Tips on Voice Modulation When Doing Public Speaking

by Rebecca Boardman

Public speaking is one of the most difficult, challenging and intimidating things to do. Standing in front of a group of people and speaking to them about your ideas, beliefs or plans can be one of the most exciting and scary things you have ever done in your life. Knowing some basics about public speaking can help you do a better job at getting your message across. Voice modulation and control is one of the key tools you can use to make your speech a success.

Lower your voice

Man in presentation

Lower the pitch of your voice slightly when speaking in public. Shrill voices can be annoying, cause microphone feedback and make your words unintelligible. Don't lower your voice dramatically, just concentrate on keeping it even and lower--even in moments of passionate speaking. Concentrate on removing any garbage words such as "uh" or "um." These are speech killers.

Slow down

Man in presentation

One of the biggest mistakes in public speaking is speaking too quickly. A normal conversation is too fast a pace for a public speech. Slow down, speak clearly and concisely, and allow moments of pause in important phrases to allow the listener to digest what was just said. Use moments of pause and also use your voice level to indicate importance. When you are showing passion, get quieter before delivering the sentence of importance. Then, when the key sentence is spoken, raise your voice level and say the sentence emphatically and clearly. Do not shout, but make a big difference in your voice level.

Watch your "s" sounds

Man behind podium

"S" and "P" can be microphone killers. The sibilant sound of the "s" can wipe out what was just said and what is being said next. The same goes for the explosive "p" sound. Some speech coaches tell you to use a soft "th" sound for the "s" and to move the mic away from the mouth when using the "p" sound. Whatever works best for you is fine, just keep these in mind when speaking.

Photo Credits

  • Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images