I’m sure he’s a good speaker, but I just couldn’t hear him site!
You would be surprised how frequently a common complaint keeps popping up to mar the effectiveness of otherwise-good speakers: volume.
Yes, volume. No matter what a dynamite speaker you are and regardless of how compelling your comments, if your audience has a hard time making out what you’re saying, you’re going to lose them quickly, and you might as well kiss communication good-bye.
The last thing you want to do is to frustrate your audience. Amazingly, however, that’s one of the first things some speakers do when they fail to be attentive to their volume.
If a sound system is used at your speaking venue, arrive early if possible and spend a couple of minutes with the sound technician to assure that the volume is set effectively to accommodate your voice. It really doesn’t take more than a minute or two, but the benefits will be priceless to your listeners.
Be sure you take full advantage of the sound system. Don’t be afraid of it. If you’re an animated speaker who tends to step away from the microphone frequently, be sure to raise your voice to compensate. If you don’t, then there’s only one thing to do: remain at the microphone. Every member of your audience has to be able to hear you clearly, and you must do whatever is needed to assure that it happens.
If you’re in a venue where no sound system is available or are speaking in a room to a small group where no sound system is needed, you need to be aware constantly of your volume. The absence of microphones and electronic speakers should be a persistent reminder to you that there’s always the danger some folks might not hear as well as others and therefore need you to speak as loudly and clearly as is appropriate.
Granted, this doesn’t come naturally to many speakers, especially if you’re still working through persistent stage fright. Let’s be brutally honest here: This is simply something you’re going to have to get used to doing consistently and forcefully. As with so many other challenges in life, the more you do it, the more routine and natural it will become as you get more and more experience under your belt.
Being cognizant of your volume at all times will prevent you from being guilty of this common obstacle to communication. Your audience will be grateful.