I was working with a client that constantly breathed from the top of their chest. This was causing him to have short choppy words and sound nervous. When focusing on your breath you can control your tempo and relay emotions. As I planned this blog, Pink Floyd’s song “Breath” kept running through my head. My mind jumped to a trick I learned years ago: that listening to a metronome can help fast talkers slow down. Next my mind jumped to, “Breath has a great tempo to it.” Next my mind went to… never mind, a small glimpse into an ADD mind is scary enough for most people.
People can remember music and lyrics relatively easily especially in relation to a typical presentation. Don’t think that I’m suggesting you need to sing your presentation. If I tried that, the audience would set a record time for evacuating a room. What I am suggesting is to use music to set the rhythm of your presentation. Is there music that conveys the same emotion that you want to relay to your audience? Play it in your head as you speak. This will help keep your tone and pace in a good rhythm.
Warning, do not keep the same rhythm throughout your presentation. If you do, you will start to sound like one of those machines people use to fall asleep. Mix up the rhythm to keep the audience interested. Maybe start with Classical to slowly bring your audience in, switch to Jazz in the middle to stir them up, and then end on Classic Rock to motivate them. I don’t recall a presentation where Death Metal would work but you never know. It’s your concert/presentation so be creative. There are rhythms that will engage your audience, entertain, and inform. That’s what makes you a Very Impressive Presenter.