public speaking courses

Business presentations: Voice tone and speed of speech

When you give a business presentation do you find it easier to present when you are sitting down? Then, if you are required to stand up do you get more nervous? Does your mouth go dry and you start speaking too quickly?

If your speech is normal when you are sitting but your voice suddenly suffers when you get up to present, it is highly likely you have a “Public Speaking Monkey” causing voice chaos.

Often, nervousness and anxiety about a speech can be reflected in the tone of your voice or in the speed of your speech.  When you become aware of these shifts in your speaking, you can begin to make some vital changes.

In our presentation skills training courses, we give people tips and techniques on how to ensure their tone & volume of voice is appropriate and how to make sure they are speaking at a pace that is good for the audience. Some of our tips are:

  • Breathe – Breathing correctly is the foundation for successful presentations. Believe it or not, most adults are not breathing correctly, see more in our popular blog on breathing here.
  • Take purposeful pauses – this gives you a chance to think and the audience a chance to process your points.
  • Slow down – many people when they give a presentation compensate for their nervousness by speaking as quickly as possible. But this can be difficult to follow and to understand. Read more on this in our blog practice speaking more slowly.
  • Posture – Before starting your presentation take a few moments to relax and focus on being grounded, in the room and adopt your presenter stance.
  • Articulation – If you are someone who mumbles a little then begin to practice exaggerating how you move your lips when you speak. You want the audience to understand every word you are saying, and that means being deliberate in saying each word sound.
  • Volume – If you speak too softly you might come across as meek, but if you speak too loudly, you may come across as abrasive. Your job is to find the perfect balance between these two. Having a buddy in the actual room you’ll be presenting in is a great way to improve. Ask them to give you feedback on your volume, tone and pace.
  • Microphone – While you might have a microphone when you’re speaking in front of an audience, you still want to be aware of your volume. Many people shy away from using a microphone but actually when used correctly it can be very helpful because it avoids straining your voice. See this blog on the benefits of using a microphone.
  • Record yourself -To gain an idea of what you sound like, it can help to use a phone recording or a video to help you see where you can improve.

While scoping out the content of your speech is essential, how you deliver it is the most important element when influencing others. When you get unbiased and honest feedback from a public speaking coach you can begin to improve your voice and other presentation skills too.

Simply Amazing Training offers professional presentation skills coaching and public speaking coaching for companies in and around LondonDorsetKentLeicestershire and Hertfordshire. Call us today on 0330 223 4392  for an informal chat to discuss your bespoke presentation skills training requirements.

Posted by Dee Clayton on 23 Nov 2014

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