There are Three Pillars to a Great Speech
If you write a speech with great content and perfect structure and you fail to not only project your voice out to the audience, but you also fail to tap into the dynamics of the vocal range within your voice, you will simply not connect with your audience. If your delivery is not on par with your content and structure, you will not connect with your audience.
If you can’t project, you won’t connect
But here is the good news…
If you’ve ever thought that you were stuck with the voice you were given – think again.
The greatest instrument in the world is inside you.
We were all born with a gift. The gift of voice. As babies, we cried and laughed to communicate our desires to our parents. Then as children we naturally trained ourselves to use our vocal cords to produce sound to help us communicate through speech. However, now as adults, most of us underestimate the potential of this amazing instrument that’s inside of us and we think that we are stuck with the voice that we were born with.
We weren’t born with a voice, we were given an instrument.
A number of years ago, I had to lose a high level speech contest in order for me to finally realize this and take action. My issues with vocal projection were not overt since my voice did have pretty good range, but I always felt my voice becoming terribly strained right after speaking to an audience. At this high level speech contest I was forced to speak to 75 people whom were spread out in an auditorium with a capacity to hold 500. Because my voice wasn’t trained, I strained and over projected to reach the people sitting way in the back.
I lost the contest not because of bad content. On the contrary, my content was great. I lost because I over projected. It was then that I realized that I had to do something about my voice. I searched for a vocal coach and started training with one of the best vocal coaches in the country. And within just a few sessions, I was able to see dramatic improvements in my voice. My voice wasn’t the problem, it was the way I was using it. I realized then that my voice could be trained just like picking up and learning a new instrument.
In speaking, there are two aspects to vocal training
1. Learning how to develop the range in your voice
2. Learning the art of vocal variety
Once you learn how to develop the range in your voice, once you learn how to project, you then need to develop the art of implementing vocal variety. In other words, learning how to mix pitch, rate and volume. Great speakers know that in order to keep an audience engaged, they have to take their audience on an emotional roller coaster ride. We live in an ADD world, and if you are always the same, if you are always loud or if your are always soft, you will end up losing your audience. Just like a great movie engages by pulling and tugging on the emotions of its audience, speakers needs to take a queue from Hollywood and do the same with the delivery of their speech.
Vocal coaching with Lewis is combined together with his speech coaching services and can be done in the following ways.
In Person Coaching (At our Elizabeth, New Jersey Studio)