The goal is not to address the back wall or yell, but merely alter your communication style so that people in the back of the audience hear you also; this will allow you to sound more confident and powerful. Most people, subconsciously, only address people in the first few rows. The reason for this is that it is much easier to connect with individuals who are physically closer to us. Have you ever been to a gathering and tried to hold an engaging conversation with someone who was all the way across the room? I think you see where I am going with this...
However, as a speaker, you must realize that there is a whole group of friendly individuals who may be missing out on your gift because they have to strain to hear you. By the way, I call it a “gift” because it is often said that whenever you are presenting you should view it as a present, or rather a gift that you are giving away (this is surprisingly an effective way to lessen anxiety also).
Some of you may be thinking, "Steve, my friends already tell me I'm loud so why does this matter to me?” Excellent question. Here are a few things that will happen when you speak to the back of the room:
Your Head Will Tilt-Up: When you aim to communicate to the furthest point in the room, your head will naturally rise. If you ever watch any of my presentations, my head will often be slightly tilted upwards because it displays confidence. Side note—this is one of the key reasons why most speaking settings come equipped with a platform or stage of some sort. Being elevated gives off a feeling of authority to both you and your audience; your head tilted up creates a similar effect as well!
Better Eye Contact: Eye contact either impresses or infuriates your audience. Always remember that they are there to see you. When you speak to the back of the room, it is a great opportunity for you to establish solid eye contact with everyone. It propels you to take the whole room into account rather than just the front (If direct eye-contact seems frightening, I will share a trick with you in the future that will help; contact me on the side if you want me to message it to you sooner).
Vocal Projection: Please do not mistake this for shouting, as stated earlier. While an increase in volume may be a small part of it, the primary goal is simply to speak in a manner in which all audience members can hear you comfortably. It should not sound forced. Being obnoxiously loud may also just create an unnecessary distraction, which significantly weakens your message. Could you imagine working hard to come up with a great speech, only to realize that the audience left with nothing? Project your voice but do not scream.
Speaking to the back of the room is one tool that I use whenever I deliver a presentation. It works flawlessly every time. This tip works even if you have a naturally soft voice (my voice is not necessarily baritone). Focus some attention on those people in the back and your message will come across powerfully. How does that sound?
Try this for yourself and let me know how it worksout for you!