I led bible study in Zac's on Tuesday. It went okay; they were a pretty well-behaved bunch. But something happened near the end that reminded me of something I'd been thinking about.
One of our regulars was trying to speak but there seemed to be several conversations going on and it was almost impossible to hear him. Then another man, someone who's been coming for a few months, started speaking and very quickly he had everyone's attention.
He has what I call 'a Welsh preacher's voice'. A bit like this only even more so and deeper:
That's what I need.
I'd listened recently to an excerpt from a radio programme about how to speak with authority. It wasn't particularly helpful but then the woman being interviewed was a voice coach so it was in her interest to give away just enough to make listeners want to go to her and pay her vast sums of money to teach them but not enough to make herself redundant.
Basically what I gathered from the clip was that it helped to be male. To do with tone and hearing range and stuff like that. Which I knew. So what I really need to do is practise lowering my voice, speaking slowly and clearly and, preferably, with passion. (I wish you could hear me reading this as I type. You would swear you were listening to an old-fashioned fire and brimstone preacher.) as opposed to my normal manner of speaking, which is rapid, stumbling, quiet and badly grammared.
Unless I'm on BBC national television when I speak so slowly that I sound as if I'm slightly unhinged.