How Do You Sound When You Give A Speech?

How you sound when you give a speech determines how you are perceived
How you sound when you give a speech determines how you are perceived
Image Credit: Matt Harasymczuk

When we are getting ready to give a speech, we do a lot of prep work. We try to identify who we will be talking to, we write a speech and try to choose the right words to use, and then we practice. Now it goes without saying that all of these things are good things to be doing. However, is it possible that we are missing something from how we prepare? Could that thing be critically important? It turns out that how we sound to our audience is going to have a big impact on how they perceive us. Do you know how you sound when you give a speech?

It’s All About Vocal Expression

So, how do you want to sound when you give a speech? I suspect that like the rest of us you want to have a speaking voice that is both powerful and animated. You would like to have an elastic quality to it – you want it to seem to stretch in different directions as you move from one idea to the next. Your ultimate goal is to keep your audience interested. Speakers need to understand that the tonality of your voice – basically how you sound when you speak – can have a major impact on how you are perceived, whether you’re speaking to an audience of thousands or a room full of colleagues.

What we need to realize is that there’s evidence to suggest that our tonality accounts for almost 40 percent of whether anyone who hears you believes what you are saying. This means that to influence others when you speak, you must speak in a voice that will command attention and will convey authority. What speakers need to do is to work on five vocal components: pitch, pace, tone, melody and volume. We need to realize that most of us don’t speak loudly or con¬fidently enough.

One of the keys to good vocal command as well as vocal health is to use proper breathing techniques. Most speakers breathe through their mouth. However, we should be breathing through our nose. When you breathe through your nose, the air becomes moist, and when moist air goes into your throat and then into your vocal cords. This prevents your vocal cords from drying out. This is important because if our vocal cords become dehydrated, they don’t work well and can become red and swollen, leading to hoarseness or loss of your voice.

How To Sound Good During A Speech

Another key to sounding good during your next speech is controlling how the air flows out of your mouth when you speak. This is what will make you sound great. In order to get better at doing this correctly, we can use breathing exercises to teach ourselves the right technique. What we need to realize is that the positioning of our stomach is crucial to the whole process, which is known as diaphragmatic breathing.

Keep in mind that varying your vocal patterns is crucial for anyone who wants to command the attention of his or her audience. When people speak, they tend to hover around one single pitch. The reason that they do this is because they become comfortable with that one note. What happens is when you stay on one note – which is known as monotone – people listening to you think they know what you’re going to sound like next. So then they think they know what you’re going to say next … and they will stop listening. Most speakers add to these patterns of predictability by verbally punctuating their speech. For example, we often lower our voice to signal that a pause or a stop is coming – essentially, inserting what are verbal commas and periods in our speech. To keep our audience interested, and ultimately influence them with what you say, you need to mix things up.

Speakers need to realize that in music there are patterns of notes that interest you and that make you want to sing along or that capture your attention. The good news is that the same is true about the patterns and melodies we use with the voice. The goal is to keep your audience so attached to what you’re going to say that they are wondering what you are going to say next. Melody is the absolute best way to go about doing that. All speakers need to know about the secrets of tonality and how the simplest changes they can make with their voice will dramatically change their business life, their personal life and the way that they feel about themselves.

What All Of This Means For You

When we give a speech, our goal is to be able to connect with our audience and find ways to get our message across to them. We’ll do a lot of things in order to get ready to give a speech: we’ll come up with a great idea for our speech, write it out, and practice it. However, if we don’t take a moment and think about how our speech is going to sound to our audience, then we may be missing a key part of what it is going to take to have an impact on our audience?

We’d all like to think that we have a powerful voice. We want to be able to keep our audience interested in what we are saying. We need to realize that the tonality of our speech can have a big impact on if our audience believes what we are telling them. In order to have effective tonality, we need to use correct breathing. We also have to be careful to not use a single pitch to deliver our entire speech because doing so will cause our audience to tune us out. Music uses melodies to keep our attention and speakers can do the same thing.

Understanding that how our voice sounds can have a big impact on how successful our next speech will be. The good news is that speakers have control over how their voice sounds. We can control our breathing and the pitch that we use to deliver our speech. By managing our tonality, we can make sure that our next speech will be able to make an impact on our audience.

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

Question For You: What’s the best way to find out what you sound like to your audience?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As someone who has the ability to give a speech, you have many options when it comes to the next speech that you’ll give. I think that most of us generally picture giving a speech as being something that we stand in front of a group of people and do. However, it turns out that there are many different opportunities that are available for speakers to use their skills. We don’t have to do the standard “stand and deliver” type of speech. The biggest challenge that you may be facing is trying to decide just exactly what type of speech you want to give next.