Presenter Intonation: No Monotony!


Without mastering the art of intonation, you will not earn the laurels of a brilliant speaker (C) Ian Stein - Speakers by Candlelight.

Did you know that 'how you say it' can be more important than 'what you say'? Believe it or not, that's the way it is. According to psychologists, with the help of intonation we convey three to four times more information than with the use of words alone.

If you think about it, this is not surprising. Would you believe someone who says the words: “I am happy” if they were said in a gloomy or an  indifferent tone? Remember the games from early childhood. Did we really need words to convey emotions? But emotions are crucial  information. They are all the more important because they affect the depths of the subconscious.

Most speakers know very well, or at least intuitively feel, that they must correctly place emotional accents with the help of intonation. A presentation’s success largely depends on how well this is done. At the same time, unlike professional actors, online event hosts are not required to spend years learning the art of voice acting. In the vast majority of cases, it is enough to follow a few simple rules.

  • Avoid monotony. An even voice without emotions and intonations lulls the audience and loses their attention, suggesting that the presenter is simply bored. And if the speaker themself is not interested in the topic or event, why, one wonders, should these interest the audience?

  • Raise your voice slightly and slow the pace of your speech at key points. This technique allows you to better impart the most important ideas, theses and conclusions of the presentation into the minds of the audience. Highlight key phrases with small pauses before and after speaking them.

  • The answer should be louder than the question. A popular presentation format is “question-answer”, with the presenter asking a question and answering it themself. In this case, as a rule, the answer contains an idea that the speaker would like to draw the audience’s attention to. That is why the answer should be louder and more emphasis should be placed on it, rather than the question. The same applies to the portion of the presentation in which guests ask questions.

  • No laughter, no tears. Refrain from intonation extremes. First, sparkling joy and deep sadness are very difficult to play - even if you are a professional actor. And secondly, they are completely out of place in a business meeting, which is exactly what the vast majority of presentations are.

  • Compose the text from short and medium-length sentences. This will allow you to control your breathing in each phrase and maintain your intonation and pace of speech naturally, without changes brought on by running out of breath. 

  • Use a bit of irony. If during the presentation you refer to your own experience or express an opinion in the first person, it is better to add a little irony. The easiest way to do this is to lower your voice and smile a little. This will appeal  to the audience at a more personal level and create the effect of a confidential conversation.

  • Avoid pathos. For the vast majority of presentations, using intonation suitable for a speech at a rally or political convention is not appropriate. Chopped phrases in a raised tone, capable of conveying a speaker’s energy and exciting those gathered in a large hall or at a stadium, do not work at all in the chamber atmosphere of an online event. Even if hundreds of people connect to your presentation, as a rule, each viewer sits alone in front of the screen and perceives the speaker’s presentation as a dialogue.

  • Practice speaking naturally. Even with correctly placed intonational accents, pretense will give the audience the impression of insincerity and, as a result, cause mistrust of both the presenter and the material.

Let's summarize:

To successfully use intonation, it is enough for a presenter to master a relatively small set of tools, without the extremes that are needed in the acting profession or as a professional political speaker. The skillful use of the intonation arsenal will allow the host of an online event to significantly increase the presentation’s effect.

Good luck to everyone and high income! And don't forget to use Roi4Presenter - the most advanced service for presentations, webinars and other online events.


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