ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Speaking Tips: Public Speaking and the Sound of Your Voice

Updated on August 4, 2017
The author speaking at a gathering of Probians in Sydney.
The author speaking at a gathering of Probians in Sydney.

How we sound is so important

Welcome to Speaking Tips: Public Speaking and the Sound of Your Voice.

People judge us at first hand in only four ways: How we look. What we do. What we say, and How we say it. This page will deal briefly with the last of these – How we say it.

People do judge us by how we sound. A whiny, winging voice, and we make an entirely different judgment to when we hear a strong, authoritive voice. But there more to it than that.

Vocal variety creates interest.

Vocal variety creates interest. Interest is held by Pitch, Pace and Pause. But pitch, pace and pause should be varied subject to the ideas and messages we wish to convey. This usually follows in natural, everday conversation. We need to adhere to the same way of speaking when we’re addressing an audience, i.e. naturally - with some provisos

Many people do speak too quickly for an audience.

Generally, in speaking to an audience, the larger the group, the longer the time needed for the audience to grasp what has been said. This might not mean slowing up the rate of speaking so much as lengthening the pauses. But many people do speak too quickly. Be aware of you own normal pace.

The author as an after-dinner speaker.
The author as an after-dinner speaker.

Adjust your pace to the size of the audience.

Be aware, too, of the audience ‘norm’ in speaking pace. Generally, city dwellers speak much more rapidly than those from the countryside. People from the outback of Australia, for example, might have a much slower, measured way of talking than those from Sydney or Melbourne. Adjust to the audience. It is not their responsibility to ensure they understand what you’re saying. It is yours.

Vocal Variety also comprises changes in Volume over varying time-lengths. For example, think of Adagio and Staccato in music. It pays to vary the tempo.

Speaking Tips: Public Speaking and the Sound of Your Voice.

All of this is subject to our Voice Range. And voice range is dependent upon such things as our breath, which depends on our physical fitness, our posture and even our emotional state. Most people speak within one octave. However, a really gifted world-class singer can traverse two, even three octaves. Practice so you can cover your whole octave without strain.

Once you become known there are speaker opportunities everywhere.
Once you become known there are speaker opportunities everywhere.

A voice can reveal a lot about its owner's character.

Also remember: A warm, friendly voice draws a favourable response: a cold, aggressive, sarcastic or unfriendly voice repels. The sound of a person’s voice is very indicative of not only their education, but their character. At least, this is how we perceive it.

Clarity, good enunciation, understandable pronunciation are essential.

The words and sounds being uttered by our voice need to be Understandable. Understanding comes from Knowing what the words mean. In turn, this might well depend upon not only the listener’s knowledge of those words but on: Clarity, familiar Pronunciation and good Enunciation.

So, if you want to improve not only your ability to speak in public but also to enhance how you perceive yourself and are perceived by others, it is worth investing the time in developing a pleasant, easy-to-listen-to voice.

I hope you gained something from reading Speaking Tips: Public Speaking and the Sound of Your Voice.

Keep happy.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Tusitala Tom profile imageAUTHOR

    Tom Ware 

    7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    You're right, of course, Simon. The way to handle a small audience in a large room is to get them to move into a tight group as close to the speaker as practicable. But I've already dealt with this in another of my Speaking Tips Hubs.

  • profile image

    Simon Raybould - public speaking trainer 

    7 years ago

    Hi - good advice; may I pick one detail though? it's not so much a good idea to work to the size of the audience as it is to work to the size of the room. There's a whole list of reasons why this is, but the obvious one is that if there's a small audience at the back of a bit room..... are you going small or big? :)

    Simon

  • chspublish profile image

    chspublish 

    7 years ago from Ireland

    Hi tom, I have really paid attention to what you've said about how we speak and the size of the audience. Very good advice. Thank you.

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 

    7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    Great tips and advice, Tom.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com 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: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
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)
Marketing
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.
Statistics
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)