Public Speakers Need To Use More Sound Effects!

by drjim on February 22, 2011

Sometimes it's not what you say, but rather what your audience hears…

Sometimes it’s not what you say, but rather what your audience hears…

Every public speaker stands before his / her audience naked. Well, not exactly naked as in “no clothes”, but rather naked as in you don’t have anything standing between you and your audience. This is both wonderful (you can connect with your audience) and terrible (it’s all you, baby). In order to boost the impact of your speech you need as much help as you can get and sound effects are one way to do this…

Welcome To The World Of Sound…Effects

Here in the age of technology everywhere, your audience has become used to having their senses fully submerged in every experience that they choose to take part in. From 3D in the movie theaters to Dolby surround sound at home, we want it all and we want it all the time.

As a speaker you really can’t fight this ever increasing level of expectation from your audience. You need to boost your speech to meet what your audience is looking for. Sounds are a speaker’s best friend – they are easy to bring along and they can add depth to any speech that you give.

4 Secrets To Using Sounds Effects With Your Speech

Dean Sheetz has been researching how speakers can incorporate sound effects into their speeches and he’s come up with four keys that can guide you as you prepare your next speech:

 

  • <strongChoose Wisely: adding sound effects to a speech can be a powerful way to make your point stick in your audience’s mind. However, if you don’t choose your sound effects wisely, then your audience will get distracted and will spend their time trying to figure out how the sound effect relates to the point that you are trying to make.

 

 

  • <strongTiming Is Everything: : if you are going to use sound effects in your speech, then you absolutely must get your timing down perfectly. The purpose of a sound effect is to support what you are saying. If the sound effect does not occur at the right time, then its impact will be lost. As an example, if you were talking to a group of high schoolers about the dangers of drunk driving and you were going to use a car crash sound effect, then you’d have to be able to trigger it at exactly the right point in your story to drive the sense of danger home. .

 

 

  • <strongToo Much Is Too Much: : I don’t know about you, but perhaps you’ve seen the children’s books where you have to press a button to make a sound for every other word while reading the book? This is great for little kids, not so great for an audience. You should use sound effects to add depth and to enrich your speeches, you should not allow sound effects to take over your speech. .

 

 

  • <strongHave A Plan: : whenever you add something to a speech, you need to have a plan for when things don’t go the way that you expect them to. When it comes to using sound effects there are a lot of challenges that could go wrong. These include having your sound effects not work, having the wrong sound effect occur at the wrong time, etc. As a speaker you need to anticipate this happening and make up your mind what you would do in order to keep your speech moving along under even the most challenging circumstances. .

 

What All Of This Means For You

Every speaker wants the same thing: to make a lasting (good) impression on his / her audience. The challenge that we face is that in delivering a speech, it’s really just us against the world. However, if we take the time to plan for it, then we can use sound effects to add depth and impact to our next speech.

When using sound effects we need to make sure that the sound effects work with our speech and not against it. To do this we need to keep four simple rules in mind: choose our sound effects wisely, remember that timing is everything, be careful to not over do it, and finally, have a plan if things don’t go correctly.

Our audiences have come to expect multimedia shows in their lives. As speakers we can use sound effects to give them what they are looking for and accomplish our ultimate goal: to change the world one audience at a time.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: In a typical 30-minute speech, how many sound effects do you think a speaker could use?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Did you know that how well a speech is going to turn out can be determined before you even open your mouth? It turns out that introductions are one of the most important things that that set the tone for a speech. If done correctly, then you’re going to have an easy time coming out on top. If not, well then there’s just no way that you can win…

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard I. Garber February 23, 2011 at 10:56 am
Dr. Jim Anderson February 24, 2011 at 7:04 am

Richard: You got it — thanks for the correction!

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Warwick John Fahy February 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm

This is pretty new perspective. There is one sound effect I would suggest not to use: the sound effect between transition of slides. This just seems too unprofessional and disturbing.

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