YOUR VOICE? THE #1 WAY TO IMPROVE PUBLIC SPEAKING

voice Jan 06, 2020

The easiest way to improve public speaking is not only the speech writing or content itself. 

As a vocal coach, I'm fascinated by the power of the human voice - and know the power it has in capturing an audience’s attention. 

The voice is the most direct and intimate communication tool we have - and makes a massive difference when it comes to speaking in front of a crowd. 

Voice can seduce. 

Be boring or arouse interest. 

Get people to stand to their feet - or fall asleep like it’s 7th grade math class post-lunch. 

Thus, the voice can significantly influence one's own success. I’m going to reveal why and exactly how to use your voice to have you feelin Meryl-Streep-status confident in front of a crowd.

The subconscious approach to speaking in front of a crowd

The voice sneakily makes the first impression on others. The truth? We often rate people according to the sound of their voice. 

With science as the foundation, our brains are typically wired to feel: 

  • Too high a voice is unsafe (Think of startled animals who have high barks/meows / whoops that signify danger) 
  • A voice that is too loud very dominant
  • A monotonous voice is tired and not vital to listen to 

What studies have revealed

According to the American Scientist publication, “Using recorded voices…psychologists and linguists have demonstrated that a person’s voice pitch affects how others perceive her or him.” 

For example, a study was done by Cara Tigue, along with her colleagues at McMaster University, to see how people corresponded voice pitch to voting for a president. In this study, a few things happened. 

  • Known male-leaders were played to test subjects and 67% voted for the deeper-sounding voice. 
  • Voices of unknown were played to test subjects and 69% chose the lower-pitched voices.

This was by VOICE - not content. 

Now, with men and women voice does take on different connotations for people but the more important point here is that how we carry our voice. 

*This is NOT about changing your natural pitch - Your natural voice is perfect!*

What is important? A full, carefully carried, steady voice sets accents and conveys credibility. 

Our voices tend to shoot up in interviews and situations when we’re nervous, like talking on a stage.

 Source- https://www.americanscientist.org/article/how-voice-pitch-influences-our-choice-of-leaders 

 Source- https://www.americanscientist.org/article/how-voice-pitch-influences-our-choice-of-leaders 

Our voices tend to shoot up in interviews and situations when we’re nervous, like talking on a stage. 

However, lower pitch voices are assumed to be more dominant and authoritative. 

All this to say, if you speak slower, your more likely to feel more relaxed and have your pitch drop to your natural, perfect level.  

Not only that, when you hear your voice sound more natural and level, you will FEEL calmer and in control. 

Communication comes from the voice and the _______. 

The word 'communication' comes from Latin and means to share, to do together. 

In essence, communication is about having your listener feel that they are in the conversation with you vs. only being talked at. That’s why having clear thoughts is not enough, especially when you have a short time frame to speak on stage and share a message. 

A powerful (& easy) way to have your voice speak at a calm, strong level? 

Make sure your body language is working for you and your audience. Here’s why. 

The body reinforces the voice: Communication comes from the voice and the body. 

In fact, the whole body is vital to the formation of sound. This is why how you carry yourself and your body posture is vital to the voice you present and vibes listeners get from you. 

The human voice can only sound properly when the entire body is free of unnecessary physical and mental tension - so even though you may be nervous about public speaking, know that is okay. 

The 3 ways to shift body language and tone immediately

It’s absolutely okay. Here are ways to prepare for strong body language that also leads to powerful voice delivery!

  1. TRY THIS: Try slumping your shoulders, looking downward and saying a happy phrase. “I am excited to give this speech!” It feels so impossible, doesn’t it? Now, try these next tips and repeat the phrase - and how much happier and joyful your voice sounds!

  2. Make sure shoulders are rolled back so chest and heart are open - This makes you look AND appear more confident + gives room for your voice, too!.
     
  3. Take up space. Whether arms come out a bit wide while talking or legs are hip-width distance apart... taking up space physically makes you feel confident to take up space with your voice and your message. 

How to do audience centred speaking

The word 'communication' comes from Latin and means to share, to communicate, to do together. It is not enough to have clear thoughts. Especially as an amazing entrepreneur who is excited and ready to grow her business, it is important to express these thoughts clearly and directly. 

By taking up space with your arm gestures…

By having shoulders relaxed and down, taking away tension from your neck and letting your voice sound calm and strong…

You’re allowing your voice to have that natural, powerful sound that is also in communication with each listener. 

Using your voice, as shared in this blog, is absolutely vital to making the audience feel like the center of the talk. 

To get more specific strategies that’ll improve your public speaking skills and have the listeners feel absolutely understood, get the Stage Ready Workbook: 10 dynamic steps to become a “Wow, she’s so good!” speaker

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