Hi I’m Michael Trigg, the Presentation Maestro and I’d like to share a presentation skills tip with you.
Now this tip is all about a very, very important aspect of your voice, namely the volume with which you speak. Now the reason that this is often such a challenge is that we are used to a normal level of volume when we talk in conversation, we are not used to to shouting. However, when you have a larger space to fill you really do need to crank the volume up much more than you normally would. As a rule of thumb it is useful to imagine that somebody at the back of the room is a little bit deaf in one ear, and you are trying to reach them.
Things like soft furnishings, curtains, cushions and carpets, and defiantly the number of people in the audience are all sponges for sound, we just suck it up. So you often have to speak much louder than you thought you would, to get your message across, to come across with some enthusiasm and defiantly some authority. If you are speaking very softly, however sternly you look, you are unlikely to come across with much authority.
The only time you can get away with speaking softly is when you have massive position power. In the first Godfather film with Marlon Brando, he spoke very softly indeed, but he was the Godfather, and people had to listen to him if they wanted to keep their lives, most of us haven’t got that position power.
Your volume is very much part of the energy of your talk as well as your authority. So to summarize, louder than you would normally be and defiantly imagine someone at the back of the room is a bit deaf in one ear and you are trying to reach then.