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How to Project Your Voice

If you need to project your voice and make yourself heard, The Public Speaker has 3 tips for how to make your voice bigger (rather than just louder). 

By
Lisa B. Marshall,
April 25, 2014
Episode #248

Page 1 of 2

Over the years I’ve worked with many clients who have asked me to teach them to project their voice further. I’ve discovered that most people do know how to project their voice, the problem is often the speaker’s perception of how loudly (or quietly) they’re actually speaking.

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Try this. Have someone you trust stand in the back of a room while you speak in the front. When you stop, write down how you perceived your volume on a scale of 1-10. Then ask the listener to do the same. You’ll likely be surprised to find the listener perceived you as much quieter than you thought.

Occasionally I work with someone with the opposite problem. They think they are speaking at a normal volume when in fact they’re speaking much louder. This same technique can help you gauge that too.

Most of the time, if you’re speaking in front of a group, you’ll have the aid of a microphone. But there are times when you need to project your voice without a microphone. I have a client who is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi and his beliefs prohibit the use of a microphone to deliver his weekly sermon. Naturally, he speaks in front of a large group each week and his voice needs to be heard. We’re working on some techniques to help him project better and more consistently.

You too can learn to make your voice carry further and sound louder. It requires a little work, but it will save you from straining your vocal cords. Here are 3 best practices you can incorporate today:

Tip #1: Breathe Properly

The way you breathe affects the way your voice comes out.  After all, air flowing over your vocal cords is the reason you have a voice at all. 

If you breathe shallowly, you will quickly run out of air, and then your throat muscles tense up to try to squeeze the sound out.  Your voice will sound strained and lack carrying power.  It’s hard on your vocal cords, too. 

When you take the time to fill your lungs, it’s as if your voice is riding on a supportive cushion of air, and your throat muscles can stay relaxed.  Your voice will carry better and have a richer, more pleasing sound.

See also: Critical Public Speaking Tool: Deep Breathing

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