Lesson 17º









During the speech you need to pay attention to your voice:

If your voice is monotonous, unfriendly, not very loud, etc the audience will disconnect.

Normally people don't know their own voices, therefore you will be surprised when you hear yourself in a recording.

Hearing yourself in a recording is very useful as it allows you to familiarize yourself with your voice, hear it as other people hear you. It is the way to know what you sound like, the defects you have to correct.

Dominating your voice comes with practice:

Recording the speech and hearing it, allows you to detect your mistakes (if you speak too fast, don't vocalize sufficiently, speak too quietly, join words together, etc) and help you to correct them.

It is also a good idea to ask someone for their opinion.

Once you have detected your mistakes you can work on them with the aim of improving the quality of your voice.

Although your voice is difficult to change, if you can improve some defects which make the understanding difficult or which make it a little unattractive (a nasal voice, a fine voice or hoarse voice, etc).

You need to know how to modulate your voice: increase and decrease the volume, change the rhythm, accentuate words; all this will help to capture the public's attention.

You need to play with your voice to emphasize the important points, outline ideas, introduce new arguments, tell anecdotes, enhance a conclusion, etc.

For example, if you are making a statement you need to speak with determination (firm voice, high, without hesitation); in other parts of the speech (an explanation, an anecdote, etc) you can use a more relaxed tone.

You need to speak clearly, force yourself to vocalize more than you do normally, pronounce the ends of the words, etc.

One aspect that you need to especially look after is volume:

In everyday life you usually speak to people which are near to you, which means you are used to speaking quietly.

When you speak in public you need to make an effort to speak louder (something that you will have to look out for in the rehearsals).

You need to ensure that your voice fills the whole room and is clear.

One mistake which is usually made is that people start a sentence loudly then as they continue they reduce the volume of their voice, this gives the impression that the phrase lacks importance.

When you rehearse you need to look out for this problem and try to correct it.

It is also common for people to speak too quickly, something that tends to happen when people speak in public (probably due to nerves).

This makes understanding more difficult and gives off an image of nervousness.

When you are rehearsing try to look out for this aspect. Speaking slowly helps understanding, it projects an image of security and it helps calm the nerves.

You need to be on the ball at the start of the speech: if you begin speaking with certain hesitation it is possible that you you will speak like this during the whole speech.

When you have a fairly large audience (more than 50 people) it is a good idea to use a microphone, if you do this then you will need to practice with it:

You have to always keep the microphone at the same distance from the mouth (if you get nearer or further away the volume will vary).

You need to make sure that the microphone volume is right and that your voice fills the whole room (you should ask the audience at the beginning of the speech if they hear you clearly).

If you naturally speak quietly, you should not increase the microphone volume, you should force yourself to speak louder.

A golden rule when you talk in public is naturalness:

The audience will thank naturalness and hate affectation.

If you have an accept you shouldn't hide it (spontaneity), and don't exaggerate it (as this will make understanding difficult).