It’s just so hard to vary your voice and make it sound interesting.

One of the things that I come across is people’s reluctance (they would say inability) to vary their voice. 

“It seems so unnatural to speak louder than I am doing, or to speak slower for emphasis, or even to pause to allow people to absorb what I’ve just said – so I don’t do it,” say delegates.

I then ask them – have you ever been angry about something? 

Have you ever been in a noisy pub or restaurant where you really wanted to communicate something special to the group? 

This usually gets them to think, especially when I suggest to them that in a moment of anger they still say, in a quiet calm voice, “What you did on the motorway could have got us all killed. It's the last time I ever get in a car with you.” 

The idea that you could convey that thought to someone who put your life in jeopardy in a calm manner is implausible, so why can’t we simply imitate that in our presentations?

The answer is very simple – we don’t 'live' our presentations, we simply carry them out as a routine exercise rather than an enjoyable chance to present something in which we have a genuine interest.  

If you want to sound interesting and get attention, you have to ‘come alive’ in the moment.

What if you’re not enthusiastic about our presentation? Now that is for another blog.

Richard Johnson

Director College of Public Speaking