How To Project Voice
How To Project Voice
An instructor in the art of public speaking shares his tips on how to project your voice to the whole of the room, so you will be heard clearly.
Hello. My name is Michael Ronayne, I'm a director of the College of Public Speaking, and I'm going to be talking about different aspects of public speaking. When you speak to a group of people, you need to be able to project your voice.
But unfortunately when we stand up and speak to a group of people, often we're nervous, and one of the first things that happens when we're nervous is we get tight up here. Now, it's interesting, if you think of how a human voice works, it can go up and it can go down. You've got an enormous amount of range in there, and what happens when you get tight and nervous, is your voice comes, gets stuck in your throat, and you find yourself only talking in the higher level and the higher ranges of your voice.
So to be able to project your voice anyway, you need to make sure it's coming from low down. Like a singer, like an actor, your voice comes from your diaphragm. And one way of making sure it's coming from your diaphragm, is to actually consciously make sure you're using the lower registers of your voice, something Americans are absolutely brilliant at.
You know, they stand up there, I'm sure if I was American, my natural voice would have been developed to speak much lower than I speak normally. And what's happening there is the support for the voice is coming from low down in the diaphragm. So if you find yourself getting nervous and you find difficulty projecting your voice, probably what's happening is your voice is getting stuck up in the higher register.
Another thing you can do to help your voice project a little bit better: it's what musicians do, it's what actors do, it's actually visualize your voice filling the room. Clearly, you don't want to be just speaking to the front row of an audience. Clearly, you probably don't even want to be speaking towards the back row of the audience.
You want to be speaking beyond. And if you get a picture in your head, imagine it, visualize it, your voice hitting the back wall, your voice going into every corner, every nook and cranny of the room, then somehow that starts to happen. Because if you think about it, actors, they stand up on stage, and they can whisper, and everybody in the auditorium hears it.
So projecting your voice is not about speaking loud, it's about supporting your voice from low down in your diaphragm and it's actually visualizing your voice hitting the back of the room. .