One of our clients asked, “Whenever I’m presenting online, I feel like I lose people’s attention. Is it my voice? What are some simple things I can change to improve the way I speak when I present virtually?”
Dear client, we are happy to help.
In the last year, we at Articulation have taken what we know about presenting “in real life” and finessed it to help our clients prepare for online presentations– virtual keynotes, board presentations, pitches for new funding, a billion dollar RFP defense, oral legal arguments, and everything in between.
Acacia Duncan, executive speech coach and trainer, compiled these five tips that will help you dramatically improve your voice and present your best virtual self. Watch the video here, or read more below.
The Five Vocal Considerations for When You Present Virtually
- Do pause. Make sure your message is understood. Pauses help other people make sense of your language. It’s like punctuation for your listeners.
- Do pace yourself. A good rate of speech for conversation and presentations is between 120 and 150 words per minute. But because of the lower audio quality online, we recommend speaking at the lower end of this range for virtual presentations.
- Do fix your vocal fry. This is when your voice loses energy at the end of sentences and creates a gravelly sound. It sounds a little light. We bet you’ve heard it before. The trick to fixing vocal fry is to support your breath. Sit up straight and breathe. Nice and deep. Put energy into your words. If you put energy in, you will get energy back from your audience.
- Don’t uplift. If you end your sentences with the pitch going up, also known as vocal uplift, you might not sound so sure of yourself. Instead, end your sentences by pitching down. Try making short declarative sentences; maybe use your finger and literally point down at the end of your sentence or pound on the desk. Break up your pattern so that you sound more confident.
- Do work to reduce your “ums.” Ums detract from your message and get in the way of clear and confident speaking. You can get rid of ums, but it takes a lot of work. The solution is to breathe consciously between sentences and phrases. You can’t “um” if you’re busy breathing.
Do you or someone you know need to prepare for a virtual presentation? Our team is here to help. Contact us to set up a phone consultation.
And for more virtual speaking resources, check out our Being a Speaker in a Virtual World Playbook & Webinar.