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Sunday, April 13, 2008

The 3 Simplest Steps to a Better Vocal Presentation

I have talked a lot about oral presentations thus far. Today's tip involve 3 simple steps to improving your voice in an oral presentation.

These are simple, basic and fundamental steps that anybody can learn and integrate into their speaking style easily and effectively. Not only can they be used in public speeches, but can also be used in your daily conversations to make you sound more confident and more knowledgable.

Have i sold you these steps yet?

Here they are! (Ranked from the easiest to control to the hardest)

Key 1: Volume

The volume of one's voice is of paramount importance in a public speech or a conversation. It is important to vary your voice taking into consideration your surroundings as well as the size of your audience. Generally, speakers tend to speak too softly. This is because one’s own voice always sounds louder to you than to a listener.

Remember to pay attention to your audience’s reactions to have a gauge whether are you speaking loudly enough. Remember, be audience-centric.

Key 2: Rate

Rate refers to the number of words spoken per minute. There is no such thing as an “ideal” rate of speaking. It all depends on factors such as the nature of the speech, the mood which the speaker is trying to create as well as the natural attributes of the speaker.

Typically, people tend to deliver public speeches at a rate that is too fast. I personally find that presenting at a slower rate allows me more time to think about my points, as well as reducing the frequency of my pause fillers such as “err” or “em”. Rate is a factor, similar to volume, that can and should be improved fairly easily.

Key 3: Pauses

Adding pauses to your speech is another simple and easy way to make a speech more effective. It is used, by poised and confident speakers (such as Obama: refer to the previous post) to build tension or to allow audiences to ponder over an interesting point made by the speaker. There is also a matter of the length of the pause, but improving upon this can only come from valuable experience.

In order to improve on the above points, you will have to rehearse. And as your rehearse, you will only get better and gain more confidence. Do join a local toastmasters club to provide you with the opportunities to practice your speeches and soon, you will be on your way to becoming an excellent public speaker and overall better communitator.

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