Sleeping audience at a boring business presentation

Presenting dry or boring content? Use your voice!

Do you have to present dry or boring content? It’s a fact that if you find your own content dry and boring, your audience will do the same.

If you are presenting dry or boring content, use your voice! 

One thing that will help to engage your audience even when content is really technical is to improve your vocal variety. Your vocal variety is the high/low pitch, loud/soft volume and fast/slow speed. It’s also your tone (the depth of your voice), range(the natural highs and lows) and articulation (the crispness and clarity of your words).

Here are five unlikely tips to help you use your voice well

Balloon in the shape of the word love

Love your content. 

You can’t fake enthusiasm – so it’s essential to find a deep love of your own content before you present to others.  

Loving your content as a business presenter is essential for several reasons, including its impact on your voice.

Firstly, genuine enthusiasm resonates authentically, fostering trust and connection with your audience.

Secondly, it infuses your voice with energy and conviction, making your message more compelling and memorable.

Thirdly, it helps maintain a dynamic vocal range, keeping listeners engaged and attentive throughout your presentation.

Additionally, passion enhances your vocal clarity and articulation, ensuring that key points are effectively communicated. Moreover, enthusiasm drives confidence, enabling you to speak with authority and handle challenges confidently.

Ultimately, the passion you feel for your content not only enhances your vocal delivery it also elevates the overall quality and impact of your presentation, leaving a lasting impression on your audience.

Use people’s names – when you do this your vocal range will kick in naturally.

Why is it so impactful? First, addressing someone by their name shows personal attention, acknowledging their individuality. As you say their name, your vocal range naturally expands, adding warmth to your voice.

Moreover, using names builds rapport, forging a connection between speaker and listener. This connection enhances vocal expressiveness, making conversations dynamic and engaging.

Additionally, mentioning names improves memory and recall, as personalised information is easier to remember.

In essence, using names is more than just good manners; it’s a tool for effective communication. So, next time you chat, don’t hesitate to sprinkle in a few names. It’ll enhance your vocal delivery, deepen connections, and leave a lasting impression.

Person holding a sign that says hello
Baby sleeping on a pile of books

Tell stories and take your audience on a journey with you.

Crafting a narrative isn’t just about relaying information; it’s about creating an immersive experience that resonates deeply. Imagine sitting around a campfire, enthralled by a captivating story. As the tale unfolds, emotions rise and fall, carrying you along on a rollercoaster of feelings. That’s the magic of storytelling in action.

 

Why is this approach crucial? First, storytelling deeply engages audiences. It invites them to step into another world, experiencing highs and lows alongside you. It’s a timeless tradition, connecting us through shared experiences and wisdom.

 

Moreover, storytelling evokes emotional resonance. Infusing passion or humour into your narrative creates moments that linger long after the tale ends. As your voice mirrors the story’s rhythm, it amplifies its impact, drawing listeners deeper.

 

So, embrace storytelling’s power. Whether presenting or chatting, lead your audience on a journey. Let your voice mirror the story’s cadence, transforming words into unforgettable experiences.

Look people in the eye – your voice will automatically go up and down when you look directly at people and ‘see’ them. 

Vocal range (highs and lows) is linked to eye contact.

Maintaining eye contact isn’t just polite; it’s vital for effective communication and vocal expression. Picture this: you’re conversing with someone, and they meet your gaze directly. Instantly, you feel more connected, engaged, and attentive. That’s the power of eye contact.

Why is eye contact crucial, especially for vocal delivery? Firstly, it conveys confidence and sincerity, signalling your full presence and respect for the listener. As you feel more engaged, your voice naturally gains depth and richness.

Furthermore, eye contact enables better expression of emotion and nuance through your voice. It’s like a nonverbal dance, with your voice mirroring the subtle cues you pick up from the other person’s gaze.

Additionally, maintaining eye contact fosters a deeper connection and trust between speaker and listener. It invites active listening and engagement, enhancing vocal range and drawing listeners deeper into the conversation.

In essence, remember the power of eye contact. It not only enhances vocal delivery but also strengthens bonds, transforming words into meaningful exchanges of ideas and emotions.

Eye contact
Hot pink Light bulb

Ask questions that elicit emotion and intrigue.

This is crucial because it engages both the speaker and the listener on a deeper level. It encourages critical thinking and reflection, which can lead to new insights and perspectives. It stimulates creativity and encourages exploration, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas which will in turn fire up your authentic voice!

 

When emotions are involved, it sparks interest and curiosity, leading to more profound conversations and connections.

 

Ultimately, asking questions that evoke emotion and intrigue is about fostering meaningful communication and connection. It allows you to express yourself authentically while also inviting others to share their thoughts and experiences, creating a rich and fulfilling dialogue.

 

You’ll find your voice is most natural when you are answering questions on a topic you love.

Use appropriate humour where you can.

Incorporating humour into your communication arsenal isn’t just about adding a sprinkle of fun; it’s a strategic tool for fostering connection, engagement, and even learning. Picture this: you’re in a presentation, and the speaker cracks a well-timed joke related to the topic. Suddenly, the room is buzzing with laughter, and everyone feels a bit more relaxed and receptive. And of course when everyone (including you) feels relaxed and happy your voice will sound it’s best! That’s the power of humour in action.

 

Why bother with humour in the first place? Well, let’s break it down. First off, humour humanises you. It shows that you’re not just a robotic dispenser of information, if act, you are  a relatable, approachable individual. Plus, laughter releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, creating a positive association with you and your message.

 

Secondly, humour breaks down barriers. It can disarm tension, dissolve resistance, and bridge gaps between people. When you share a laugh, you’re creating a shared moment of connection, fostering a sense of camaraderie and rapport.

 

Thirdly, let’s not forget the educational aspect. Humour can be a Trojan horse for learning, sneakily slipping in key points or insights amidst the laughter. It keeps your audience alert and engages, making it easier for them to absorb and retain information.

 

So, next time you’re prepping for a presentation, don’t shy away from sprinkling in some humour. Whether it’s a clever quip, a witty anecdote, or a well-placed pun, it could be the secret ingredient that takes your communication from good to great. After all, as they say, laughter is the best medicine!

Chimpanzee laughing

All these things will help your voice do the natural, engaging thing when you speak and will encourage your audience to sit up and listen to your message.  Happy Presenting!

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©2024 MICHELLE BOWDEN is an authority on persuasive presenting in business. She’s run her Persuasive Presentation Skills Masterclass over 1000 times for more than 13,000 people over the past 25 years and her name is a synonym for ‘presentation skills’ in Australia.

Michelle Bowden is a multi-million-dollar pitch coach to her client list that reads like a who’s who of international business: banking and finance, IT, pharmaceutical, retail, telecommunications plus many more.

Michelle is the creator of the Persuasion Smart Profile®, a world-first psychological assessment tool that reports on your persuasive strengths and weaknesses at work, the best-selling internationally published author of How to Present: the ultimate guide to presenting live and online (Wiley) and her new book is called How to Persuade: the skills you need to get what you want (Wiley)3

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