Key Weapon: Your Volume!
Do you know that the volume at which you speak is important to your speech giving? It's one of the things you need to check when you speak in public. Your audience won't be able to get all the wondrous words you have to give to them if they can't hear you or if you speak so loud it’s incomprehensible. For one second, think about your voice. Are you a loud talker or soft spoken? If you have a loud and clear voice, then you're in luck. Your audience will hear you without any problem. Just be mindful to not scare them away, especially if you're using a microphone. There are three ways to get your volume set to just the right level.
Tip 1: Don't be traditional
Do your sound check before the audience enters the room. Ask a fellow speaker to stand at the back of the room and help you with your sound levels. Let them give feedback of your volume instead of asking your audience they can hear you or not. Keep in mind that when a room is full, your volume will be diminished slightly so adjust accordingly and project your voice a bit more. Anchor yourself. Even if your audience can hear you at the back at the beginning of your speech, your voice will become softer when you get into your talk. It's not a very nice feeling when your audience tell you they can't hear and will most likely stop paying attention to you and begin to pay attention to their smart phones or other things they have in hand. It's too much for an audience to pay attention when someone speaks too softly. Get yourself a trusted person in the back of the room. Agree upon a gesture they are to use when your speaking becomes too quiet. That person can be your port in the volume storm.
Tip 2: Project your voice.
Many people can speak louder than they thought they could with some effort and practice. Yet at times it can take a vocal specialist to help get some to where they need to be. There are a few ways to increase your projection.
Develop the confidence to make yourself feel bigger, not louder. Imagine your volume as your message and you filling the entire room, versus shouting. Shouting isn't appealing to anyone, especially those people in the front row.
Relax your vocal chords. Practice humming and yawning to release tension and stretch these muscles. Hold your confidence in you, push your breath up from your diaphragm and speak from there, instead of speaking from your throat. Picture a target at the back of the room and aim your words at this target.
Tip 3: Is this thing on?
Use a microphone. If you have an audience of 50 or more or if there are other distracting noises nearby, try to use a microphone. Even though it can be strange to hear your own voice echoing, the audience being able to hear you is worth the risk. If the audience even exhibits the slightest struggle to hear you, you will lose them.
Remember that volume is one of the most important tools in your speaker's toolkit. If they can’t hear you, you'll never catch your audience’s attention.