Using your voice when presenting

Why are some people’s presentations so compelling, yet others are dull and hard to follow?

“Your voice is one of the greatest assets that you have when presenting,” says Rachel Johnson, owner of Palomino Training Solutions. “You should make full use of its power, by drawing people in, holding their attention and getting your point across.”

There are a number of parts of your voice that you can focus on in order to get the desired response from the audience. The first part is inflection, which is the rise and fall of your voice, demonstrating enthusiasm, attitude and emotion. Pitch is the next part – do you have a high-pitched voice or a low-pitched voice? It is often said that a lower pitch comes across as more credible and trustworthy.

During presentations we should also use pace and pause (the third part) to our advantage. Create an impact by pausing before you say something and slowing down for a dramatic effect, then speed up to show excitement. This is a powerful skill to be able to master.

The fourth part is power. Placing emphasis on words creates a whole new meaning and allows the audience to focus on the part of your message that is important. You can also make your statement more persuasive by using simple intensifiers to emphasize your points.

And lastly, we have tone. “Tone is the attitude of your voice – the light and the shade,” says Johnson. “People easily pick up on the warmth or coldness, the harshness or gentleness, and the tension or relaxation, simply from the tone of your voice.”

In presentations, it is vital to watch your tone and all the parts of your voice to make sure you are communicating the message you have intended to.

If you would like to learn more about improving your presentation skills, join us at our upcoming 2019 public courses. They will be held on 24/25 October, 27/28 November or 5/6 December in Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban and the cost is R4,095 ex vat per delegate. This two-day interactive course includes modules on: your speaking voice; overcoming nervousness; making your listener hear you; and much more.

This course is also available as an onsite option at your work premises throughout SA (contact us for the very competitive prices) and also as an online (e-learning) option.

“Our aim is for delegates to leave our workshops feeling inspired and motivated, with a wealth of knowledge and hands-on tools that they are able to implement immediately,” says Johnson.
Palomino Training Solutions, which was established in 2006, offers over 150 training courses ranging from telephone etiquette, public speaking and business writing to conflict resolution, recruitment & selection and supervisory skills.

For more information, contact Rachel Johnson on 082-878-1164, email [email protected] or visit