While speech is how a person uses words, voice is how they create sound. To the listeners, a person’s voice represents who they are and what they believe. In public speaking, your voice is an integral part of your persona. How an audience hears your voice effects determine how they accept you and your message. So, you must be very conscious of your voice, especially any aspect that can distract your credibility.
Why Is Your Voice Important in A Speech?
Your voice is a significant part of your presentation than you may consider. With your voice, you can shout, whisper or mutter. You can also demand, suggest, or roar. Additionally, you can affirm, assert, declare, announce, and state. From the sound of your voice, the listeners can make judgments about a person’s attitude towards them and the ideas they are presenting. Listeners judge your credibility and sincerity in part by your voice.
Consequently, it can affect how they will respond to you and your message. To be an excellent presenter, you must take care of your voice and learn to use it effectively. Proper use of your voice can strengthen and emphasize every message you deliver. Before anything else ask yourself why is your voice important.
How to Use Your Voice Effectively in A Speech
Your voice is an essential tool for engaging and inspiring audiences. First, know your speaking voice and how to use your voice effectively. To be expressive, natural, and clear, you must use your voice well to create that impact by using the following tips.
When delivering a speech, your goal is to be heard by the audience. So, don’t be modest and speak in a way such that everybody can listen to what you are saying. To draw the attention of your audience, try to vary volume to certain parts of your speech. Sometimes be softer, sometimes louder, so that the selected passages can stand out from the rest. Even when you are presenting with a microphone, don’t always speak softly.
Intonation and Melody
A regular speech that has no variation in tone and melody can bore the audience within a few minutes. So, when preparing or training for a presentation, choose which passages and words that deserve extra attention and amplify the tone to accentuate these points. However, do this naturally. If at some point, something sounds false or exaggerated, it can make your audience lose confidence and trust in you.
Articulate Your Words
Remember, you are speaking to an audience and not to yourself, so the words you are choosing are for your audience in the room and not you. To ensure clarity on your part, do not forget to articulate every word. By doing so, it will ensure understanding of the part of the audience. Sometimes we tend to mumble as we are weighing our thoughts while being introspective.
Changing emphasis on desired words can alter meaning and implication. Even in the same sentence, emphasis on different words can change the focus of the message. Project your voice while still maintaining an intimate and conversational tone.
The Compelling Power of Pauses
A well-timed pause, when placed in a strategic spot in a speech, can make the difference between a good and an excellent presentation. Pauses can be used during a story to let the information sink, to create suspense, and when asking or responding to a question, etc.
Pace and Pitch
Speaking with monotone can lull your audience into a near-sleep state. Practice delivering a speech sometimes slower and sometimes faster so you can arrive at a natural pace. Try alternating how quickly or slowly you speak, how loudly or softly you speak, and how high or low a vocal tone you use. These changes in pace, volume, and pitch can be used to direct the audience’s attention to the desired points you wish to emphasize.
Our voice sounds differently to others than it does to us. When delivering a speech, there must be consistency between the offered content and the presenter’s tone. For example, nobody can demonstrate control of a situation if using a desperate tone, nor is it possible to prove indignation while speaking softly. Internalize the content of your presentation and check if it’s consistent, then set the right tone for your speech or part of the statement.
Your voice is a significant part of your presentation and will affect how your audience will respond to you and your message. Please keep in mind the volume of your voice, the intonation and melody that you use. Ensure that you articulate your words correctly and put the emphasis on the correct words in the sentence. Also pauses can be very powerful, as indeed in varying your pace, pitch and tone.