Quick! You have 0.2 seconds to convey confidence about your subject matter.
No pressure, right? That’s how long it takes the brain to detect and assess confidence in a speaker’s voice.
The study: A research team from McGill University in Montreal studied the brains of a group of volunteers as they listened to a series of statements read by voice actors. The actors were instructed to be confident, nearly confident, unconfident or neutral.
The results: The researchers observed positive peaks in brain activity after playing just 200 milliseconds of the voice recordings. However, confident speech sparked significantly higher peaks of brain activity than unconfident speech.
The conclusion: Confident speech demands the most attention and the highest level of processing speed from the brains of listeners. Faster than the blink of an eye, our brains detect confidence and determine whose voice deserves the most attention.
How can you tell when someone is speaking unconfidently? According to the researchers, unconfident speech was higher pitched and slower than other speech and was characterized by pitch-rising at the end of statements.
Building the Case for Audio Content
The results of this study present a strong argument for the effectiveness of live and recorded audio content compared to written content.
This is not to say that written content is not important. It’s simply that the message takes longer to get to the brain when it’s in writing.
As the study has shown, audio flashes a signal to the brain that commands attention so long as you speak confidently.
How can you convey more confidence in your voice?
Here are a few tips:
Preparation – Make notes, practice and edit. You don’t have to be an industry keynote speaker to convey authority. You just need to make sure you know the topic at hand.
Breathe – Practice basic breathing techniques and breathe from your diaphragm to strengthen your voice.
Enunciate – Speak clearly. Practice diction exercises and project your voice. Leave enough distance from your mouth to the mic.
Roll with the punches – Mistakes are bound to happen when recording live audio. That’s natural and won’t detract from the audience’s perception of your confidence, so long as you don’t let the mistakes derail you. Pause briefly to collect your thoughts, and continue speaking confidently.
Remember: It’s OK if you’re not a natural-born, confident public speaker. Speaking is a skill that you can practice and hone to better deliver your message.
So What do you do Next ?
Are you considering possibly recording some audio for your website ? I can Help.
Perhaps record yourself the next time you speak in public- Need some guidelines and equipment suggestions I can Help . Sign up to Receive Awesome Updates Today .
Promoting a Book, Website or Special Program ? – Audio content is portable and can be delivered in so many ways directly to your audience.