Just like a speaker, your volume can be turned up and down. We can adjust our volume during our presentation for a number of reasons:
• distance between us and audience (in a room or a hall?)
• emotion you want to convey (happy? scared? angry?)
• type of audience (young and energetic or older?)
Volume as a Tool
A great speaker doesn’t just use their voice to be heard, they use it as a tool, a gimmick. With their voice they can control the audience.
A keynote speaker walked up onto a stage in front of a large audience. The audience was a bustling group, who were chatting and joking loudly. They were making a lot of noise. As the speaker positioned herself to begin her presentation, most of the audience ignored her and keep chatting away. The speaker had a choice. She could start to yell and try to talk above her large boisterous audience, or she could try another tactic.
She left the stage briefly, retrieved a chair which she placed in the middle of the stage and sat down facing her audience. This began to attract the attention of some of the people in the room. They were curious. What was she doing with a chair? Why was she sitting down? She then began to speak softly and gesture with her hands. She spoke so softly that the few members of the audience who were paying attention had to strain to hear her. Her hand movements and facial expression was animated but they could hardly hear her voice. They began to shoosh the other members of the audience telling them to be quiet. Soon, the room was full of shooshing sounds as more and more people tried to hear what the speaker was saying. It wasn’t long before the entire audience were straining to hear the speaker. Once she had the attention, she got up from the chair abruptly, projected her voice, and strode across the stage. She had captured her audience.