Last updated 1st of December 2019
Author Lisa Hartwell
Improve Your Presentation Skills with the 4Ps
At Fresh Air Group, we're privileged to work with a talented bunch of people. One of our voiceover artists, Susan Winder, is also a popular vocal coach who often works with business people wanting to improve their presentation skills. She joined Paul for a quick chat to offer her top tips for speaking in public, whatever the occasion.
Susan suggests you concentrate on the 4Ps:
Pitch - make sure your voice is interesting by raising and lowering the pitch of your voice appropriately. Avoid a monotone.
Pace - speak at a normal pace but then speed up to express excitement or slow down for emphasis on something important.
Power - stress words or pull words back through the power of your voice, again for emphasis and interest.
Pause - this is very difficult to do, especially when you're new to speaking in public. We're often scared of pauses, but they are a powerful way to draw attention to the most important points in your presentation. Susan suggests slowly looking from one side of the room to the other and back to the middle, making it clear you want the listener to consider the last thing you said. It also gives you time to think about what you are going to say next.
The 5th P
The 4Ps are important for any speech or presentation, but Susan added a 5th P to really prepare you for talking in front of others - Practise.
"Practise, practise, practise." And practise out-loud whenever you get the chance. What sounds good in your head may not sound the same when you speak it. It also helps your brain to remember. Say it out-loud in the way you plan to at the actual event, applying the 4Ps to ensure they offer the "colour" you need.
You may not be a CEO who needs to give a big Christmas speech, or a salesperson pitching to a potential new client, but these are skills that everybody can use. Student presentation, media interview, presenting a podcast, wedding speech or offering a toast - they will all be improved by working on the 4Ps.