Public Speaking: 3 Simple Techniques to Skyrocket your Credibility when Presenting-Part 2 (Voice)
You’ve prepared the valuable information for your presentation. You’re confident about the content you’ll be sharing. Perhaps you’re giving a workshop. It’s the first time you’re giving this presentation. You’re knowledgeable and excited about the material yet you’re worried that your delivery will negatively affect your credibility. Your mind races with one of the three common questions that people ask when they give presentations.
1. What do I do with my body when I’m nervous?
2. What do I do with my voice when I’m nervous?
3. How do I read my audience?
This article addresses the second of these 3 questions. Part 1 answered the first question. Part 3 of this article will answer the remaining question. These techniques will engage your audience. They’ll highlight you as credible about your topic. They’ll prove to put your fears at ease when employed. Here’s the answer to the second question.
What do I do with my Voice when I’m Nervous?
Pause. Pause. Pause. The tendency when we’re nervous is for us to continually keep talking. Rehearse the verbal delivery of your content out loud. You’ll hear any tendencies for your voice to “run on”. When we “run on”, two things can diminish our credibility. Firstly, we can sound like we’re not confident and therefore are trying to cover. Secondly, we can lose the interest of our audience members.
Show your confidence in your material by dropping your voice at the end of thought groups. For example, when I’m presenting the following information, my voice pitch and volume lower before the period in the following sentence. “It’s critical to deliver your information so you engage your audience. “ I briefly pause. I then state “It’s critical to deliver you information so you establish credibility.”
Avoid Overuse of “and”
Avoid excessively connecting thoughts with “and”. Notice that I could have combined those two sentences into “It’s critical to deliver your information so you engage your audience and establish credibility.” In this case, it is acceptable to do that since “establish credibility” is related to the subject “engage your audience”. On the other hand, by pausing and dropping my voice, I make each of those concepts stand out in their own rights. The audience may better remember each of those concepts versus only remembering one of them if I were to combine them. If you were to combine them with “and”, I would recommend pausing before you say “AND establish credibility.” You see that my voice volume and pitch increased for the word “AND”. This functions to bring attention to that concept as separate, increasing the likelihood of your audience members retaining it. I definitely would not want to combine thoughts using “and” in the following example. “It’s critical to deliver your information so you engage your audience and establish credibility and there are simple ways to do this that I’m going to show you.” This sentence feels too long when you hear it out loud. We begin to lose interest. In summary, to skyrocket your credibility using your voice, pause. Avoid excessive run-on talking by refraining from overuse of the word “and.” These tips will keep your audience engaged. They’ll cause your audience members to digest your information faster, and they’ll increase your credibility. Now go out there and ROCK your audience!