Thank you so much for joining me today. And thank you for all the follows and comments on Instagram. Remember, I love hearing from you, so please let me know if there's any specific topic about your voice that you would love for me to cover and I'll probably answer it on a future episode!
I thought I'd start today with something that has been everyone's minds lately; a bit of continuation from the last episode about why audio is more powerful than video. In today's episode, I want to highlight how to speak confidently on video. Although my work, primarily, has been behind a mic and never in front of the camera, a lot of things are still the same. How you use your voice won't change. And because I've been running my business online since 2018, I've learned a thing or two about how to use video effectively for your voice.
We're all online these days in our weird times, it's 2020. We're getting on Zoom calls daily and getting Zoom fatigue. It's a real thing. What is happening is that we're uncomfortable in the situation we're in and overthinking things. That affects our voice.
You're logged on and you think, does my hair look right? What's in my background? What is happening with their background? Why do I always tilt my head to the side? Will I sound OK on the other end? What am I going to say? Oh there you are, can you hear me? Where's that unmute button? So many things to be thinking about to just have a conversation.
We're put into these little Zoom boxes. Nothing about any of this is natural. However, we need to get out of our heads, away from thinking about what's GOING to happen, to only thinking about the present moment. It doesn't matter what's going on in the future. You'll get to that when it comes. They don't like what you're going to say? Deal with it then. They won't agree with your ideas? Forget about that, you don't know that is true, at this very present moment. Be in the now and focus on your facts. What is it that you want to say? What is your end goal for this video call? Then speak your truth.
If you're out of your head, you're not using up the brainpower thinking about things you can't control. You can control your message, how you're going to say something, and be unapologetically honest about it.
There's also energy. Video strips some of your energy away because of the slight delays in audio and video, our brain has to work that much harder to understand this unnatural interaction that we're having. I'm not only talking about your physical energy, which yes, can be used to elevate your voice, but I'm solely looking at vocal energy here. Not yelling or be louder in that type of energy, but having that variety in your voice to show complexity. You want to hold people's attention with the energy in your voice. Even more so on video calls because of what we talked about earlier, and to do that, you need variety in your voice to keep people guessing. If you talk the same way every time and end all your sentences the same way. You don't sound like you're interested because you're lacking energy. You need to be vibrant in your voice by pausing, slowing down if you're a fast talker or talk a little more quickly at times to get your point across. It's the use of these variables in your voice, that will hold your listener's attention. This goes for video or not on video; audio-only or wherever you are, in a meeting, your group of friends or family. Your voice has the power to grab your listener's attention, by being unpredictable.
I know a lot of podcasters are using Zoom for their interviews. And although that's not usually my go-to recommendation, I understand that it's easy and now, familiar enough to go that route. But remember, that traditionally, podcasting is audio-only; Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify. So you don't want your video when you're conducting the interview to distract from the conversation that's going on. So when you talk about seeing their lovely garden in their background, that does nothing for your podcast listeners. Instead, describe what you are seeing, state it like a fact, and how it makes you feel, so your listeners can feel that emotion too. So for example, instead of "I see you have a garden behind you. Are those tomato plants?" You could say, "You have a lush green garden full of tomato plants ripe and ready for picking. I love buying farm-fresh produce at my local market every weekend. They always taste so much better than from your regular big grocery stores." So there's two things you've established here when you do this. 1. You've given your listener a visual and 2. you've provided a little insight into your own life, which is something listeners love and I'll get into that on another episode. Basically, when you're having your conversation on Zoom, you don't want to be pointing things out things that your listener won't understand what's going on because there is nothing to see on their end.
My tech tip, actually, I have two. If you're on the desktop version of Zoom, you can hide your self-view. Do that. It will change your video calling experience forever because normally, you're not staring at yourself in a real-life in-person meeting, so why are you online? That is awkward and you start to over-analyze everything about your self which again, as I said before, is not being in the now and focusing on your message. It's good to double-check off the top if everything is good on the video, then after that, hide your self-view.
And tech tip #2 if you really have to use Zoom, treat your show like it's a radio call-in show. On the radio, the host always sounds full and polished while the caller or the person you're interviewing is on the phone? You can have that sound too for your own voice, by recording with a mic on a different platform on your end and recording the Zoom call with a separate track for each participant. On Zoom, there is a setting to check off that you are "recording a separate track for each participant". That way, you can split your Zoom call from your guest and yourself, and then use the local recording you've recorded separately to have your voice be radio-like, full and rich. Zoom compresses your audio, so you can either sound like robotic and thin on Zoom. Or sound like more full and rich, so it sounds like your listener is in the same room as you, like a fly on the wall listening in on the conversation. That's one way to make an emotional connection with your audience.
So that's it from me today. Thank you for listening. Put some of these into practice this week, then let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below!