Thursday, 20 October 2011

Top tips for using your voice to present with gravitas

Top tips for better presentation in interviews.

Lots of people get feedback from interviews that other candidates presented with more ‘gravitas’ and the question is, what on earth is that and how do you get it? Weirdly my favourite thesaurus says the word does not even exist! On the other hand the dictionary relates it to gravity and thus to heaviness. Now I don’t think that people are talking about your weight; I think they are talking about certain seriousness and credibility, a certain way of presenting that means you come over as a serious person with important things to say.
So how can you develop that air of gravitas? Well firstly you do have to have important things to talk about, but you can learn how to add impact and significance to your presentation.
Secondly you may have to play down the ‘lively sense of humour’; yes you want the panel to like you and want to work with you.. they may not be attracted to the overly dull and sober but keep the humour under control.
Thirdly you have to manage your posture and body language appropriately; no flirting or slouching.
Fourthly you have to use a voice that conveys the passion and seriousness that you want to convey. Monotonous, sober tones equal dull. So how do you improve the voice presentation?
Give your voice a gym work out, practice getting plenty of inflection and rhythm into your voice. And depth.
Breath from your diaphragm, pull in your stomach when you breathe out and push them out again to breath in. Use all your lungs and lower your register. Speak to the vase at the other side of the room without getting louder.  Controlling your breathing is critical for projecting your voice and for controlling the nerves; when you are nervous you go into short shallow breaths. Slow it down and breathe deeply.
Practise your use of inflection, take the following sentence:
“Did you give Mark the book yesterday?”
Say it eight times, each time putting the emphasis in a different place. Notice how this changes the meaning of the sentence.  Listen to the way that you use you make your voice go up at the end of the sentence to turn it into a question.
You may have come across my ‘think Switzerland’ technique to help you remember to make your voice rise and fall rather  take a monotonous route.
In the end the content of your presentation of interview should determine the outcome, substance over style; but if you have both you can surely be a winner.
For more support and advice on how to get paid more, promoted faster and feel more satisfied go to

No comments:

Post a Comment