Here are some key speaking techniques that will improve your effectiveness as a speaker. These are techniques I have learned both through my years of training and experience and through my experience as someone that has hearing issues including tinnitus.
My hypothesis is that everyone’s hearing and listening are challenged. They are challenged by physical issues, attention, background noise, and the speakers’ accents, cadence, inflections, direction and other factors. Any way you can optimize your speaking, the better it is for everyone. Hearing challenged people can just be more impacted by tweaking your techniques.
Here are my talk tweaks that could just make you a star speaker.
1. Talk to me. Whether you are speaking to a large group or one person look at me when you move your mouth. Do not talk to the slide or the window or floor. Do not put food in your mouth or start drinking.
When speaking speak to me.
For the basic reasons that sound will travel towards me and I can see your lips. I think some people can lip read so this helps. I also think seeing the action of lips moving helps the brain know to listen. Just my theory.
Talking to the slides on the screen also is such a common habit. It fundamentally makes it harder to hear you. Also, I think it lowers your effectiveness as it makes you look less in control of the material. If you plan to read the slides, you may get in the habit of making them too wordy as they become your crutch. I may be hearing challenged but I can read so don’t read for me.
Be the presenter. I am listening and watching you not listening to an audiobook.
2. Do not mumble. Speak in HD. I pay $10 per month for HD. Besides a better picture, the sound is louder and a better quality. For hearing impaired people this makes a huge difference. I am sure that people that have good hearing also enjoy quality sounds and voices. Don’t mumble.
3. Speak with a cadence. The key here is to get your words to be distinct. This is similar to mumbling in a way. If you have studied poetry one of the cadences is iambic pentameter. Each word is distinct. They do not roll into each other.
4. End strong. Do not trail off at the end. The point of a period is to stop a solid sentence. You don’t need to start becoming inaudible as you finish your sentence. End strong.
These are my four ways to take your speaking ability to the next level. People with tinnitus and hearing loss will applaud you. Imagine what people who can hear perfectly will do.
I will cure myself.