Practice your speaking with a virtual tour

In this pandemic era of virtual communications, how do you practice your public speaking skills? Here’s an idea: Become a tour guide.  Use your imagination. Build an imaginary group of people and take them on a tour. Limit the number of people in your imaginary group to a size that you’re comfortable with. Then, take your audience on a tour of your neighborhood, your house or apartment, a destination, or even a make-believe, sumptuous mansion.  You could construct your own dream house and take your audience through it, or guide your audience through the various galleries in a museum.  The possibilities are almost endless.

You can start with something like, “Today we’re going to visit (name).”   And start out on the virtual tour.  You can try winging it extemporaneously to see how you do, or plot your tour in advance on your computer or a piece of paper.

Set a goal.  What do you want your audience to know about the place(s) visited?  

Set a time limit. How long is your tour?  It can be 5 minutes or more.  It’s up to you.  However, you’ll probably want to keep it under 10 minutes.

Then try these four steps :

  1. Do a run-through to see what needs improvement. Does it lack organization, are you lost for words, are you having trouble speaking to a nonexistent audience?
  2. Work on your problem areas
  3. Once you’ve worked out a few kinks, try recording your tour on your mobile device  or computer.
  4. Playback your tour. How did you come across to a potential viewer?  What did you like?  What areas needed improvement?

Try tours of different places.  By being a virtual tour guide you’ll become more comfortable talking to your virtual audience.

For information on our public speaking services visit Kundell or PublicSpeaking4U

Be kind to your voice

Five Simple Hints

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is valentine-candy-626446_1920-jill-wellingtonn.jpgDid you ever stop to think that your voice and speaking success hinge on two little vocal cords?  If not, it’s time to think about this and how to be kind to your voice.

So here are five hints for treating your voice with loving kindness:

  • Don’t yell. Yelling strains your voice
  • Avoid whispering. Believe it or not, whispering can be hard on your voice.
  • Be aware of how you speak on the phone. Unless you support your voice with breath and energy, it can become tired and strained.
  • Drink lots of water. This helps hydrate your voice; room temperature, please
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine before a speaking engagement. Even though you think alcohol may relax you and caffeine will energize you, these drinks tend to dry you out.

Lastly, be sure you’re using your breath.  Breath is food for your vocal cords.  It may sound funny, but many people actually hold their breath when speaking.  That’s why you hear a croaking or rough sound, that’s why your voice gets strained and tired.

So, love your voice, and let those cords chime!

Five Ways to Punch up Your Presentation

Many of us are faced with the same situation.  You have to give a speech or presentation on a subject that is inherently dull.  How can you add interest and excitement?Pramit Marattha from Pixabay

Here are five ways to spruce up a dull presentation

  • Change the pitch and dynamics of your voice to add variety to your sound. Speak higher and lower, louder and softer.
  • Vary your rhythm.  Decide when to slow down or speed up.
  • Add emphasis and strategic pauses.  For suspense or questions, pauses work well.
  • Use anecdotes.  Explain your points with a personalized story.
  • Involve the audience.  Ask rhetorical questions.

And, if using Power Point, add some entertaining graphics.  These hints are sure to add variety and punch to your presentation.

Do you have any thoughts to share?