Using Your Voice Effectively in Virtual Presentations
(Article adapted from a session of my recorded course: Virtual Presentations: How to Develop & Deliver an Effective Presentation Over the Phone)
Your voice is a key component of your communication and presentation delivery. This is especially important when you’re working remotely and having meetings and giving presentations virtually via phone, Zoom, etc.
Like all elements of body language or non-verbal communications (eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, posture and movement), your voice should help you confidently communicate the content and emotion of what you are communicating.
If you're presenting over the phone, your voice is the only element you have to
communicate to your audience.
Even if you’re using video, your voice is still key to successful communication. In fact, audio quality can be even more important than video quality.
Your voice should project confidence, energy and authority through your volume, variety, pitch, rate of speed and pausing.
How will you know if your voice helps or hurts your presentation?
Ask trusted advisors to listen in on your call or video and give your feedback on your voice.
I also strongly recommend that you record yourself to really hear what you sound like. Record a minute or two of yourself speaking, preferably delivering part of your presentation.
Then listen to it a few times and put yourself in the shoes of your audience: Does your voice sound energized? Does it sound confident? Is it interesting?
Is there variety - are there highs and lows in terms of volume, emphasis and intonation? Does the variety help the words make sense?
Is it slow enough to be understood and loud enough to be heard, without sounding like you’re shouting? Are you speaking so fast that it's hard to tell where one sentence ends and another begins?
And all of these elements depend on the environment that you’re speaking in, including room size, background noise, the quality of your audio connection and what kind of microphone/headset/phone you’re using.
You have the ability to convey meaning and emotion using the incredible range of your voice, which is an integral part of your non-verbal communication.
Learning to use the power of your voice can help you become a more confident and successful communicator, whether you’re meeting in-person or virtually.