Updated: May 1, 2020
At Wedding Speech Genie, we start and end every coaching session with a note toward our golden rule of three - be seen, be heard and be remembered. Why? Well, it is imperative that an audience don’t have to strain to hear you, squint to see you or question who you were.
What we all need from our speaker is a decent amount of volume, a well-judged pace and some basic body awareness. When working with our clients, we are always tuning in to these three components. To begin with, let's look at what makes for a great voice. Think about these 3 things when speaking:
We must make ourselves heard! The most frustrating part of any speech is when someone is too quiet. Start by asking yourself, do I need to raise my volume up, to fill a crowded room or noisy marquee? Most venues offer a mic, but you still need to practice without one, to be ready for all eventualities.
Volume comes from deep belly breathing. When you inhale deeply into your abdomen, your exhale will allow for greater power and precision on the word. In doing so, sound will resonate further and reach a larger audience. Remember this is not about shouting, this about projecting.
Tip: Practice your speech outside in a wide, open space and see the words being carried across a field.
Think about the speed at which you normally speak, now throw a ton of adrenaline into the mix and see what changes? We naturally speed up when under pressure, but we must not let our words get lost in translation. Your audience will switch off from listening if they have to work really hard to keep up. So, slow things right down and let the sound of each consonant, vowel and syllable ring crystal clear.
Tip: Practice your speech out loud in the mirror with a cork between your teeth! This will work the muscles of the jaw and allow for a very clear reading. Tedious yes, but absolutely worth it!
Otherwise understood as range. Try to avoid speaking all on one note and becoming monotone! Instead imagine a melody and bring texture to the sound of your words. Think about a piece of music that is packed with varying notes and scales. Infuse your tone with imagination and passion. Use emphasis to compound your message and visualise your words being lifted off the page.
Tip: Sing your speech in the shower. A stretch outside our comfort zone, but you’ll have a varied and colourful speech, plus an attentive audience for it.