You look the part in your power suit – check.
You have prepared your presentation until you know it by heart- check.
Then why are you still not commanding the room when it’s your turn to speak? It may be down to one simple thing: your voice.
Imagine the most powerful person you can think of and you’ll likely notice they don’t have a soft or unrecognizable voice. It’s not about having a loud voice, but instead one that is unwavering, firm, and has a fantastically strong pitch. The next time you need to command the room, remember these speaking tips:
- Speak with confidence: One of the most effective ways to command authority when speaking is to speak clearly, concisely, and with conviction. Use a strong and steady tone of voice, and avoid trailing off at the end of your sentences.
- Take out “filler words” such as um, ah, and like
- Don’t speak too fast. Oftentimes when we are nervous, we begin to speak quickly. Make sure to enunciate and articulate your words, which may mean you have to slightly slow down to do so
- An authoritative voice is one that does not change pitch (go too high for example) throughout speaking- it remains strong and loud enough so that everyone can hear without being jarringly too loud that it is distracting.
- Rid any monotone tendencies by trying to put emphasis on at least two words in every sentence to show engagement. Example: This is THE most effective strategy to increase sales by up to TEN times.
- Use body language to your advantage! Your body language can convey confidence and authority just as much as your words can. Stand up straight, make eye contact, and use gestures that are open and confident.
The next time you need to command a room, try practicing your voice in private and record yourself and play it back so you can hear ahead of time what everyone else will!