Speaking to a smaller audience

Recently I  attended a new book reading at a local book store, where  about 30 – 40 people were  in attendance.  Even though one should be able to project to a room that size, it was difficult to hear the author and her guest speakers.  They were speaking as if to someone in the front row.

Because  I see this “lazy speak” so often, I’ve jotted down five quick hints to help your audience better hear you.

  • Speak to the person at the very back or end of the room, instead of to the people sitting in front of you.
  • Ask the audience in advance if they can hear you. If not, consider using a microphone.
  • When using a mic, it’s important for it to be at the right distance from your mouth. Speaking too close will distort your sound; holding the mic too far away means it won’t pick up your voice.
  • If using a mic, speak directly into it. Don’t turn your head away when you speak.  Most mics won’t pick your voice up if you turn away.
  • If your audience is spilling over to both sides of the room, include those sides when you speak. Speak to them as well as to the people in front of you.  But, as you turn, be sure the mic turns with you.

Five Simple Ways to Care for Your Voice in Winter

Winter’s cold, changing weather and dry indoor climates can put a lot of stress on your body, especially the respiratory system and your voice.  Here are five easy ways to care for your voice this winter:

Hard Candy
Hard Candy.
Photo: Adam Zivner

  • Drink lots of fluid, especially water
  • Use a humidifier
  • Stay away from caffeine and alcohol if you have to speak, as they dehydrate
  • Avoid milk products and chocolate, as they can lead to mucous congestion
  • Suck on hard candy for added moisture

Everyone’s system is different, so know how you react to different foods and environmental conditions.

This post was originally published January 22, 2017

Don’t let public speaking scare you this season

Two new classes at New York’s 92Y begin soon, just in time for Halloween and beyond.  Become aware of your body and the role it plays in good public speaking on October 18. And, if you miss Halloween, join our pre-Thanksgiving two-session course on how to sound better and improve your speaking voice  beginning November 8.    Learn more about my course offerings, find new ways to stay in touch, and get more information on private one-on-one and small group sessions by contacting me at publicspeaking4u@aol.com.  Or visit my web sites, http://publicspeaking4u.com/ or http://kundellcommunications.com/public-speaking/

Happy Halloween!