ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Public Speaking: Fill Your Audience With Sound By Projecting!

Updated on October 12, 2009

Projection is one of the most important, if not the most important, element of public speaking. If they can't hear you, they won't like you!

I don't usually have audiences like me, but that has mostly to do with the subjects I'm discussing and the viewpoint I'm expounding. It's certainly never because they can't hear me. I was once in a dress rehearsal at Chicago's hangar-like McCormick Center and I had one of the producers who was sitting right at the very back of the facility tell me that he could hear every voice I was saying very clearly even though all the microphones were turned off!

You know those people who go through their whole lives not speaking above the whisper made by a field mouse with a sore throat? Well... I'm not one of them!

One of the primary ingredients of public speaking (especially without a microphone) is projection of the voice. For a speaker to be effective, the audience must be able to hear them! It seems like a basic thing to do, speaking loudly, but there is a large difference between projecting and yelling!

The most important element in good projection is correct breathing. The correct combination is a combination of diaphragmatic and intercostal breathing. This may sound confusing, but basically summed up, this means that you use your diaphragm (a large muscle in the bottom of your chest cavity), which moves up and down, pressing on the lungs to expel the air, or to create space for the lungs to fill with air. Intercostal breathing is using the muscles of your rib cage (called the intercostal muscles, wow, what a surprise...) which contract and relax, either pushing breath out, or drawing the lungs open to take in more air.

Clavicular breathing, when you only use the upper part of your chest and don't use your diaphragm, is not a healthy way to breathe, as you don't fill your whole lungs with breath. A sign that you are breathing clavicularly is that you raise your shoulders when you breathe. Without the push from your diaphragm, you cannot project, and even everyday speech may be quiet, non resonant and raspy.

The most effective form of breathing for performance and projecting using intercostal and diaphragmatic breathing is the abdominal press. This is breathing normally, but giving air an extra kick from your diaphragm. This puts sounds well forward in the mouth and allows voice to be carried longer distances.

Well, enough with the breathing, let's get onto the speaking!

Crucial Elements in Effective Projection are:

  1. Breathing (we've talked enough about this one already, I'll keep it brief!)- Good breathing to put the voice well forward in the mouth and to project and carry it in to the audience.
  2. Clear pronunciation of consonant sounds- slurred sounds will sound like a mumble by the time they reach the back of a room!
  3. Confidence- The most important part! If you think you can do it, you most probably can!
  4. Don't strain the voice, or eventually you won't be able to talk at all!

Visualizing your voice reaching the corners at the back of the room can be very effective, but only if you are breathing well enough for your voice to get there!

Continued In Public Speaking: Quick Tips to Fix Forgetfulness

Back To Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)