In any setting where two or more people communicate, vocal variety is essential — and it’s even more important in virtual settings where it’s easy to lose your audience’s attention. This topic, and many others, are covered in my newly released companion e-guide: Speak with Impact VIRTUALLY.
If you’re not familiar with the term “vocal variety”, public speaking professionals describe it as your vocal expressiveness—how you emphasize your words to make your voice more engaging.
As a former opera singer, I’ve spent years focusing on the power of the human voice and how to use vocal variety to connect with an audience. We all have tools such as volume, pitch, pace, pause, emotion, inflection, and intention that affect our ability to use vocal variety. But often, on camera, we don’t spend the same time focusing on our voice; this can cause us to sound tired and disengaged.
When we work with our clients at Global Public Speaking, we teach them to harness vocal variety through a special technique called “speaking with intention.” Intention helps you harness the power of your voice and transmit that energy through the camera.
Here are two exercises for practicing vocal variety, taken from my book, Speak with Impact: How to Command the Room and Influence Others:
- If you’re getting ready for a virtual pitch or presentation, imagine delivering it on the radio, where no one can see your face. Read your content out loud and record yourself while paying special attention to your words. When playing it back, do you hear the expressiveness in your voice? Try it a few times, until your vocal variety reflects your passion for your message.
- When preparing for a virtual meeting, practice delivering your content as if you were speaking to children. When you talk to kids, your voice is more naturally expressive and less restrained. You’ll also notice your pace becomes much slower and more emotional. This exercise can help you loosen up before an important meeting. While some clients push back when trying this out initially, they always comment on how well it works!
If you’d like more techniques and exercises for practicing vocal variety, purchase my paperback book at your favorite retailer. Then, visit this link to get Speak with Impact VIRTUALLY, my companion e-guide FREE.Learn More