How do you impact your audience, so they are engaged with your message and feel your passion in order to get the results you wished for? Perhaps your presentation or performance lacks punch or energy. Speaking without enough volume, without speech variation, or without measured pace and emphasis will cause your listeners not to engage.
To achieve engagement, rapport, and enjoyment from your presentations prepare yourself with your breathing skills and your strategic use of emphasis in your delivery. Your ability to have vocal readiness to build your audience emotionally with your story or examples is effective when you know where to pause to give added emphasis and where to change your tone nuances.
Here are a few key exercises to organize your content and warmup your voice.
#1. Vocal Warmup
#2. Mark your content with cues for your breathing, tone, and pauses
#3. Do a Drama Improv Warm-up to set up your creative energy.
Throughout this series of 7 blog posts on How Diaphragmatic Breathing is Linked to your Voice, I created with my one-word anagram reminder for you:
If you would like more exercises to engage your audience with emphasis techniques, take a look at Chapter Seven on Engage With Emphasis in “Breathing…Just Steps to Breathtaking Speeches” by Speech Coach, Brenda C. Smith.
Have you read the previous Blog# 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in this Series on How Diaphragmatic Breathing Is Linked to Your Voice?
When you speak from your heart you create a believable message and set up your listener to trust you. It must feel genuine to you and to your listeners. If your voice does not reflect that then it diverts gaining rapport with your audience.
The challenges of speaking in a monotone, speaking too quickly, or lacking dramatic skills will not promote speaking with passion. Have you ever watched a movie, play, or television show and thought that the actors sounded like they were reading lines or in some way just didn’t grab you emotionally?
Unlock your emotion to release connection to your audience.
Good Actors have been trained to zone into their natural instincts and are not afraid of sharing their deepest emotions on stage or film in the role of someone else. It’s that moment that makes you pause to soak in what you experience together.
Try these exercises to build your skills:
The link to your voice through Diaphragmatic Breathing is to speak with emotion and passion.
Your strength is in the variety that you deliver in your tone and the matching inflection and timing to fit your story or message. All of this requires reaching within your mind for the picture you see and the tools of your diaphragmatic breathing you use to colour the emotional impact.
You can achieve human connection with your presentations when you give real life examples that show you are just like the rest of mankind with struggles, hopes, and successes.
How do you learn these dramatic tools, so they gel with your performance?
It starts with learning how to use your diaphragmatic breathing as your partner that you can tap into any moment.
Remember, diaphragmatic breathing is your best tool to having the capacity to relax, to energize and to build your story, while including the pauses, building volume or becoming quiet. All this bursts forth with your charisma and passion.
If you would like some exercises to discover your emotional release to enhance your content, take a look at Chapter Six on Humanize With Heart in “Breathing…Just Steps to Breathtaking Speeches” by Speech Coach, Brenda C. Smith.
Have you read the previous Blog# 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in this Series on How Diaphragmatic Breathing Is Linked to Your Voice?
Are you a woman today in a leadership position who requires speaking as a business and forward-thinking visionary? There are three important elements that you need to project which you may not have considered, namely: voice quality, voice projection, and voice presence.
Key #1: How do your listeners respond to the sound of your voice? If you have a tone that is out of sync in pitch level, it will jar the audience to take note and distract them from your content. Your tone may sound too nasal, too hoarse, too dull, too tired, too childish, or any other extreme level. The quality of the sound of your voice can easily be checked by listening objectively to a recording of your voice, getting feedback from others, or an assessment from a voice coach. Draw the attention of your listeners with an authoritative warm voice that invites them wanting to hear your ideas, processes, or solutions. Your voice quality is the immediate first hook to your commanding the stage.
Key #2: Are you heard clearly by everyone in the room the moment you begin to speak? Are you a soft speaker, sound tense, or speak too quickly? The result of doing this undermines your expertise and makes you appear to be a weak leader. By adjusting your voice projection so you are not shouting, which could damage your vocal folds (chords), will allow your points to be heard easily by everyone. With a few vocal projection exercises that apply diaphragmatic breathing techniques like actors use can help to project your sound to the farthest point or person in the room. Understanding how to project your voice will especially help any trainers, coaches, fitness instructors, and teachers to stop straining your voice or getting laryngitis by the end of the day. You will command the stage and stay voice fit.
Key #3: Do you inspire your audience with your vocal presence or leave them feeling that it was a waste of time to listen to you? Creating vocal presence allows your audience of managers, employees, or team members to leave the room at the end with an action plan that genuinely inspires them to move forward with you. If you simply repeat facts or challenges and offer your leadership comments on it all with a voice that sounds flat, routine, or matter-of-fact, there is no room for emotional passion. Therefore, use your story or example to make your recommendations or reports come alive and be relevant to the benefits of the people you serve. Make your mind be in the moment of excitement or hope so your voice flexes with emotional rise and falls to give variety and believability to your presentation. A monotone is not inspiring but will put your audience to sleep. Infuse a variety of inflection so your audience relives your hope for the future and wants to be part of the solution. Again your breathing management will allow you to have flexible vocal engagement. You become the cheerleader of your own speech – you are the leader on the stage taking ownership with your vocal presence.
Body language and content are supreme elements to your performance speaking; but indeed, it must be balanced with your vocal impact too. You’ve worked hard to gain the leadership you deserve. Now it’s the time to go beyond the climb-up-the-ladder pinnacle and possess the stage that gives your audience a leader to look up to. Inspire with your vocal presence!
Brenda C. Smith