Protesters are saying: “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe,” or “No Justice, No Peace”. They are raising their voices to amplify their message. But raising your voice is only one way to get your message across. Many of you are speaking to business audiences who are distracted at home and at work. You need more than one way to grab attention.
Your voice is your greatest communications tool. To be heard, you need to master the fine art of shifting vocal gears. Many speakers get stuck in one gear and deliver their message at the same speed, volume and energy level from beginning to end.
That “monotone gear” is the best way to bore your listeners. That gear can’t compete with YouTube videos, Social Media posts, texts and emails for your audience’s attention. But you have a choice. You can switch to more engaging gears—silence, volume, speed and energy/emotion.
Here’s how you can use your voice—in four gears—to amplify your message:
1st Gear – SILENCE: Use silence to grab your audience’s attention. If you want them to focus on what you’re about to say, pause. Before and after you make an important point, pause. Before you start your presentation, pause. At the end of your talk, pause. Silence is a powerful strategic communications tool.
2nd Gear – VOLUME: If you are telling a story in a presentation, change the volume of your voice for maximum effect. Lower your volume, just above a whisper, to create anticipation or suspense. But don’t get stuck there. Raise your voice when you need to yell or laugh or shout to bring the action alive. Use your voice, like a paint brush, to add color to your story canvas.
3rd Gear – SPEED: When you talk too fast, you send the wrong message. Are you talking fast so you can get this painful presentation over fast? Slow down, connect with your listeners and improve your image. If you want to come across like an expert or a leader, deliver your message in a slower, more conversational speed. You’ll look confident and your audience will have time to digest your message.
4th Gear – ENERGY/EMOTION: How do you add excitement, enthusiasm and passion to your voice? Change your volume, pitch and speed to reflect how you feel. You just got a big surprise. How you would you say—“Guess, what! I’m engaged!”—to your family and friends? I bet that conversation would be overflowing with feeling, emotion, and enthusiasm.
In casual conversations, without thinking, you use all four gears—from silence to emotion. That’s also the best way to amplify your message to a business audience.
For more ways to raise your voice and amplify your message, check out the Better Speaking Skills Newsletter. You’ll get problem-solving videos and practical advice. Sign up for this free resource at https://betterspeakingskills.us/