Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

Bigger audiences want you to be bigger. It’s almost as simple as it sounds; the bigger the audience, the more the following points are true.

Increase your energy

That means increasing your volume, but is more than volume. More energy changes everything including body language. Energy alone will take care of most of what follows.

Raise your average pitch

Raise your average pitch (higher voice) as you would if you were calling out to someone a bit further than the most distant person in your audience. Increase the whole pitch range of your voice (higher ups and lower downs)

Lengthen your pauses

Pauses are always important, but in a large audience they become vital. A large audience cannot easily hear wall-to-wall words and is quickly bored.

Exaggerate your gestures and expressions

Frown deeper, smile wider, raise eyebrows higher. For a very big audience, raising eyebrows may well mean spreading your arms.

But what if I have a microphone?

The surprise is that no matter how good your microphone and sound system, all of those points above are still true. A large audience has to see and hear you making an effort to reach them, not just relying on amplified volume.

Next time you see a good presenter with a large audience, watch how much they work the energy, pitch, pausing and body language. They speak almost as if the sound system was not working!


About Michael Brown

michael semiformal 460x300

Michael is a senior trainer with Skillset, based in Christchurch.

He is a leading authority on training in presentation and news media skills in New Zealand. He has special expertise in how to present emotionally charged topics to challenging audiences. Michael has trained thousands of New Zealanders and worked with people who speak on behalf of some of the country's largest organisations.

Michael is a prolific author and his books on speaking and working with the media are in their fourth editions.

Speaking Easy: how to speak to your audiences with confidence and authority

Media Easy: how to handle the news media with confidence and authority

One of Michael's books is about his family's adventures sailing in the Pacific.

Interested in training in presentation skills?

We can help your presenters engage their audiences – whether they are speaking at major conferences, presenting to the community or colleagues, or speaking up at a meeting.

Learn more

Interested in training in media skills?

Our experienced media trainers can show your spokespeople how to work with the media so that everyone benefits.

Learn more