Starting today, I am launching a new weekly Friday post. I’ll be answering public speaking questions submitted by readers, clients, and others. If you have one, feel free to submit it here:
Here are three great questions.
How do I develop good vocal variety?
Many speakers are monotone. This means their voice is stuck in one gear in regards to their volume, speed, and pitch (high notes / low notes).
In speaking, my default mode is an enthusiastic voice (strong and fast). Though enthusiasm is contagious, it also can be monotone if a person stays in that gear. My mentors have emphasized the need to add variety (which I am doing).
It’s difficult for the audience to listen to a monotone voice.
What if your favorite artist’s voice and music was all the same key/note? Would you quickly shut it off?
Audiences can do the same for us.
We want our voice to be like a good orchestra with changes in:
Here are two steps that have helped me and will help you:
Step 1. Read about how to have vocal variety. Check out the following posts:
Step #2: Practice for 10 minutes a day.
Do you have kids or a spouse who likes to be read to? Read for 10 minutes day. Not only will help parental bonding, but will help you develop this flexibility in your voice. Exaggerate. Kids love it.
If you don’t have kids, just practice out loud. This will help you to quickly develop a flexible voice.
Where can I find Videos of Good Speakers
One of the best ways to become a better speaker is to watch and learn from experienced, successful speakers.
Ten years ago it took extra time and money to find great speakers. Now its as simple as doing a search on the internet.
Hop over to Youtube and type in “Motivational Speaker”. You’ll see short clips of literally hundreds of speakers.
Here are few good speakers to look up:
Watch and learn as you remember my father’s advice.
Listening to a speaker is like going through a food buffet line. Take what’s good and leave the rest.
Every speaker does some things really well, yet also has areas to work on. Just because a popular speaker races around the stage, does not mean it’s the best practice.
Notice how Brian Tracy may not be as dynamic as the others, but he as riveting content. Each has their own style.
Action Plan: Watch at least 10 minutes of a good speaker every day.
Why do you recommend pausing for several seconds before starting a presentation?
Pause for several seconds before you speak. I have shared this many times in my coaching and on the blog. Why?
First, pausing allows you to collect your thoughts and to breathe. It allows you to plant, focus, and launch into your presentation.
Second, it calms the audience.
Depending on the audience, if you start the second you are on stage, you are now competing with dozens of side conversations. Pause for several seconds and let people calm down. You’ll notice a hush will fall over the crowd. Sometimes, if you are not introduced, you may have to grab the audience’s attention yourself
Third, it creates tension and anticipation.
Silently standing in front of an audience is not normal. That’s why you may feel nervous doing it. The audience will feel and increase in tension, but more importantly: anticipation. “What is he/she going to say?”
This will help successfully launch you into your speech.
Learn about the Ed Tate Pause and use it in your next presentation.
That’s it for this Friday’s public speaking question and answer post. Submit your question or leave a comment.
Also, check out my latest program Become a Better Speaker in One Eveing™
(C) Arlen Busenitz