Speak with confidence
Inspire your listeners by making your speech effortlessly confident.
Audio editing is an extremely powerful tool for creating flow in conversations and streamlining speech. However, it can only go so far.
Overly edited audio sounds unnatural and is hard to listen to. Here are some tips to avoid becoming overly reliant on edits to improve your vocal delivery.
Step 1: Slow down
Instantly transform the delivery of your words by simply slowing down. When we are excited and have a lot to share, it's easy to speak too fast. The downside of this is that we are more likely to make mistakes, stutter, and generally be less eloquent.
Slow your speech down and you will instantly enunciate more clearly, and you will also sound far more authoritative and confident.
Step 2: Get comfortable with silence
One of the biggest reasons we use filler words such as um, ah, y'know etc, is because we are filling a gap in our speech. We intuitively feel like silences are bad because the audience will think we forgot what we were going to say, or maybe that we don't have anything else to add.
In fact, the opposite is true. Using pauses in your speech helps poignant moments land, and adds ebbs and flows to your speech to create dynamism. Practice leaving much longer pauses during your delivery and you will be amazed at the transformation.
Check out Vinh Giang's excellent videos on this below.
Step 3: Don't over script
It can be tempting to write down in great detail all of the things you would like to say in your podcast. Avoid this. Our ears are finely tuned to human speech and it is immediately obvious when somebody is reading from a page versus organically speaking.
Keep notes minimal, with a few bullet points here and there if needed.
Step 4: Breathe
When we speak we breathe differently to when we are silent. If we aren't used to speaking for longer periods of time then our body can be kept in a very tense and low breathing state which often results in rushed speech and gasping for air as we run out of breath after each sentence.
Consciously breathe throughout your delivery, your whole body will relax and your speech will seem more effortless.
Step 5: Perform a speech review
Listen back to recordings of yourself and critique your delivery. Do you need to slow down? Are you breathing properly? Are you using filler words rather than leaving pauses?
Identifying these areas will help you fix them. Most of our speech imperfections stem from unawareness. Listening back to yourself will make you realise exactly how you are speaking.
Keep at it!
Remember that like most things in life, speaking is a skill which is constantly honed over time. Do not be disheartened if your speech is not absolutely perfect. After all, podcast listeners want to listen to humans and not robots!
For those that want to invest in their vocal delivery, Vinh Giang has a fantastic free video series on improving your speech.