Why is that?
The key to being heard lies in the way you speak.
Before your next presentation, it is important that you refine how to use your voice to deliver your message. Why do I recommend this practice?
Your voice plays a significant role in your success as a presenter. According to an analysis of media appearances by 120 top financial communicators, the sound of a speaker’s voice matters twice as much as the content of the message.
How can you harness the power of your voice to not only ensure that you are heard, but sweep your audience off their feet?
The secrets to mastering your voice can be found in the results of studies that focus on the role of the human voice in communication and influence.
A Victory for Volume
According to a research study performed by San Diego State and Columbia Business School, listeners naturally associate voices that vary in volume, with a tendency towards louder volumes, with authority.
As we mentioned in one of our previous articles, The 6 Principles of Persuasion, one of the most important factors that influence people is the establishment of authority. Establishing yourself as an expert increases the likelihood that your audience will comply with your requests.
Hence, the next time you present, convey your expertise by speaking up, so people can hear you clearly. However, be careful. Do not be so loud that you drive your audience out of the room.
The Potential of Pitch
According to a recent study, men and women prefer female leaders with masculine voices. In addition, men also prefer male leaders with masculine voices. However, women do not discriminate between male voices.
A good example is Margaret Thatcher. She initially spoke with a high-pitched voice, which was not attractive to listen to. She had to be trained by a voice expert to lower her pitch.
Therefore, it may not be a bad idea to demonstrate power by taking your pitch down a notch or two.
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency.
When your facial expressions communicate one emotion, while the tone of your voice conveys an opposite message, your audience will become skeptical as a result of neural dissonance. You can probably recall this phenomenon from a political debate you may have watched in the past! This is because we have an innate ability to pick up on nonverbal cues. The inconsistency between your facial expressions and your voice projection can damage your credibility and decrease your effectiveness as a persuasive speaker.
Going forward, communicate credibility by aligning your voice and your facial expressions with the emotion you are trying to convey with your words.
The Importance of Variety
An analysis of the most famous TED talks revealed that successful TED speakers have 30.5% higher vocal variety than less popular TED speakers.
The bottom line: To increase your charisma and credibility, increase the amount of fluctuation in your voice tone, volume and pitch.
The Notorious Fry
According to some studies, vocal fry, the creaking, drawn-out tone that emerges when speaking below your normal projection, hurts first impressions of both men and women.
Other studies, however, have concluded that vocal fry is often viewed as authoritative by people under 40 years of age, while people 40 years of age and older interpret the vocal fry as a negative speaking trait.
Hence, for upcoming presentations, know when to fry and when not fry based on your audience.
With so many studies telling you how to speak, knowing the best way to communicate can be confusing. If you are overwhelmed with the variety of suggestions for speakers, remember that authenticity always wins. First and foremost, you need to always be true to yourself.
The next step is to give your voice a tune-up before your next presentation. You will reap outstanding results, considering the numerous studies that point to the tremendous value of mastering your voice.
To understand how your voice makeover will influence your audience’s perception of you as a speaker, rehearse your speech in front of a small group of people who will give you candid feedback on the impact of your voice. Feedback from people within your target audience will provide you with the clearest path towards enhancing your voice for public speaking success.
At Winning with Words, we specialize in helping people create powerful, persuasive presentations. If you want to learn more about successful voice projection, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org