Imagine you’re listening to a speech about a topic you love. You’re immediately drawn in to the subject.
But, in a few minutes, you notice it:
The speaker is talking in a never-ending drone. Soon, your mind wanders to…
- Your to-do list
- Vacation plans
- The last episode of your favorite Netflix show
This often happens when speakers consistently talk in monotonous or high-energy paces. Their voice doesn’t match the tone of their entire presentation. This causes audiences to get distracted, feel annoyed, or completely check out.
Why It Matters
Engagement Over Monotony:
When your voice tone and volume are don’t match the mood of your narrative, your storytelling becomes predictable and boring. Audiences are looking for a rollercoaster of emotions, not a constant stream of a single emotion.
Speech vs. Experience:
Do you want to deliver a speech, or create an immersive experience?
The latter, of course!
A dynamic vocal delivery brings your stories to life. This makes your audience feel like they’re experiencing events with you.
Want your message to stick?
Varying your tone and volume adds depth to the narrative, making it memorable long after you’ve shared it.
How to Do It Right
Know Your Story:
Understand the nuances of your story. Is it an inspiring triumph, a heart-wrenching setback, or a hilarious mishap?
Tailor your tone and volume accordingly for each part of the narrative.
Don’t Re-Tell, Re-Live
Hall of Fame speaker Lou Heckler says, “Don’t retell your narrative; take us into it so we can relive it with you.” Paint a picture we can experience with our emotions.
Practice, Practice, Practice:
Rehearse your story with different tones and volumes. Don’t be afraid to test your delivery. When you practice, overemphasize delivery to stretch yourself to get comfortable emoting.
Silence is your secret storytelling weapon. Strategic pauses amplify the power of your words and allow your audience to absorb what you’re saying. It also creates curiosity and gives them time to laugh — assuming you want them to.
Your voice should reflect the emotional journey of your story. If it’s a happy moment, let your voice radiate joy. For challenging times, convey empathy and sincerity.
Authenticity is key. Don’t force a tone that doesn’t match your personality or the story’s essence. Today’s audience is intuitive and will spot insincerity and tune.you.out.
Whether you’re a professional speaker, leader, or salesperson, lack of vocal congruity is the enemy of engagement.
To stand out, use your tone to create an experience. Allow your voice to create a mental movie with your story. Make your audience laugh, cry, and cheer along with you.
Remember, it’s not just a speech; well delivered, it can be an unforgettable experience.
The next time you present, match your tone to the mood of your stories. Then watch your audience hang on your every word.
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