Early in my presentation career, I was working with a coach to help hone my craft and take my speaking abilities to the next level. After one of my presentations, I sat down with my coach to review a recording of the presentation. About half way through the session, my coach shut off the computer monitor, and we spent the next 15 minutes just listening to my presentation. As we were listening, he asked me, “If all your audience had was the audio of your speech, do you think you would have engaged them to the same extent?” That question radically changed the way I think about vocal variety and vocal volume.
According to a study by San Diego State and Columbia Business School, the ability to control the volume of one’s voice leads to an increase in perceived authority by a listener. As a presenter, there is a lot of focused placed on vocal pace, eliminating filler words, and body language, but vocal volume is often left out.
That’s why the team at Ethos3 is bringing you 3 ways to leverage your vocal volume in your next presentation.
Lower your volume to draw your audience in.
Quieting your voice is a powerful tool to draw your audience in and make them listen closely. Lowering your vocal volume communicates to your audience how important what you are saying is. It’s as if you are telling them to lean in because you have a secret to tell. It is important to note that a lower vocal volume does not mean you give up vocal variety which focuses on the tone of your voice.
Increase your volume to elicit passion.
Some of the greatest speeches in history are marked by a moment where the presenter gets loud and passionate. These moments create excitement in the audience and in many ways create the feeling of being part of a team. By raising your vocal volume, you take on the persona of a coach inviting your audience to get in the game. While raising your vocal volume can be a powerful tool, it is important to avoid sounding angry, which will quickly disengage your audience. Instead, ensure your elevated tone conveys passion and enthusiasm.
Maintain your volume to communicate approachability.
A key to effective communication is the ability of a presenter to come across as likeable. Likeability is proven to increase your audience’s engagement post presentation. By maintaining vocal volume, you communicate to your audience that you are with them and one of them. It increases your approachability which will also increase your likeability. It is important to pay attention to your vocal pitch while using a consistent volume to avoid sounding monotone.
Vocal volume is vital to every great presentation. It keeps your audience engaged and connected with your content while allowing you to control the emotion of the room. As a presenter, learning to leverage this ability will give you a leg up on any other presenter.
Looking to learn more powerful tools to nail your delivery? Check out the Presentation Mentor online course today.
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