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Articulation, proper tempo key to successful webinars

| Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Q: One new task that has recently been assigned to me is to lead webinars.

These webinars are designed to train employees at other locations. I want to make sure that I am projecting confidence when I am delivering these webinars.

How can I project my voice in a way that will help me make a strong impression on the people I am training?

A: Good speakers use their voices masterfully to make strong impressions on their listeners. Here are a few steps to help you improve your speech:

-- Articulate. Speak clearly. Do not mumble words. You don't want people to tune out.

-- Vary your tone. Learn to use pitch for variation. And accent your power words. This will help keep your audience involved.

-- Use the right tempo. The speed of speech affects how your message is interpreted.

Talk fast when you wish to convey excitement or urgency. Slow down when you want your words to sink in.

-- Control your volume. Project your voice so people can hear you easily. Do not shout or whisper. Instead raise and lower your voice when you want to underline certain words or concepts.

-- Get rid of speaking "crutches." Avoid punctuating sentences with "you know," "like," "uh," "really," "kind of" and other fillers.

The pattern becomes tiresome to listeners and makes the speaker seem nervous or lazy or both.

-- Record yourself. Record some of your conversations with your clients.

Play the tape, listen to how you sound and make the necessary changes to project your voice to win over your students.

Michael Crom is executive vice president of Dale Carnegie Training. For advice on work issues, visit www.dalecarnegie.com or e-mail carnegiecoach@dalecarnegie.com

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