How to prevent a meeting/pre­sen­tation to become mono­tonous

Think about it, when someone tells you a story you want to be taken along with it, you want to feel the emotion and hear the meaning behind every word. A total dealbreaker is a monotonous speaker. First of all I want to be clear about what monotonous is. Lets break the word apart, ‘mono’ is Latin for single while ‘tonos’ translates to tone. Talking with a single tone will bore your audience, so here are a few tips to giving a monotonous presentation.

Meeting with laptops

Posture is key

A strong and supported voice is crucial for a good vocal presentation however this is only doable when having the right posture. Your ribcage should be aligned in order to take in enough air. So before you even start your presentation make sure your back is straight and relaxed, your knees should be somewhat bent and your head needs to be held up high. You should be in a vertical line and experience how easy it is to make your voice strong and supported.

Your voice should be your highlighter

The biggest problem in a monotone speech is no intonation. This can be a challenge to add to your voice if you don’t do this naturally. Just like you would highlight all the important information in a big chunk of text, you should also do this in your presentation. The words that would have been highlighted if it was read needs to have a different tone when it is spoken. Mix it up between pace, intonation and volume to highlight your key message. Use the fist rule of pronouncing at least one word different in each sentence in order to not bore your audience.

Praise your pace

Peoples minds will start to wonder when the presenter is talking in the same repetitive rhythm, just like you wouldn’t listen to a song that is a constant repetition of the last few chords. Mix it up between your pace. For example you can slow down when important information is given, this way the audience can process. Contrarily you can speed up when you are reciting a long list that is not that important. Another trick to mix up your pace is by leaving pauses. By pausing before an important message people will start to wonder what will come next and will pay more attention. On the other hand you can also pause after an important message, this way people will have the time to think and process the thing you just said. A silence can also be used to give structure to your presentation. Pause between each paragraph to let the audience know you will cover a different subject.

Expression overload

Monotonous presentations can be stopped by showing more expression overall. While vocal tonality is the main tool for expressiveness there are a few other options. The practice shows that when a speaker is increasing body movements, facial expressions or lively vocabulary the vocal tonality will follow automatically. So if you are having a hard time changing your monotone voice, start moving more, make hand gestures or even try showing emotions in the words you are saying.

Stop presenting and start talking

It is in our nature to talk with a lot of expression when in a conversation with someone. Make use of this natural instinct by starting a conversation while presenting. When you start talking instead of presenting you are more likely to talk with a different tone, volume and pace, and in this way it is very unusual to talk monotonous. There are a few tricks to start a conversation in your presentation. When you are in a conversation you do not have any cheat sheet, so why are you using them during a presentation? Start talking about your subject on the top of your head, this way it makes it harder to talk monotonous. Secondly have an actual conversation with your audience. By using our Q&A tool, with this tool the audience can ask questions throughout your entire presentation. You are obligated to answer these questions off guard what will lead to surprising interactions and will help you break out of your monotony.

With all of these tips monotony will no longer be a struggle for you. Start practicing and experience the added value of being a great presenter!

Robert Daverschot

Robert is a professional moderator, presenter and speaker coach. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and works for a broad range of industries. He has interviewed ministers, captains of industry and even His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With it, an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in comments to speakers and panels on stage. As such, events turn into lively dialogues with everyone being able to speak up!