Can YOU RECALL the last time you heard the newsman deliver his piece and you latched on till the last syllable?
….Or what about that rousing cry by Brad Pitt who
(melodramatically) exhorted, “Beyond that beach is Immortality. Take it. It’s YOURS!!”
… How about that time your lover lustily whispered, “the Bedroom. Now.” Instantly, you felt hot all over; not because of anticipation, but because of her intonation.
Now, stop, and let’s look at at the other side of the coin.
Can you already remember that dull professor who droned on and on. And on and on. Three cups of black coffee nothwithstanding, and you fell asleep despite her topic embracing your dearest hobbies?
The Voice. Forget about the Pen being Mightier than the Sword. The Voice can rip that Mont Blanc to shreds.
Over the spectrum of man’s history, men deployed SPEECH like a sword.
Ancient Senators in Greece used grand rhetoric to craft empires. Bill Clinton unleashed charming soliloquys to entice an entire nation. It also got great lovers satisfied and crafty employees a fat raise.
So what’s the secret to transforming that rusty vocal weapon into an indomitable Excalibur?
I can give you numerous tips to explode the power of your voice, BUT THERE’s ONE overriding principle. Follow it, and all the other tips automatically come into play.
Ready for it?
That’s the key.
Speak with passion, declaim with authority, sing with desire.
ACT AS IF WHAT YOU WERE SAYING CAME FROM THE BOTTOM OF YOUR HEART.
And yes, EVEN when you’re droning about yesterday’s company stock plunge before the board.
Act disinterested, and people will walk halfhearted.
BUT… if you delivery with intensity, I’m damned confident you’ll rouse the masses to your selfish cause. I know, coz it’s how I rally the troops.
Don’t drone ” Yesteryear’s poor performance resulted from lackluster product development due to underfunding of the budget department and aggressive performance from the competitor”
Yuch. That’s a poor performance speech right there.
Instead, kick up the rhetoric with blazing action words that create images, sounds and pictures.
Flood you voice with gusto, as you say, ” Okay, I know we’re all REELING from the kicking we took last year. Its smarts AND we deserve it. Why? We ABANDONED product devlopment and sat on our fat butts of the previous years. That gave our opponents room to CHARGE in and CHECKMATE us into a corner. Is this how it’s to be? Gentlemen, we act now or we perish.”
Okay, it’s melodramatic, but you get my point, don’t you?
Okay, a few more pieces of advice.
1) Speak from the diaphragm. Tom Vizzni mentions that quite a lot. If the voice emanates from the throat or the nose, you’ll sound pathetic. To ensure that the voice is diaphragmatic, press down on your tummy as you practice speaking. If you feel it rumbling, you’ll know that you’re drawing from the lower levels to vastly and naturally explode the resonance of your voice. You’ll sound ooohh so sexxxy.
2) Slouch and you’re dead. Your posture adds and detracts from your vocal command. Imagine a hidden puppet master perpetually pulling your strings UPWARDS. Try speaking Abe Lincoln’s “Four Score and Seven Years Ago” while standing straight AND slouching like a whipped dog. You’ll see the difference. DON’T BE LAZY. Do it RIGHT
3) Pepper your words with Action words. Trash the vague abstractions and passive sentence structures- people will lapse into trance and space out… Say, “Mike SLAMMED open the door in disgust. He seethed with fury.” Don’t say “The door was opened my Mike and he was mad.”
4) Finally, LISTEN and let PEOPLE speak. Communications is about saying your spiel as fast as you can, then gaining feedback. You and I would hate the speaker who hogs the floor, woudn’t we? I walked out of a Microsoft Convention for Networking Idiots Like Me at the Hotel Shangri-La because the speaker spoke straight for two hours without a forum or even a single question thrown at the audience.
Respect your listeners by listening and gaining feedback. Feedback is gold.