Presentation tips from a Vocal Coach

We already wrote on how to Pitch your Success in an earlier blogpost. What about getting some tips on how to successfully give a public presentation from a vocal perspective?

As I’m writing this, I am preparing my presentation for the first Coachademy Inspirational Series in Amsterdam: The Neuroscience of Apps (check out the event here). And, of course, I turned to one of our Coachademy Coaches to get some advice on how to improve my public performance. Our very best Vocal Coach is Davide Piludu Verdigris, who also agreed on sharing some tips for this blog.

Davide’s work consist in making vocal techniques natural and automatic for people. This way, artists, performers and public speakers do not have to think about how they are talking and can instead focus on their interpretation and expressiveness to get their message across more effectively.

Yet, not all the work is done on the voice. During the coaching sessions there are also other techniques that come into play and that are aimed at unblocking personal issues and situations that may stand in the way of the performance. 

Davide tells me that a public presentation or an elevator pitch is a real theatrical performance. Therefore, it has to be studied and prepared in all its details. Think about the intention, intonation, strategic pauses, key words, posture, gestures, gaze, etc…

Nothing has to be forgotten when preparing your talk. Studying your presentation is essential because it gives you a structure you can hold on to. Perhaps paradoxically, this structure also gives freedom. In fact, it is only by having fixed points that you feel the freedom to improvise in front of the audience.

Your presentation should not be studied by heart, word by word. The aim is to metabolize and master the arguments you want to expose to such a degree that you don’t lose yourself in digressions, reasoning and parenthesis. The overall talk can be sketched and essential, key concepts have to be memorable: i.e. carefully highlighted through pauses and gestures.

Remember then that any speaker is an actor. As such you entertain the audience, take them by hand to guide them through your story. After all, the magic of the theater exists thanks to the actor’s imagining power. When a public speaker is enthusiastic, living the situation with emotional engagement, consequently, these feelings are passed over to the audience.

Empathy is the basis of theatre.