Presentation Skills: Voice Tips

James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman. What do they have in common besides being talented actors?

They both have amazing, distinctive voices. People stop and listen when they speak. As actors, they understand how important the voice is in demanding and commanding attention. And if you’re going to do a presentation, video, radio interview or podcast, you need to understand how to “work” your voice too.

Voice Tips

Here are three voice tips that will help you become a more effective communicator.

First– your voice needs to be strong. Notice that I said, strong, NOT loud. There’s a difference. (If you’re nervous, your voice will often sound weak and higher than it normally is.)

Second– you need to “hit” key words and important messages. In other words– your voice should hit highs and lows without sounding “sing-songy” or monotone.

Example: This is an important voice tip. You could emphasize different words in this sentence — depending on how you want to read this. Whether you hit the word, “this” or “voice”, you will definitely want to place special emphasis on the word, “important.” Many people do this naturally; others have to work at it.

Third– modulate your volume and tone depending on what you’re saying. For example, just as you’re about to deliver the ending to a story, lower your voice a little. Make the audience lean forward to hear you. You’ve got them right in the palm of your hand, now reel them in.

If you remember these three voice tips you’ll be on your way to better presentations, interviews and podcasts. And while you may never sound like James Earl Jones– it may interest you to know that he had a terrible stutter when he was younger. He overcame it after many years of coaching and a career in acting.


If you would like more presentation tips, check out our other presentation skills blogs.

And if you’re interested in learning more about our executive presentation skills coaching offerings, please contact us. We would be delighted to customize a program that fits your exact needs.

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While we are based in Chicago, we often travel to both coasts, as well as everywhere in between, to work with executives. We also offer online coaching for those who prefer to work with us remotely.

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