The quality of your voice can have a significant impact on how others perceive you and your message. One aspect of your voice that can change the impact you have on others is your volume. While a strong voice is one of the key components to sounding like a confident professional, varying your volume can add significantly to your message and helps to keep your listener engaged. Learning to effectively manipulate your voice requires a bit of practice, but it will help you to develop a dynamic speaking voice that commands your audience’s attention.
Vocal exercises can be an extremely effective way to learn your personal volume range and how best to use it in a variety of situations. A great place to start is by choosing a neutral phrase, for example, “My name is Jayne,” and practice saying it at varying volumes, starting at a whisper, and gradually building to a shout. Then, take a moment and jot down a few different situations in which you may need to monitor your volume—for example, speaking quietly to a colleague at their cubicle, calling to a friend across a crowded cafeteria, or whispering to the person next to you during a meeting. Then, practice saying your neutral phrase as though you were in each of these situations. To help you get started, consider what volume may be needed for each of the following situations:
- You are trying to hold a conversation without waking someone else who is sleeping.
- You are in noisy room, speaking to someone at the other end of a large table.
- You are having a conversation with your boss in her office.
- You are speaking on the telephone, and your listener is in a noisy environment.
- You are trying to get your friend’s attention across a crowded room.
Continue to modify your volume until you feel you’ve reached a comfortable level for each situation, and mentally note how that volume sounds and feels. Once you’re comfortable varying your volume, consider the ways you could vary your volume in a presentation or speech in order to maximize the impact of each point. Depending on the context, this may involve increasing your volume, lowering it, or even adding in a well-timed silent moment. Record yourself as you speak so you can listen and revise based on what you hear.
Want to learn more? Check out Corporate Speech Solutions’ series of podcasts! Each audio tutorial is available to stream on our website.
Are you ready to transform your speech into your most powerful professional tool? You may benefit from the services of a corporate speech-language pathologist! For information on the New York Based Speech and Accent Reduction services offered by Corporate Speech Solutions please give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com. Not in NYC? No problem! We also provide Skype and video conferencing services.
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