if you also want to develop your voice but don’t have the time or money to work with a coach? What can you do to speak more dynamically in your one-on-one interactions and group speeches?
Don’t worry! There is an easy and practical solution. Implement these simple suggestions and you will surely be able to turn your voice into a powerful asset and speak more dynamically.
take care of your voice
- Breathe from the stomach. Breathing from your diaphragm instead of your chest will help you project your voice better and give you more confidence. At the same time, relaxing your mouth and throat will give you more control over the tone of your voice.
- Develop character in your voice. Humming is an easy way to warm up your voice. The lower you go on your chest, the more powerful you will sound. If you practice humming in deeper tones, you will create grains in your voice that will eventually give your voice a unique character.
- Never force your voice. Rest your voice if you find that you have overdone it by speaking too long or too loudly. Sleep is the best remedy to cure sore throat. When you have throat problems, cough gently when you need to clear your throat. Keep irritants like alcohol, smoke, and dairy products to a minimum.
- Count your words. Fast talk is great if you’re a commentator. Otherwise, try dividing your thoughts into sentences, long enough that you can comfortably say them on a single exhale.
Create connection with the audience
- Look for friendly faces. If crowds make you nervous, scan the room for people who are smiling and making eye contact. Imagine that you are talking directly to them.
- Tell a story that makes a point. It’s easier to get your message across when you use interesting and memorable stories. When you enjoy your own stories, your enthusiasm shines through and you can easily take the audience where you want to take them.
- Interact with the audience. Great speakers also know how to encourage conversation among the audience. And once the conversation starts, they listen deeply to facilitate further interaction. Arriving early and engaging with the audience can build rapport and give you a great start before you even get up to speak.
- Share great content. As you work on the technical aspects of your voice and performance, keep your purpose in mind. What do you want to share with others? How can they benefit from what you have to say?
Additional Tips for Dynamic Speaking
- Practice regularly. Voice training is like any other skill and will take more time to develop. Continually work to improve your performance. Record yourself as you practice, so you can identify your natural strengths as well as areas you need to work on.
- Model popular speakers. See how presidents, news anchors, and TV hosts engage their listeners. Watch videos, listen to podcasts, and read transcripts. Take notes on the ideas you want to borrow and develop. Adapt your lessons to your own style.
- Avoid pointless fillers. Too many “ums” and “uhs” can undermine your credibility. Plan transitions so you don’t have to fumble for what to say next. If you need a second to reflect, try pausing instead of filling the space with nonsense language. Disconnecting from internal and external distractions can also help you stay on track.
- Be aware of your body language. Mastering non-verbal communication will reinforce the positive impression your voice makes. Stand up straight so you appear open and relaxed. Ground yourself on stage so you look confident. Use gestures to emphasize key points and keep things lively. Use all the space to move and talk, don’t get stuck in one spot on the stage!
- Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to feel. Even movie stars and self-help gurus can get stage fright. When you feel anxious about addressing a group, accept your feelings and turn them into positive enthusiasm. Stop focusing on yourself and focus on how to help others.
Making the most of your own natural voice will help you communicate your ideas more effectively and efficiently. It will help you be the catalyst that transforms lives. But there is one more thing you need to remember before you start. Keep your content short and simple! In the words of Winston S. Churchill, “A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”