Speaking in public is still the #1 fear in America and most other parts of the world. What are we afraid of? Well, no one wants to suffer the negative judgements of others. It’s uncomfortable to be rejected or disagreed with. But the best public speakers project confidence on stage and seem comfortable despite how many people are in the audience. Building that confidence isn’t always easy, but vocal training can help you learn how to sound and feel more self-assured.
With the right voice training, you can overcome your fear of public speaking and turn yourself into an exceptional speaker.
Why does sounding more confident matter?
If you want to feel confident on stage, you have to sound confident. Why? Your voice has a huge impact on what people think of you. We judge how trustworthy someone is within seconds of hearing their voice. If you speak with a confident voice, your audience is much more likely to trust what you say.
When you go through vocal training, you learn how to use your voice more effectively. Not only do you learn how to have a confident voice, but you also learn how to use your voice to present your authentic self. Voice training helps with seven things in particular that can lend you to more self-assurance on stage:
- Breathing correctly
- Sounding authoritative
- Avoiding filler words
- Eliminate mumbling
- Moving past mistakes easily
- Redirecting adrenaline
Let’s break down each one individually.
1. Breathing correctly
Most people don’t know how to breathe properly. When you take a deep breath, your abdominal area should come forward as if you were filling a balloon in your tummy with air, and your shoulders and chest should not raise. Breathing properly means breathing from the diaphragm, which has two significant impacts on your voice:
- It gives you more air to speak with.
- It makes the tone of your voice stronger and more resonant.
When you learn to breathe from the diaphragm, you will sound more confident and feel more calm.
2. Projecting your voice
People who are “soft-spoken” typically don’t sound confident. It’s difficult to hear what they say and you often have to ask them to repeat themselves. To put it simply: If you don’t speak loudly enough, others can’t hear you. If they can’t hear you, they’ll have a hard time trusting what you say. When you don’t project your voice on stage, your audience may misunderstand and misinterpret your message, thus not reacting how you expect. When your audience doesn’t react how you’d expect, it can affect your nerves and sink your confidence.
3. Sounding authoritative
With voice training, you can learn how to add authority to your voice when you speak. One simple way to do this is by using the right melody. Many people subconsciously end their statements by going lower in pitch. That’s called a descending scale. But that makes you sound less confident and actually sad. Stop using so many descending scales. Go to a higher note when you say the last word before a comma or a period and you will sound happy and authoritative.
4. Avoiding filler words
Adding non-words like “uh,” “um,” “so,” “ah,” or “well” to our speech really makes us sound unfocussed. These filler words usually come out when you’re stopping to gather your thoughts. They’re a natural habit for most people, but they also make you sound less confident. When you need to think about what you’ll say next, simply pause without saying anything. TAKE A BREATH. Brief pauses are perfectly acceptable in public speaking, especially when used strategically to add emphasis to your point. By cutting out filler words you’ll feel and sound stronger.
5. No more mumbling
If you have a friend who mumbles, you know how frustrating it can be to understand everything they say. Imagine a room full of people feeling this way toward you because you’re mumbling through your speech. Mumbling happens when you don’t drop your jaw enough, and it makes you sound like you’re bored or apathetic. With vocal training, you can eliminate mumbling, sound interesting, energized, and engaged with your audience.
6. Moving past mistakes easily
Voice training gives you the tools to speak effectively and sound the way you want to sound, whether in front of a large audience or in a private conversation. When you’re equipped with strategies for speaking and you’re feeling more sure of yourself, it’s easier to come back from mistakes. No matter how much training you do or how many times you rehearse, you may still make an error, or something might go wrong with your speech. When you’re confident in your abilities, you don’t let a mistake get the best of you. You’re able to take it in stride and keep moving, without losing the trust of your audience.
7. Redirecting adrenaline
Many people interpret the rush of adrenaline they feel before public speaking as fear or nerves. When you go through voice training, you learn to utilize that adrenaline, and realize it’s a gift of energy from the inside. When you reinterpret the adrenaline rush this way, it fills you with confidence right before going on stage.
Vocal training gives you the confidence you need
It’s difficult to feel self-assured when your voice doesn’t convey confidence. Even if you don’t struggle with nerves when speaking publicly, a weak voice can still prevent you from conveying your message and expressing your true self. A strong, confident voice lets you step into who you are and feel comfortable in your own skin. With voice training, you can achieve that level of confidence.