When it comes to speaking with more emotion, more life, more color, many people think it is just the voice with which they need to be concerned. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your facial expression and body language are just as important as your vocal variety. |
Think of what you do with your hands when you are talking to your friends, family or colleagues for example. If you’re standing, are they hanging loose at your sides? I would think not. More than likely you move them in some fashion. Also, you probably don’t stand perfectly still in this situation.
What about your facial expression? Do you smile, frown, or show some form of expression or emotion when you are in conversation? Perhaps you raise your eyebrows or shake your head from side to side if you are in disagreement.
If you are aware that you are using some form of color in your body language and facial expression when in conversation, then I want you to do the same when addressing an audience because it will look and feel more natural than standing immobile on a stage like a robot.
On the other hand, should you find your delivery skills lacking in expression both in conversation and at the lectern, try the following exercises, using a video recorder if at all possible. Even accessing the recording capabilities on you iPhone will work. For this exercise, it will be easier if you are standing.
1. Record yourself saying, I couldn’t possibly do that using force on the word possibly. Keep the other four words relatively flat. Play it back. Were you able to accomplish the goal? Did you notice a difference? If you didn’t, keep practicing until the word possibly stands out from the others. This exercise will be most effective if you are alone when you record yourself so that you do not feel self-conscious. You also need to ‘allow’ yourself or to give yourself permission to express your emotion. Admittedly, in the beginning this is easier said than done. You have spent your entire lifetime keeping your emotions inside of you. What I am asking you to do will require the freedom to express.
2. Record yourself again and, this time, shake your head in a negative manner. Watch yourself on the recording. Did it look natural? If not, practice it again and again until it does.
3. Assuming you have accomplished the above 2 steps, when you record yourself this time, move back slightly with one foot as you say it and use one of your hands to emphasize the word possibly.
Remember, speaking with emotion and allowing your listeners to see your expression is normal. Speaking in a monotone voice with no emotion is not.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover the best means of adding some life to your voice and your delivery.
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