Hathaway’s lip flutter may be instructive for the next time you take the stage to present a Power Point. If you’re going to do something vocally demanding, you can’t just master the material; you need to warm up your voice.
This can cause all sorts of presentation slip-ups. You might lapse into upspeak, that vocal quirkwhere you end you statements like they’re questions? This habit, it’s been shown, has a way of making people not take you seriously.
Not only that, Birnbaum says that a lack of warm-ups will exaggerate any nervousness you’re feeling. Rather than speaking in your lowest register — which is the most attention grabbing — your voice will jump all over the place. No matter how strong your argument is, you’ll sound foolish if you haven’t taken the steps to say it with authority.
Following Birnbaum’s advice, we can learn from the people who best know how to project from a stage: actors. Let’s take the following cues from Jeannette Nelson, the head of voice at the National Theatre of England.