Presenting Online – Not Hearing Your Own Voice?

Not hearing my own voice

Another big concern when presenting online

Welcome back!  Last post we discussed When something goes wrong and how to recover and how preparation and planning is vital to the success of your next presentation. Another concern when presenting online, people tell me is  “not hearing my own voice.”

     Voice hearing

If you have ever presented virtually I don’t have to tell you how isolating the experience can be.  Often I  work with new and seasoned presenters who say “I can’t hear myself speak” and I worry about “the sound of my own voice.”   What people are really saying is they are not receiving feedback and interaction from the audience.

Imagine adding humor to an in-person presentation and NO ONE in the audience laughs. Tough crowd you may think.  The next sentence, even more humorous than the first, garners nary a giggle.  You may feel like giving up as a presenter or key note speaker.  Many times people give up on virtual presentations for exactly the same reason.  They cannot “hear” their own voice.

I have personally trained and coached many public speakers who are very charismatic, very energetic and know how to work a stage.  When those same speakers try to adapt their in person skills to the virtual environment without understanding the paradigm shift they fall flat.  It is important to give yourself the grace to go through the process until your brain has grasped the new concepts. Read: Make virtual presentations your reality

If you find yourself feeling isolated when you present virtually, worry about how you sound,  I have a couple of tips for you so you never have to say  “I worry about the sound my own voice” ever again!


2 tips on voice

  1. Learn to use the web cam.  Using the web cam will provide both you (as the presenter) and your audience with a more 3D experience.
  2. Consider having a mirror or two in your presentation space. I like to use the term “Smile Back At You.”  When I present online can always see my face in the mirror next to my computer.  I watch for stress in my facial muscles that may translate to stress in my voice.  I also have a full length mirror in my office so I can watch my body language when I present.

This brings us to our next concern which is Maintaining Virtual Attention. Stay tuned for Part 5.  I will discuss how to Gain, Maintain and Regain virtual attention.

As you embark on your first or your next virtual presentation remember with proper training you will learn to interact with a completely silent audience.  Check out this article on “Managing the Chat” to gain more insight.  Do you say I worry about hearing my own voice You will eventually be able to hear your own voice in much the same manner as your in-person presentations.

Originally posted in 3Plus International eGazine May 2016

About the author: Kimberli Allen

About the author: Kimberli Allen

Kimberli Allen, Principal and Founder of Everything Webinar, LLC, is an international communication and presentation skills expert. She has acquired 20+ years experience as a corporate trainer, coach and entrepreneur (both virtual and in-person). Kimberli has designed numerous customized training programs, worked with such clients as Nike, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, and TAB Products, and personally coached thousands of clients in more than 32 countries. When Kimberli is not leading a training program or launching new products to enhance communication and presentation skills around the globe, you can find her competing in a duathlon or triathlon with her two daughters.