Tips on How to Keep Your Audience Engaged
Keeping your audience all begins with the sound of your voice. If you do not have any variety in your voice, you run the risk of sending your listeners to sleep. Your speech content may be excellent. It could match your audience’s needs very well but unless you deliver it in an interesting way, few people will actively listen. A one-flavor-fits-all voice is boring. It turns people off. An expressive energized voice keeps them tuned in. Vocal Variety is very important when presenting. Record and listen to your voice.
What is Vocal Variety:
Vocal variety refers to the way we use our voice. It is a combination of the following elements: pitch, tone, volume, and rate. They are all equally important.
To understand pitch, think of the high notes and low notes you use when you are singing a song. Everyone’s voice has a natural pitch – your natural speaking voice. Women’s tend to be higher than men’s. Everybody has a pitch range – the number of we notes habitually use. When that range is very small, the effect is monotonous.
Tone refers to the emotional content carried by our voices. It is not the words themselves; it is more about ‘how’ we say them. To speak expressively is to fill or energize our words appropriately.
How loudly or quietly you speak is called volume. Some people are habitually loud and others quiet, regardless of their speech content. Vary your volume as you speak. Think of it as if you are consciously playing with the volume control on a device. Silence is also very important. Silence sends the message. (DBrooks)
The term ‘rate’ refers to speaking pace. How fast or slow do you speak? Speaking rate matters because how fast or how slow you speak alters the listener’s perception of your topic.
The more you can relax and enjoy playing with voice exercises which you can find online, the more you will get out of them. If you have a recorder, use it. Often what we think we are doing with your voice is very different from the reality. A recorder helps you hear where you need to put in more work to achieve your goals.