When we listen to recordings of ourselves speaking, it never sounds the way we expected. It might be a perfectly good speaking voice, but the way we hear it in our head is different from reality. Public speakers especially make note of how their voice sounds, on the quest for finding that elusive “perfect” voice. If your work requires you to give presentations or webinars, your voice might be something that’s on your mind quite a bit.

Remember that your voice is your own, and its uniqueness is one of the things that can draw people to come to your presentations or webinars. There’s no one “perfect” way to speak. There are, however, certain qualities that make a voice suitable for public speaking. It can take years of regular presenting to nail them down, so keep listening to how you sound to see where you can improve. Just don’t try to change your voice entirely, but rather work toward an improved version of your unique voice.

Here are the six essential qualities of presenter’s voice:


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Elementary school kids often get told by their teachers to “Speak up!” Just like a 4th grader answering a math problem in class, you need not be timid about being heard. Project your voice so that everyone can hear you. In general, speak loudly, but not so much that you’re shouting. You can vary the volume of your speech for emphasis, but if you lower the volume, make sure you can still be heard or it will lose the effect. If you have a naturally quiet voice, consider using a microphone that you can pin to your shirt.



There are no second chances to say what you want to say in your presentation or webinar. Spectators may be able to listen to it later in a recording, but the first time is the most influential – and if you don’t speak clearly, no level of volume can make up for it. Each and every word you speak should clearly articulated. Mumbling or tripping over your words will keep your audience from getting key information and make your message that much less compelling.



You always knew when your parents were angry by the tone of their voices. Similarly, your audience will be able to tell your mood by how you sound. In order to meet the goal of gaining their audience’s trust, public speakers need to make their tone consistent with the content being presented. Set the tone of your voice to the sentiment of what you’re presenting – for example, speak firmly to show you’re in control, or speak with more emotion when trying to inspire empathy. Vary the way you speak as needed, but in general have an even, confident tone throughout.



Just like tone, emphasis signals the audience what they should focus on in the presentation or a webinar. The words that you stress in each sentence will be the ones that audiences pay attention to the most. Changing the emphasis of your words can change the entire meaning of a sentence. Make sure that the words you emphasize provide support for your overall message.



Going at a natural pace is the rule of thumb for public speaking. Finding what a natural pace should sound like is the trick. Some of us have naturally faster or slower paced voices. Too fast and your message will pass the audience by; too slow and they’ll fall asleep. This is perhaps the quality of a speaking voice that requires the most practice.



Using pauses throughout a presentation can be very effective for making a point, yet few speakers employ this strategy. Pausing gives the audience a chance to take in what was just said and to consider and anticipate what will be said next. It also benefits you, the speaker, by letting you catch your breath and think about your next line. The effective use of pauses can make your presentation or webinar go from good to great.


Public speaking isn’t rocket science, but it isn’t easy, either. Mastering these six areas of speech will enhance the quality of your content and keep your audience more engaged. Speaking at a webinar isn’t the same as having a conversation, as audiences expect your voice to sound a certain way. Though it may be uncomfortable at first to make those changes, over time, it will seem more natural to put on your “speaking voice” when you take on the role of presenter.

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Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

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