To engage an audience on television and radio, you must project your voice.

If you tell a story on camera in a normal, conversational tone, you’ll be amazed at how lacklustre you appear when you watch or listen to the recording.

Project your voice by slightly increasing volume, and the result will be markedly different.

You’ll come across as serious or enthusiastic – whatever’s required by the nature of your story – and your body language will be more animated, reflecting and emphasising what you’re saying.

I’ve seen the difference in hundreds of media training workshops.

How much you need to project your voice depends upon how subdued you are when speaking normally.  If you’re an extroverted and animated person, you may not need to adjust your natural voice projection.  But if you’re quiet and understated, you may need to turn your volume up, so to speak.

Those attending my media training workshops estimate they need an extra 15 percent voice projection on top of their usual speaking voice, but it can be up to 30 percent. Once trained in the technique, they start to really stand out in simulated interviews. Their confidence and voice both flourish, and their performance gets an extra edge.

Journalists working on-air project their voice for every bulletin. Being laid back and laconic may work for rock bands, but not if you’re a spokesperson for an organisation. The unforgiving glare of a camera requires extra energy for a story to be received well.

Voice projection comes from breathing deep into your diaphragm, tensing your abdomen as you speak and increasing your voice volume.

Once you’re performing this way and engaging your audience, be careful not to talk too fast.  The adrenaline that comes with interviews may put you into a spin and before you know it you’re speed talking. Keep your phrasing pattern and delivery measured, to emphasise your message in a clear and animated way.

Remember, you’re not only projecting your voice, you’re projecting confidence. Showing your audience and key stakeholders that you’re the right choice as figurehead – delivering a clear message, changing perceptions and getting noticed. Being heard.

Tony Nicholls

Tony Nicholls

Founder and Director of Good Talent Media

Tony Nicholls is an accomplished journalist who has held roles for more than ten years with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten, covering thousands of news stories across Victoria, Australia and in the international media.