When speaking in public, probably the most overlooked aspect is the correct care of your voice.
The majority of people imagine that all they need to do to become a successful public speaker is to take a deep breath, open their mouths and let the words tumble forth. How wrong they are! But even competent speakers are often guilty of ignoring the most crucial tool in their speech-making arsenal. Few speakers spend any time at all working on good speaking techniques and even less time in looking after their most important asset – their voice.
After all, no voice, no speech!
So what can you do today to make certain that your voice is kept in the very best condition for speech-making? Here are the three simplest things you can do to ensure winning presentations every time:
1. Don’t strain your voice in any way. That means no shouting encouragement at your favourite sports team! No matter how much you feel that they need your vocal input to score the winning point, restrain yourself – let others do the yelling and shouting.
2. Have plenty of water to drink. Get into the habit of continually sipping water throughout the day and you’ll find that you will soon feel the benefit all round – not just in your voice. When delivering a speech, make sure that you have a glass of water easily to hand so that you never feel the need to struggle with a throat that is becoming dry.
Avoid alcoholic over-indulgence in the days prior to a speaking engagement and stick to soft drinks only in the couple of days immediately leading up to making your speech.
And for all sorts of good reasons, strictly no alcohol on the day of your speech – however nervous you might be feeling!
3. Do some gentle warm-up exercises for your vocal chords shortly before making your speech. If you are only an occasional speaker, you may feel a little silly humming and singing to yourself but just remind yourself that professional actors, speakers and singers run through warm-up exercises in exactly the same way as professional sportsmen do. If you really are serious about delivering the best speech that you can, these preparations will make a real difference to how you perform.
And the better you perform, the better you will feel. And the better you feel, the more relaxed you will become. In turn, your audience will pick up on your confident manner and come away having enjoyed every word that you have spoken.
Your voice will have been your greatest asset – and you won’t have suffered the embarrassment of delivering your speech sounding like a frog with a sore throat!
Author: Jane K ThomasThis author has published 2 articles so far.