I previously failed a voice test. I was the only one in class who did not pass, so I was told to speak louder. I was unable to project my voice when asked to do so, so I failed to meet the required threshold.
At the end of the day, I obtained a very good grade in the class, owing primarily to my presentation skills and the manner in which I present information. But I performed poorly on the voice test. I had to spend extra time with a special voice coach who massaged my larynx, made me speak in very crowded places, and made me project my voice much louder, which I couldn't do before.
As a teacher, I am required to speak frequently. I occasionally give personal or public workshops in front of large groups of people. I must project my voice. Because of the physical characteristics of my vocal cords, it is extremely difficult for me. However, it is a work in progress. During my work experience, I was able to gather certain tips that I would like to share with you in the hopes of assisting you in becoming the best speaker you can possibly be.
If you watch some of my vlogs, you'll see some humorous jokes about it being an unintentional ASMR video. Many people all over the world are extremely sensitive to sound.
Sound can help us distinguish between people who are amicable, credible, gentle, soft, and kind. Those are the characteristics we seek in humans, and we are more likely to be drawn to those who possess them.
Some students may drop the class because the professor spoke too loudly, too quickly, or because the pitch of his voice was either too low or too high, irritating their ears and causing them not to understand the lesson.
However, there are some that even if you can't see them, you can fall in love with how they sound. There are true-to-life stories about people who fall in love on the phone while talking to each other, and they fall in love with the person's voice before even seeing them.
Speaking is essential no matter what your job or profession is. Whether it's representing your client in court, explaining something to a patient, discussing topics with your students, passing a job interview, or marketing a product in the market.
Other professionals, such as politicians, hire voice coaches or speaking trainers to help them develop a speaking style that makes them appear credible, amicable, and likable to voters.
Interestingly, Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister in the 1970s, had a voice coach because her very high-pitched voice was unpopular with voters. It made her sound insecure and untrustworthy, so the voice coach had to lower her pitch by working on the tone of her voice to help her alternate the tone of her speaking manner, making her sound more interesting to her electors.
Some people have even undergone vocal cord surgery in order to change the pitch of their voices. So politicians understand the importance of public speaking, and we understand the importance of public speaking in all professions.
I want to emphasize that you are unique and that you are you. You don't have to sound like someone else, or be or look like someone else. You have your own vocal cord structure. Your larynx is one-of-a-kind. Your lungs are one-of-a-kind. So the way you sound is the way you sound, and the only thing you can work on is becoming the best speaker you possibly can be.
Before we go with the tips, here are what comprises a sound:
Element #1: PITCH - Rate of Vibration
The pitch of our voice is determined by the rate of vibrations produced by the vocal cords, which range from high to low. Because of the hormones testosterone and estrogen, which influence the growth and structure of our vocal cords, men typically have lower-pitched voices and women have higher-pitched voices.
The pitch of our voice is determined by the structure of our vocal cords, which we are born with. Of course, some people have had plastic surgery to change the pitch of their voice dramatically. However, you can vary your voice within the same range by researching specific exercises, such as going from super high pitched to lowering it slightly, without undergoing surgery.
Element #2: VOLUME - Level of the Voice
Volume refers to the speaker's voice level, which can range from quiet to loud.
Because of the structure of their larynx and the size of their lungs, men generally have louder voices. The larger your larynx and lungs, the louder your voice. Women, on the other hand, speak more quietly.
People with louder voices are more outgoing and confident, while those with quieter voices are shyer. Although this is a stereotype, it is true in some ways.
Aside from our physical characteristics, the cultural upbringing in which we were born influences the volume of our voice. Our voice level is also affected by our age and hearing ability. People in Africa speak louder than people in Asia due to cultural differences.
I'm getting emails from people saying, "Oh, you know, I speak so loudly that I feel obnoxious around other people. How can you assist me in becoming quieter?”. We must be aware of our natural volume, which is the volume of your voice when you are alone, talking to a family member, or singing a song.
Examine yourself from the side to see how you sound in a social setting or social gathering. You tend to lower your voice because you are uncomfortable or shy, or you may raise your voice because you want to be noticed, heard, or appear more outgoing.
This will assist us in determining what factors influence the volume of your voice. Make certain that when you select a volume, it works to your advantage, assisting you in your social or professional life. You can also practice techniques to change the volume of your voice.
Element #3: TONE - Rhythm or Pace of the Voice
The tone is a vital component of your voice that refers to the rhythm and pace of your speaking style. You can change it up to make it sound more interesting. We can characterize a tone as friendly or unfriendly, dominant or assertive, persuasive, or sarcastic.
There are several ways to interpret tone depending on how we hear it from the person speaking to us. Whatever the situation, keep your tone under control, even if the message is different.
