Power Presentations Tip 24:
Take care of your voice
How can you instantly annoy your listeners? Speak in a shrill squeaky voice. Hillary Clinton was criticized for committing this sin during her bid for Democratic candidate. Notice how pleasant it is to listen to president Obama. His voice is soothing and easy to listen to.
A good voice is not about male or female. Both can be soothing or annoying.
What can you do to prepare your voice before you speak?
Yawning relaxes your vocal chords and takes in a large amount of air. Cover your yawn so people don't see. You don't want your audience thinking "The speaker is bored already."
Humming flexes the vocal chords and helps to set up resonance in your vocal chamber.
Don't clear your throat with the harsh "ach-um". That sounds terrible and it irritates your throat. When you feel that urge coming on - just hum.
Take a couple deep slow breaths just before speaking. Fill your diaphragm. That helps you in two ways. The oxygen calms you and the air in your lungs gives you a fuller smoother voice.
All of these techniques are easy and helpful. You might do them before delivering a presentation, making phone calls or attending a networking event.
Be careful what you put in your mouth
Don't drink milk or eat cheese just before speaking. That creates phloem - which will get you trying to clear your throat.
The best fluid to drink before you speak is room-temperature water. Avoid cold water - especially ice water. It might feel refreshing but the cold stiffens your vocal chords.
The caffeine in coffee and tea dehydrates you which makes your throat dry. Alcohol is doubly bad for the dehydration as well as the obvious.
If you have a scratchy throat from a cold or too much speaking (or screaming) sip some warm lemon.
While speaking - speak a little slower than normal to keep the tone of your voice deeper.
Look after your voice so you can thrill them and not shrill them.
PS: tell me how this tip helps you.
PPS: Thanks for your comments and feedback.
"Thank you for your assistance and direction. My speech in Budapest was very successful. I received lots of positive feedback. I couldn't have done it without your help."
Dale Armstrong, CEO
Armstrong International Mover
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Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.