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How to Project Your Voice & Project Authority

How to Project Your Voice & Project Authority

Someone in a recent presentation skills training program asked, “How do I project my voice and also, project authority?”

It's a great question because your voice is an important part of your presentation and should communicate that you’re confident, knowledgeable and engaging.

Here are 7 tips for projecting authority using your voice:

1. Breathe
In order to project your voice, breathing is crucial. The more that you can breathe deeply and support the breath from your core and diaphragm -- as opposed to taking shallow breaths from your chest - the more you can support your voice and project it.

2. Don’t shout
Shouting can offend your audience and leave you with a sore throat, laryngitis or vocal cord damage. Projecting your voice means supporting it with breath from your diaphragm and core so that your voice sounds strong and supported rather than high-pitched and breathy.

3. Use a microphone
Used correctly, a microphone make it easier for the audience to hear and understand you, even while you are speaking at your normal volume. Practice using it so you will be comfortable with it in front of an audience.

4. If presenting over the phone, avoid the speakerphone
A speakerphone will pick up all the background noise in the room and make it harder for the audience to hear you clearly. Use a headset or hand-held phone rather than a speakerphone, if possible, so it can easily pick up your voice without you having to shout.

5. Stand up
If you stand up, you automatically have better posture and it’s easier to breathe fully and project your voice. You sound more awake and energized and are less likely to slouch and cut off your air supply.

6. Eliminate “ums” and “ahs”
If you have a lot of “ums,” “ahs” and pause words, you don’t sound authoritative – you sound tentative and unsure. Eliminating those pause words will help you sound like you know what you’re talking about.

7. Avoid “uptalk”
“Uptalk” is when you voice goes up at the end of every sentence, so every sentence sounds like a question, as in, “Welcome? My name is Beth? I will present the third-quarter results to you?” Uptalk makes you sound hesitant and timid. Be mindful of how you speak, and particularly how you end sentences. End with your voice pitch staying the same or going down slightly, so the audience knows you are making a statement rather than asking a question.

If you follow these 7 tips, you will make able to use your voice to project authority so your audience will listen to what you have to say.

Gilda Bonanno is a speaker, trainer and coach who helps people from all walks of life improve their communication and presentation skills.

Copyright (c) 2013

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