If you're in a hostile environment or someone asks you in an impolite way, keep your tone friendly but send the message. You may object that this is not the proper way to address me. This implies that you do not want them to do it or that you do not agree with what they are doing, but by using a friendly tone, you create the right environment for your message.
When it comes to public speaking, we always associate monotone with something negative or boring. If someone's presentation or speaking skills are monotone, it means they speak at the same tone level all the time. As a result, the pace of their speech remains constant. They don't change it, and as a result, the audience is bored.
It is critical to maintain that change in the proper manner so that your audience will listen and remain engaged. They will also recognize when there is an emphasis or when the message is important by using tone and enunciation. The tone of your speech, like salt and pepper to a dish, adds flavor and extra flavor to your speech and your speaking style. So, in order to make your speech more interesting, work on its tone and rhythm.
Here are some simple tips to help you become a better public speaker:
Tip #1: BREATHING: DIAPHRAGMATIC
Breathing is important because the air we breathe causes our vocal cords to vibrate and produce sound. We will essentially make no sound if there is no air. Exhale all of the air from your lungs and try to say a long sentence as an exercise.
Examine how much you can say or how your voice sounds. Then take a deep breath and repeat the sentence. When you exhale and have no air in your lungs, you can barely finish a sentence, whereas when your lungs are full of air, you can sound more confident and speak more easily.
Another reason we don't sound the way we want to, especially when we're nervous, is that we run out of air. In this case, take a moment to inhale and fill your lungs with air before continuing with your message.
A breathing technique that many public speakers teach is diaphragmatic breathing, which is done before giving a speech. You must place one hand on your chest and the other below your rib cage. When you breathe, your chest remains stable, but you must feel the diaphragm expand and contract. When you breathe this way, you ensure that the air flows smoothly and that you can speak as clearly as possible.
Tip #2: TAKE PAUSES
These are necessary for a speech and to improve the clarity of your words. They pique your listener's interest in your message. Words spoken after silence are far more powerful.
Pauses function similarly to full stops in a speech, or even as a separate paragraph that assists the listener in breaking down your message into smaller parts. You must be able to use them to emphasize specific ideas.
Pauses are sometimes used on purpose to make it appear as if they are reflecting and to make their message sound stronger. It is critical to vary the speed of your speech in order to avoid sounding anxious or nervous.
If you speak too quickly, the receivers will not understand. Slowly speaking, on the other hand, will bore your audience. Changing the speed of your speech makes it more interesting and engaging to your audience.
Tip #3: HAVE A STRAIGHT POSTURE
Posture allows air to easily enter your vocal cords, allowing you to vibrate more smoothly. If you slouch or are in an uncomfortable position that prevents air from entering, you will not sound as good because you will not have enough air.
Tip #4: DRINK WATER
The ability to drink water hydrates the vocal cords, allowing them to vibrate smoothly. Instead of drinking all at once, take small sips every time before your presentation.
Tip #5: RAISE YOUR VOICE WHEN NECESSARY
Although speaking loudly can make it easier for others to hear us, it can also be used to project our voice to a larger audience. If you want to attract people's attention, lower your voice rather than raising it. This makes the room quieter, which causes people to relax and pay attention to you.
If you've ever heard the power of a whisperer, you'll know that they speak more quietly, drawing attention to the message they're trying to deliver. You must distinguish between speaking loudly to be heard and speaking loudly to project your voice to those seated far away. Lower your voice if you want to attract attention. Raise your voice if you want to be heard by those who are far away.
Tip #6: ENUNCIATION IS IMPORTANT
This entails highlighting the letters in your words. It differs from pronunciation in that it focuses on phonetics, or how certain letters sound together and may contain errors due to the fact that it is not your native language, causing difficulties in pronouncing certain words.
Enunciation is different because this is how you speak out those letters, such as when you slur words or drop certain letters, which are enunciation errors. In the word doing, for example, we must pronounce the letter g at the end of the word. Saying it as doing will make it sound bad, and listeners will grow tired of hearing it that way. You must ensure that the letters are correctly pronounced and that no letters are dropped. You must emphasize the words without slurring or switching them.
Tip #7: RECORD YOURSELF SPEAKING
I recommend filming yourself while speaking so you can see how you look and hear how you sound together. If you don't want to be distracted by your own image, use voice memos to listen to how you sound and focus on your speaking style. Taping yourself is a lifelong endeavor. It's the formation of your speaking style, so you must constantly film and observe yourself from the sidelines, working on specific things you want to improve.
. . .
Always remember, you are not required to sound or look like anyone else. We have to be ourselves, and the best version of ourselves. Everyone is a work in progress, and that is the only way we can help ourselves. By being the best trainer and voice coach we can be for ourselves. I can assure you that if you apply these tips in your daily life, you will be the best speaker you can possibly be.