I remember hating talking as a younger person, and it wasn’t even public speaking! It was those moments where I had to read out aloud in class, contribute to a team discussion. Or it was the simple presentation infront of my own class, not the entire school. I simply hated speaking out aloud.
Fast forward to many years later, and here I am, as a speech pathologist! I love speaking now, and train people how to use their voice, so that they can be confident, clear speakers. Who would have imagined the turn of events.
I used the following tips to teach myself, as well as teach my clients. Try them out for yourself too!
- Breathing : Breathe is the underlying, most important tool of communication. Stress, anxiety and poor habits, impact our breathing. I have written many other posts on breathing, so please refer to them. Main point to remember: Diaphragmatic breathing ROCKS!!! This just means, inhale with tummy expanding, and exhale with tummy concaving.
- Posture: How we stand or sit, influences how confident we look, and sound. It also impacts our breathing, and voice control. Main tip: Do not stand super straight, as though you are at full attention! Read here to find out more.
- Throat: The larynx, or the voice box, hosts your vocal cords. It is imperative that you relax your vocal cords when speaking or singing. Relaxed vocal cords help provide a resonant voice. Click here to get a resonant voice! Tip: Start speaking with a smile, and notice the difference it makes to your speech!
- Mouth: Lips, jaw & tongue : The mouth comprises lips , jaw , tongue. All three work in unison to produce your voice and speech. Tip : To avoid mumbling, open your mouth to the height of 2 finger space when talking.
- Eyes : Your eyes are important in conveying meaning. Use them to build trust and project your voice when you are talking. Tip: If talking to an audience, sweep around the room in an orderly manner, so you maintain equal eye contact.
- Movement : Have you seen speakers stuck to one side of the stage when talking? Or worse, have you seen speakers pace up and down? Lack of movement bores the audience. Too much of movement distracts the audience! Draw a fine line, and walk around the room when presenting. However : Do not MOVE when you are emphasising an important point.
- Gestures: People get very worried about using their hands when speaking. I would say, rule of thumb is : Do not stick your hands in your pocket, or wave them excessively! If you find your hands distracting or fidgety, chances are, your audience will feel the same.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the 7 tips. If you would like more tips, please grab your free ebook