how to persuade your audience

How To Persuade your Audience – 4 Questions To Ask When Preparing A Speech

Maria PellicanoMentoring

Recent research suggests foetuses in utero begin hearing and relating to their mother’s tone of voice from about 16 weeks – about 6 months before they’re even born! (language is added later).

What does this mean for you as a speaker?

Well, as communicators we usually know when we’re being lied to. There is something in the person’s tone that just doesn’t sound quite right, or at least not a complete truth.

We all remember how a conversation or presentation makes us feel more than the words themselves. Our feelings affects the quality of our tone of voice. Our voice exposes us and you would probably never know unless you listen back to yourself on a recording.

“The human voice is the organ of the soul” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (poet & educator 1882)

You cannot assess your own tone of voice because what you hear inside your head is not what actually everyone else hears and it’s your skull that’s to blame. More specifically, it’s the way your skull vibrates. This is why professional voice users have a vocal coach to assess the quality of their voice and create the tone that is necessary to have.

A cough, clearing of the throat, unnecessary pauses, speaking too fast or too slow because you are thinking in-between your words, mumbling your words, all of these behaviours make you believable or not to everyone else.


Today I was coaching a client who had a clenched jaw. He told me it’s because he is shy. So imagine how he could struggle to impact audiences having a tight clenched jaw, which makes his tone muffled and restricted. I also picked up that he was incongruent and not really releasing his voice because he was afraid of messing up. We all feel that we may not be good enough from time to time and unconsciously our voices can be held back, showing up as a clenched jaw or a tight tongue. This is why even though I am a voice coach myself, I have five different master voice coaches I work with. Because over time I can develop bad voice habits that will eventually effect the quality of my speaking and singing. Check out the institute for vocal advancement. An assessment of your voice can help to find out what type of restrictive and limiting voice behaviour you may have that is impeding on speaking freely and safely.

To find out more on what you can do to control your tone check out “7 elements to empower your vocal tone”.

We are all born with our unique message or song. We have an innate ability to communicate passion with conviction. When we are not congruent with our message, (that is, we are not totally convinced we really believe what it is we are saying), or when we are distracted by our own needs instead of the audience’s, we fail to impact and influence others.

Human Genome Sequence (DNA Converted to a song)


4 steps you can take to systematically prepare before you communicate

Take a moment to actually ask yourself four questions before you talk, email or text anyone.

1. Is what I have to say true? Are we actually saying something that is accurate? Also, are we taking responsibility for our own subjective experience, rather than reporting what we’ve experienced as absolute truth?

2. Is what I have to say necessary? Are you the right person to share what you have to say? Would it be better coming from another person? Is it necessary that it be expressed at all?

3. Is what I am saying kind? Twisting the knife may feel good for a moment, but only because it is what we are used to doing. When we stop trying to hurt the other person with the truth, our expression becomes much more effective, we don’t have to force someone to get them to see where we are coming from.

4. Is it the right time? Timing is everything. If you go off on someone via email, you’re probably going to experience the reverberations of your bad timing. Give it space, then pick up the phone or see them in person.

To find out more on how you can speak your truth comfortably even when you have a challenge at hand contact me for a voice strategy session on how to use your voice and heart congruently and deliver and influence with an impactful message that is authentically you. You can book me Here.

Thank you for reading this post and I look forward to your feedback.

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