How to prevent a meeting/pre­sen­tation to become mono­tonous
Thinkaboutit, whensomeonetellsyou a story you want tobe taken alongwithit, you want to feel theemotionandhearthemeaningbehindeveryword. A totaldealbreaker is a monotonous speaker. First of all I want tobeclearaboutwhatmonotonous is. Lets break the word apart, ‘mono’ is Latin for single while ‘tonos’ translatestotone. Talkingwith a single tonewillboreyouraudience, so here are a few tips to giving a monotonous presentation.
Posture is key
A strong andsupportedvoice is crucialfor a goodvocalpresentationhoweverthis is onlydoablewhenhavingthe right posture. Yourribcageshouldbealigned in order to take in enough air. Sobeforeyou even start yourpresentation make sureyour back is straight and relaxed, yourkneesshouldbesomewhat bent andyourheadneedstobe held up high. Youshouldbe in a vertical line andexperiencehow easy it is to make yourvoice strong andsupported.
The biggestproblem in a monotone speech is no intonation. Thiscanbe a challengetoaddtoyourvoiceifyoudon’t do thisnaturally. Just like youwould highlight allthe important information in a big chunk of text, youshouldalso do this in yourpresentation. The wordsthatwould have been highlightedifit was readneedsto have a different tonewhenit is spoken. Mix it up between pace, intonationand volume to highlight yourkeymessage. Usethefistrule of pronouncing at leastoneword different in eachsentence in order tonotboreyouraudience.
Peoplesmindswill start to wonder whenthe presenter is talking in thesamerepetitiverhythm, just like youwouldn’t listen to a song that is a constant repetition of the last few chords. Mix it up betweenyour pace. For exampleyoucan slow down when important information is given, this way theaudiencecanprocess. Contrarilyyoucan speed up whenyou are reciting a long list that is notthat important. Another trick to mix up your pace is byleavingpauses. Bypausingbeforean important messagepeoplewill start to wonder whatwillcome next andwillpay more attention. On theother hand youcanalsopauseafteran important message, this way peoplewill have the time tothinkandprocessthethingyoujustsaid. A silencecanalsobeusedtogivestructuretoyourpresentation. Pausebetweeneachparagraphto let theaudienceknowyouwill cover a different subject.
Monotonouspresentationscanbestoppedbyshowing more expression overall. Whilevocaltonality is themain tool forexpressivenessthere are a few other options. The practice shows thatwhen a speaker is increasing body movements, facial expressions or livelyvocabularythevocaltonalitywill follow automatically. Soifyou are having a hard time changingyour monotone voice, start moving more, make hand gestures or even tryshowingemotions in thewordsyou are saying.
Stop presenting and start talking
It is in our nature to talk with a lot of expressionwhen in a conversationwithsomeone. Make use of thisnatural instinct bystarting a conversationwhile presenting. Whenyou start talkinginstead of presenting you are more likelyto talk with a different tone, volume and pace, and in this way it is veryunusualto talk monotonous. There are a few tricks to start a conversation in yourpresentation. Whenyou are in a conversationyou do not have any cheat sheet, sowhy are youusingthemduring a presentation? Start talkingaboutyour subject on the top of yourhead, this way itmakesit harder to talk monotonous. Secondly have anactualconversationwithyouraudience. Byusingour Q&A tool, withthis tool theaudiencecanaskquestionsthroughoutyourentirepresentation. You are obligatedtoanswer these questions off guardwhatwill lead tosurprisinginteractionsandwill help you break out of yourmonotony.
Withall of these tips monotonywill no longerbe a struggleforyou. Start practicingandexperiencetheaddedvalue of being a great presenter!