Presenting Your Best Voice

November 12
3 minute read
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I recently attended the 2019 Toronto Agile Community (TAC) Conference with other BERTEIG team members.

There was a great buzz in the hallways as people greeted old friends and new. There was a respectful focus in the rooms where sessions on various aspects of Agile and Agile tools took place.

The 2019 Toronto Agile Community Conference.

A lot of Agile learning was being offered that day.

Since attendance numbers were very high, those facilitating sessions or giving presentations were equipped with Lavalier microphones (lav mics).

These mics are tiny but powerful. They’re wireless and clip onto one’s collar or lapel, leaving the presenter with the freedom to move about and gesticulate as they wish.

BERTEIG Agile coach and trainer Jerry Doucett is one of those such presenters who used this freedom to great effect at the conference.

BERTEIG trainer Jerry Doucett presenting at the 2019 TAC Conference in Toronto.

However, in some sessions that I attended at TAC, I was not able to absorb everything that was being taught or communicated.

I would miss terminology or the odd phrase being discussed.

This creates a sense of frustration for anyone eager to learn.

The point is that even with the help of a mic, if a presenter’s speech habits are poor, what is being said may not be clear to everyone in the room.

If the rhythm of speech is too fast or words are slurred, the deeper nuances of a presentation can be lost.

And, if a presenter has an accent, it is especially important to speak more slowly and enunciate every sound.

If the facilitator paces too much, or turns the head away from the mic, whole ideas can be lost.

And, if everything is said in the same drone or the same tone, listeners tune out.

BERTEIG trainer Jerry Doucett presenting at the 2019 TAC Conference in Toronto.

A mic cannot replace good speech habits.

Besides, technology can go awry. A mic or sound system can have glitches and stop working. How then can a presentation be salvaged?

Or perhaps a better question is, does the facilitator have an Agile enough voice to maintain and entertain their audience?

If a facilitator has clear speech, uses expression and emphasis, and is able to project their voice to the back of a room, then—mic or no mic—the message will be successfully delivered.

Attendees will receive the full benefit of their sharing.

BERTEIG trainers Valerie Senyk and Forbes Benning at the 2019 TAC Conference in Toronto.

I was grateful for the sessions that I attended that were clear and persuasive.

I invite anyone who is gearing up to make an important presentation to an audience to consider our Compelling Communication workshop for their team and/or their workmates, so that you are assured of communicating everything you are capable of, and leave your listeners satisfied.

Berteig Consulting

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