As a conference speaker, I hear alot of presentations. Many professionals speak at their industry convention to contriubute to professional development and continuing education in their association. Trouble is they haven't been taught the basics of public speaking and they often put the audience to sleep.
Below are ideas to help you be heard. Not just for a public speaker, but for any professional who wants to command a listener.
Some basics...Be concise. Have energy in your voice. Speak with conviction.
Your Energy Level. Nothing reveals more about you to others than the energy you put into your speech.
Appearing friendly, open, and approachable sets the stage for others to listen to what you have to say
I remember in a beginner public speaker class learning the 4 P's to speaking for a Public Speaker ( and for anyone):
Pace- This relates to how quickly you communicate your words. If you speak too fast you seem anxious and risk people not understanding your words. If you speak too slow you may seem bored or unsure of yourself. The correct pace depends on the speaker, the context, and urgency of the message.Generally slowing down and enunciating and focusing on the energy you put behind your words will make you sound more confident.
Pitch -This relates to how high or low you speak. A really high pitch often sounds squeeky and annoying. A low pitch is usually prefered and can sound sexy and in control.
Pause-Exactly like it says, pause after important communications so that you can collect your thoughts and the audience can think about what you just said.
Project- This relates to how far you throw your words. Can people at the back of a room hear you, or just someone within 4 inches of you? Practice projecting your voice so in a larger room your voice doesn't get lost.
When i was training to be a professional speaker, I used to tape my voice on a recorder and play it back. At first i was shocked how bad I'd sound! After a short time, practicing the 4 P's it made a dramatic difference in my speech. Voice coaching and training is essential for a professional motivational speaker and it is an asset for any professional who wants to speak well.
At a conference i saw a speaker read her notes and never look up at the audience once in one of her 45 minute motivational speeches.Making eye contact with the audience is above all the most important thing a beginning public speaker needs to practice.