We often think that if we have a louder voice, or one with more resonance, then we are more likely to be successful at speaking in public. What if I were to tell you that having a quieter voice can work in your favour?
As a person who has a voice on the quieter side, but speaks for a living, I can share with you that my voice helps me to get audiences to pay more attention. When I was growing up, I know that when my parents spoke in a quieter tone, I perked up and listened more attentively – the same can work for those of us who are taking to a stage.
How can we, as people with voices that perhaps don’t resonate quite as much as others, use our voices in a public speaking arena?
The first way I utilise my voice is to make sure I have warmed up prior to taking the stage (or floor!). The essential way to mastering our voices is to make sure we are warmed up. Just like an athlete, a dancer, or a gym session, we have to warm up. Run through your vowels out loud prior to going into the room. You can also work with tongue twisters such as “seventy seven sausages” and repeat that a few times. This will help to warm up not only your mouth, but your vocal chords too.
I also scope out the room before, if it is a speaking engagement I have been specifically asked to speak at. This can help me check out the room, its acoustics, and whether or not I may require a mic. If there are lots of people in a room, which has tall ceilings and a wide space, then they will soak up my voice, making it more difficult for those at the back of the room to hear me. Ask the event organiser if there is a possibility for a microphone. If there isn’t, then you may want to look into some voice lessons which will help you learn how to project your voice as and when required. This is something I have utilised throughout my life, so if you would like some help with this, do get in touch.
Finally, I speak with a good tempo. Not too fast, and not too slow. If we speak to fast, it will become incredibly hard for our audience to hear us. If we speak to slowly, it will become rather boring for those in the audience to continue to listen! I often find that if I feel I am on the cusp of speaking a little too slowly, then this is the perfect speed for a room which has plenty of people in it, so they will be able to hear me.
I hope these tips will help to give you confidence to speak in front of an audience, and will help you to know that your quieter voice will also benefit you when speaking.
If you have any questions, or would like any support in preparing you for an upcoming event where you need to speak, I’d love to chat. Email me, or give me a call – we can arrange a coffee to see how I can help you share your story with confidence.