Speak to Be Heard and Understood

Use your voice to your advantage. One of your main tools as a trainer is your voice, and you should be aware of several of its characteristics.

1. Training requires a bit more Volume than your natural speaking voice; speak loud enough to meet the situation. Then, there's pitch; the variance in your voice. Avoid a monotone or patterned pitch, which often is a result of memorization and sounds unnatural.

2. Use Inflection, which is the varying emphasis on spoken words. When used properly, inflection can place emphasis on key points. Used improperly or carelessly, it can drastically change the meaning of a statement.

3. Vary your rate of Delivery. People listen faster than they talk. Increase your speed to maintain interest, but watch for cues from the audience to tell you when to do this. Attempt to vary your rate for interest, and make use of pauses.

4. Perhaps the most important factor about your voice is clarity, or how clearly your words reach the audience. Always speak as clearly as possible.

Another tool to make your presentation more effective is eye contact. According to a study done by Richard Hildreth, speakers who were rated sincere looked at the audience 64% of the time, while those rated insincere looked at the audience only 21% of the time. Look individuals directly in the eye; when a glance has been returned, move to the next person. Like purposeful movement, eye contact should be done naturally. It should never be used to intimidate.

Copyright AE Schwartz & Associates All rights reserved. For additional presentation materials and resources: ReadySetPresent and for a Free listing as a Trainer, Consultant, Speaker, Vendor/Organization: TrainingConsortium

CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.

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