The days of “how now brown cow” repeated ad nauseum are, thankfully, a thing of the past. The term “elocution lessons” had developed a reputation of being stiff, boring and drill-like in approach, perhaps rightly so, but the world of voice coaching and elocution lessons has changed dramatically. Here’s five ways to ensure the perfect speaking voice and elocution.
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
Voice and elocution coaches are now more practical, user friendly and at times even scientific in their approach to helping you to your most confident vocal delivery.
So, to prove it, this voice coach—me, that is—wants to share with you five tips for a great speaking voice.
Why not try them out for yourself and leave a comment at the bottom (or better still, get in touch) to let me know how you get on?
1. Slow Down – What’s The Rush?
A fast pace always takes away from your vocal presence, and it’s the biggest mistake people make.
So, keep in mind, there is no rush.
Don’t confuse energy with speaking fast.
2. The Drama of Pause – Don’t be Afraid of the Silence
Never underestimate the power of the pause! It shows you are not afraid of silence.
You will hold a listener’s attention by creating powerful silences. Pausing always adds greater significance to your message, and as a result adds to your vocal delivery.
The space between your thoughts can be as powerful as the thoughts themselves.
3. Are You Breathing?
Yes I know. I know you know how to breathe. But did you ever actually think about how your breathing can affect your vocal delivery?
To have a strong, resonant speaking voice it is crucial to understand correct breathing. You may need help from a voice coach initially, so here’s a helping hand.
- Think about breathing deeply in the body
- As you inhale, focus on the centre of your body expanding
- As you breathe out or speak, the centre of the body reduces
A deep breath is not how much air we take into our body but how deep in the body it goes
4. Think About the Message You Want to Convey
A voice coach will always ask you “what do you want the listener to think and feel about your message?”
Make sure to think about this and make a decision in advance of your talk or speech.
Think about how you want your audience to feel and the emotion in your voice will follow.
5. Think Power Words
The most important words in a sentence are known as “key power words”.
These words break the sentence down to its basic meaning. These words need to stand out in some way.
Here are a few ways to make that happen.
- Change the volume of the power word
- Vary the pitch of the power word
- Give clearer articulation to certain consonants
- Change up the pace for effect
- Pause before or after the power word
Thinking about how you deliver your “power words” can make your words all the more powerful
So there you go.
Five ways that a voice or elocution coach might ensure that your speech is as clear, as powerful and as meaningful as it can possibly be.
And, as you can see, not a beige bovine tongue twister in sight!
ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.
We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives.
Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.
Telephone:- +353 1 9696056
You will find this interesting, if you are thinking about exploring the newly evolved elocution lessons of the modern day!
Main picture credit: Azfan Nugi / Unsplash
ConfidentSpeak is a specialist S.T.E.M Communications & Coaching Consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives at home and abroad. Contact us for details on our range of corporate/private programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.