Good presenters know their voice can make or break a presentation. Think about it: how many times has a conference speaker whose voice was weak or hard to understand bored you? A well-trained voice can make a huge impression on listeners. And it’s not all about how well you know the presentation, because there is always room for improvement.
To help you be more successful during your next presentation, here are seven tips from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Edmonton that can help improve your speech and sales communication when making a presentation to both large and small audiences:
1. Articulate Clearly — If you talk quickly, mumble or slur words, the important points you are trying to make can and will get lost. Worse, people will simply tune you out during your entire presentation.
2. Vary Your Tone — Nothing numbs listeners more than somebody who speaks in a consistent dull monotone. Project your voice powerfully and clearly. Learn to use pitch for variation and accent your power words. This helps keep the audience involved and on their toes.
3. Vary Your Tempo — Avoid speaking in a slow, drawn-out manner. The speed of speech affects how your message is interpreted. Increase your tempo when you wish to convey excitement or urgency. Slow down when you want your words to sink in.
4. Control Your Volume — Project your voice so people can hear you easily. Raise and lower your voice when you want to emphasize certain words or concepts.
5. Cut Out Crutch Words — Avoid punctuating sentences with “you know,” “like,” “uh,” “really,” “kind of” and other fillers. This pattern becomes tiresome to listeners and portrays a nervous or lazy speaker. It may also portray you as being uneducated to some people.
6. Use People’s Names — Make sure you connect with your listeners by telling stories and using the first name of someone from the audience. By using names, your words become embedded in the audiences’ mind.
7. Practice Out Loud — Try using a voice-activated recorder to listen to yourself practice out loud. Play the recording, listen to how you sound and make positive changes. Better yet, audition your speech in front of someone who will give you honest feedback.
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