Volume control is an important factor that can elevate your public speaking skills drastically. You must’ve noticed not being able to hear the speaker during a class presentation. Maybe you yourself were that shy speaker whose voice wasn’t loud enough for the whole crowd to hear.
Variation in volume is not just about increasing and decreasing the loudness of your voice. It encompasses other factors as well — pitch variation, tone, sentence stress, speed of your words, pauses, etc.
Vocalics is the non-verbal part of communication in which we sort all the above-mentioned factors.
To execute an impactful public presentation, you must be aware of how all these factors affect your speaking, and how to use them efficiently. Podium Blog brings you the fundamentals of how to help you in enhancing your public speaking skills.
What is Vocalics and Why is It Important
Vocalics is the study of the non-lexical components of communication, focusing mainly on the elements relating to the voice of the speaker.
If you have a monotone, the message is not conveyed precisely, and creates a barrier between the audience and the speaker. When your speech has alternating tones and pitch, and the volume changes according to the content, it creates a much more appealing effect.
To understand how to volume variations, we need to understand a few other terms-
Perhaps the most important element is public speaking. As the phrase suggests, sentence stress is emphasizing on a specific word. This is usually done to highlight an important part, which might be a word or a phrase.
You will be shocked to know how much the sentence stress can change the meaning of a simple statement. For example, in the following sentences, emphasize the italics only –
- He stole my money.
I am sure you can notice the difference in all the sentences.
In writing, when we want to emphasize a certain part, we italicize it. While speaking, when we want to stress over a word or phrase, we raise our volume and pitch.
Speed Of Speech
If we speak too fast, the audience will fail to comprehend whatever we are presenting. And if we speak too slowly, the audience will get bored and doze off. People with stage fright often go either too fast or take a lot of pauses, reflecting their nervousness.
Hence, adjust the rate of your speech according to the topic, audience, and your self-confidence.
Tips To Vary Your Volume Accordingly
The central tenet of volume variation is to incite emotions and reactions among the audience, be it a positive emotion or negative emotion.
Here are some tips which will help you to reach that goal
Be Loud Enough To Reach The Back
Project your speech loud enough that it reaches the back of the location, whether it be a class or an auditorium. If the number of audiences is less, acquire a smaller place. Presenting in a larger space with less is unnecessary.
Observe the audience to know if you are audible at the back. The people sitting at the back often lean closer to the speaker to hear better, so watch out for body language cues.
This is applicable if the mic is not available. If you do have a mic, adjust the mic stand according to your height and standing or sitting position.
Although the mic has its own volume setting, yet it is important to maintain a certain volume level, which is not very loud — just the normal way you talk. Don’t speak too loudly, it might create reverberation,
Control Your Volume Based on the Type of Speech You are Delivering
For example, if a person is reporting news, their tone would most likely be monotonous as they don’t wish to stir up sentiments among the public. Their sole purpose is to report the information.
While presenting a persuasive speech, you will increase and decrease more often as compared to other forms. This is because persuasive forms are based on encouraging strong emotions within the audience and compelling them for a call to action.
You will not have a high pitched jolly tone while narrating a tragic event. The volume variations would be less here. If one intends to highlight an important part, they must opt to sentence stress instead of suddenly raising their voice.
If you are trying to build up suspense, you might lower your voice, and raise it at the sudden plot twist.
Start Loud and Finish Loud
Although it is not necessary to start out loud, it is encouraged to initiate your presentation with a loud and powerful introduction. It alerts your audience and sets up a mood where the people would be attentive.
The same goes for finishing loud. When you conclude your topic, raise your voice so that it leaves an impact on your audience.
Have a look at this enlightening TED Talk which talks about vocal awareness.
Ask for Feedback
There is no shame in asking for feedback in between your speech. You are allowed to ask questions such as “Am I audible to everyone?” or “Are you following what I am saying?”. In fact, asking such questions makes your speech more interactive.
Want to Enhance Your Public Speaking Skills?
Public speaking is about poise and voice, and presentation and content. Creating enlightening content is just as important as delivering it efficiently. You can have amazing and informative content but would be in vain if not delivered efficiently, and vice versa.
We, at Podium School, are here to assist you in public speaking as well as creating the content you need to deliver. From stage fright to mind blanks, from good grammar to literary devices, we have a solution to all of your problems.