Maria Tecce Voice and Speech Coach Author

4 Top Tips for Virtual Communication Success

Virtual Communications are the norm when it comes to meetings, presentations, and working from home and they’re not going anywhere fast.  Your vocal delivery and body language are just as important now working virtually as when you’re working face-to-face.

Here are a 5 top tips on how to use your body language and vocal delivery in virtual communication to get the results you want and keep your audience listening.

1. Your Vocal Delivery Needs Clarity and Variety

There’s nothing more boring than a flat, monotone vocal delivery.  We all know the pain of listening to a droning, one-dimensional speech. 

If your delivery is monotone, people won’t hear you.  Whether you’re face-to-face or using virtual communication, the same rule applies:  Change it up if you want to keep them listening.

Change Up The Tones Of Your Voice

An impactful, captivating vocal delivery involves changing up the tones of your voice.  The range of your voice is huge, high tones all the way down to low, deep tones.  Get used to using more of your range.

Vocal delivery in virtual communication needs to be constantly changing and have variety in order to engage your audience.  People’s ears get bored if they hear too much of the same thing for any length of time.

For instance, if you only speak in low tones and use only the bottom part of your vocal range, then people will start to tune out.  Get used to breaking out of your comfort zone and recognize if you’ve fallen into the habit of only sounding one way.

The Power Of Pause And Pace

We can’t take in too much information at once.  Our ears and brain need a break every now and then.  It’s essential to pause and allow your audience a moment to digest what you’ve just said. 

You’ll lose your audience if you speak too quickly.   So, speak at a pace that is, most likely, going to feel slower than normal in your vocal delivery in virtual communication.

In virtual communication you already are one step removed from your audience so you must be vigilant about pace.  A good exercise is to record yourself, listen back, and see if you can understand yourself.

Clear Vocal Delivery In Virtual Communication Is Key

Good articulation isn’t just for actors on the stage.  Your audience must be able to understand what you’re saying.  Use your consonants, the t’s, d’s, p’s, c’s, the hard edges of language, to help articulate your words more clearly.

When you consciously think about your words and speak clearly, it will help to slow you down as well.  This is important in your vocal delivery in virtual communications.

 When you speak more articulately, you are also perceived as being more intelligent. 

2. Warm Up Your Voice

Great speakers are like athletes.  You use vocal and physical muscles to communicate.  Every speaker or presenter worth their salt does something to get themselves in the zone before they go into a meeting or presentation.

All great athlete warm up their muscles and your physical and vocal muscles are just the same.  A tight, unprepared muscle isn’t much good to an athlete.  The same goes for your voice and body when it comes to vocal delivery in virtual communication.

Take a few deep breaths before you log into a conference all.  This will get the oxygen flowing, wake up your brain and body, and get you into the zone. 

Do a little test run of some of the words you’ll be saying in the meeting or presentation before you log in.  This wakes up your speaking muscles and tells your voice you’re going to be using it.  A bit of humming is also great to get the juices flowing.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.  Have a little ritual you can run through to wake up your vocal muscles and breathe before you go into a virtual communication situation to get the results you want.

3. Posture Matters in Virtual Communications

How you sit effects your vocal delivery in virtual communication.  Good posture allows you to breathe properly, feel grounded, and thus speak with more authority.

What Does Good Posture Look Like?

A slouched, slumped body posture makes you look disinterested and disconnected from what’s going on.  It also makes it difficult to breathe properly, and breath is what fuels your vocal delivery and brain power.

Sitting in an upright, open position allows your shoulders to be relaxed and prevents tension in the body, which aids in strong vocal delivery.  It also makes you look prepared and professional. 

Why is Posture Important?

Good posture helps you ground and centre yourself.  This means breathing from a deep, powerful place in the lower belly to help calm nervous energy and steady your voice. 

Sitting in an aligned, balanced posture will help you feel more relaxed and use the least amount of energy.  When you sit in a closed, slumped position you are wasting energy that could be directed into your vocal delivery.

Grounding yourself is important because it helps you to feel ready, present in the moment, and able to give your best with a strong vocal delivery in virtual communication.

4. Eye Contact And Use Of Hands Adds Gravitas

Good eye contact and use of hand movements work in tandem with your vocal delivery in virtual communication to add credibility and authority.

Eye Contact In Virtual Communication

You need to have eye contact with your audience and use your hands in order to connect with them on a deeper, personal level.  Just reciting words and information won’t keep your audience listening.

Using clear eye contact helps your audience to connect with you on an emotional level.   In virtual communication you have multiple eye lines:  the audience appearing on the screen and the camera in your laptop filming you.

When in doubt, use the camera lense in your laptop as your eye line.  Looking into the camera comes across to each of your audience members as looking at each one of them individually. 

Using Your Hands In An Online Setting

Using your hands when you speak helps shape your words for the audience.  You are inviting us to see what you see.

We are hard-wired to love hearing stories and you, as a communicator, are a storyteller.  Whether it’s year-end statistics or the innovations in banking security, you are communicating through words and telling us your story.

Using your hands is natural in telling stories.  Hand movements give energy to your words.  It keeps your information from being physically static and lifeless.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life… And Your Communications

Whether you’re online or in the room face-to-face, great communication relies on your being aware and prepared both physically and vocally. 

With just a few tweaks, your verbal and non-verbal delivery in virtual communication will keep your audience interested and listening.

Variety is the spice of life.  Change things up in your vocal delivery and be aware of how you are using your body. 

Your virtual communication will be more engaging, energetic, and have more impact if you vary your vocal delivery, use clear body language, and breathe. 

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