Turn Up The Volume
Adjust the volume to the audience you're addressing. While I might not be the greatest speaker and have a natural tendency to speak quietly, I've noticed that in networking environments people often speak in a 'normal' voice without adjusting the volume to take into account the fact that they're addressing a room full of people.
I've been to many formal and informal networking meetings where you're given the opportunity to give a brief one minute, 'elevator pitch' for your business. So often you can't hear what the person is saying. Even being asked to speak up, they pause and carry on just the same (often down to nerves).
While it can be intimidating speaking to a room full of strangers:
- take a deep breath to help calm and centre you.
- speak from your diaphragm not from the top of your lungs
- imagine your voice needs to be heard by the person at the back of the room but don't shout
- speak, slowly and clearly - don't rush
- better to say too little and have them ask questions than too much and confuse.
Practice in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Practice what you want to say and how you say it. Practice turning up the volume. Practice with your partner or a friend. Adjust the volume for the space you're speaking in, who you're speaking to and for what you're saying.