Last week I watched a corporate guest speaker present her signature keynote speech. She had a well thought out message - and a high pitched, nasally, unbelievably irritating voice.
Her ideas were relevant and stimulating. My original intention was to blog about her message, however her voice was such a distraction that I couldn't absorb her words, so, instead, I will blog about the qualities of an irritating voice.
Poor speech patterns undermine your message and your overall corporate appearance. Poor speech patterns can also be very easy to fix. Usually, knowing is half the battle. Do you recognize any of the qualities of the irritating voice highlighted below in your speech?
Listening to the corporate speaker, I noticed many of her statements were raised in tone at the end so they sounded like a question, a habit that discounted her thoughts because she sounded so tentative. That habit revealed a lack of confidence.
Her voice would also become softer or trail off at her key points, leaving people struggling to hear the corporate speaker and grasp her message.
When the audience was able to hear, we suffered listening to the high, nasally, whiny voice. It sounded as if her nose was plugged and her words were being projected through a fog horn. Her main points sounded more like a complaint than a statement, which confused the overarching intent of the speech.
I am sure she doesn't realize the assault her irritating voice had on her audience and I also realize I am supposed to look past the voice and see the person behind it. I know that the message is the important part of any guest speaker, and I also know that the packaging of the message makes all the difference in how well it is received.
The Easy Fix.
I think most annoying speech patterns comes from lack of confidence. This does not mean you need to become a fully capable, skilled and confident human being before you can open your mouth. Instead, be aware of the irritating qualities and consciously focus on reversing them.
The qualities of a confident speaking voice are:
Good elocution. Enunciate your words carefully; this is the cure for a nasally voice.
Project energy and confidence. Project your voice outwards, talking to the people at the back of the room.
Finish each sentence loud and clear. Use your volume intentionally to emphasize your message.
Be careful not to raise your voice at the end of a statement. Don't leave your audience wondering if you are asking a question or delivering a thought.
Read our blog, Corporate Motivational speakers get paid to speak