Table of Contents, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Resources Page Previous Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Next Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience

Your Path to a Powerful Voice

Although there are many voice pitfalls into which we can fall without knowing it, there are also many steps that assure us of clear and effective communication:

  • Use a warm, resonant voice. Avoid sounding flat, gruff, harsh, too weak, or too loud. Strive for a clear, ringing tone and speak with vigor.

  • Build your point vocally. Add emphasis and drama through the way you actually say your words by stressing the most important words and phrases and shading the less important ones.

  • Vary your pitch, force, volume, rate, and rhythm. Catch people's attention by getting noticeably louder at an important point.

  • Have enough breath to finish each sentence on a strong note.

  • Make sure your thoughts forge ahead and build your argument.

  • Display a lively amount of vocal and physical energy. Be animated; otherwise, why should your audience be enthusiastic?

  • Use rhetorical questions to involve your audience, but don't overdo it.

  • Clearly articulate each sentence, phrase, word, and syllable. Give full value to all the sounds in your speech.

  • Do not drop consonants (for example, gonna, runnin').

  • Use correct pronunciation.

  • Strive for a smooth tone; it will sustain your argument better than a choppy one.

  • Avoid "oh," "uh," "okay," and "you know."

  • Make sufficient use of the pause.

  • Make sure your voice rises when you ask questions and falls when you make statements.

  • Use emphasis, pauses, inflections, changing pitch, and loudness to shade what you have to say.


Table of Contents, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Resources Page Previous Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience Next Section, Engage and Inspire Your Audience