In the movie Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis, the scenes that take place in Congress are a perfect example of using vocal power to influence an audience. The politicians of the day were forced to practice oratory techniques out of necessity. There were no microphones, and the only way to get attention was to earn it with rhetoric and vocal prowess.
It occurred to me that the invention of the microphone may have meant the end of taking personal responsibility for our vocal power. These days we get away with oral murder. We mumble, we don't project, we talk too fast, and we speak in a monotone with no thought paid to intonation. The microphone will do it all for us, right?
Wrong. Time to step up.
Get comfortable with volume without a mic. Get into the biggest conference room you can and bounce your voice off the back wall.
Stop mumbling. Do old-fashioned grade school tongue twisters. You know the ones I mean...Peter Piper picked a peck of wood-chucking woodchucks with Betty Botta at the sea shore.
If you must use a mic, practice with it. Get familiar with the intimidating sound of your amplified voice so you can use intonation without scaring yourself.
If you want to be a great orator, start incorporating articulation, volume, and intonation into your everyday speaking. That way when the spotlight is on you, your voice is ready to be loud and proud.