In the rise and in the fall, here’s how you can make your talk attention-worthy! [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
Have you ever listened to a speaker who speaks in a monotonous tone?
If you have, you probably couldn’t wait for his or her talk to end so you can leave the venue and forget how tedious that experience was.
Now let’s reverse the situation. You’re the speaker and a lot of people are listening to your talk.
As someone who’s doing most of the talking, you need to be attentive to how you can deliver your speech or presentation in the best possible way.
What’s one way to do it?
Using Inflection or Voice Modulation!
―the change of voice tone or the patterns of intonation of a speaker.
In the book, “The Art of Public Speaking,” author Dale Carnegie said,
“The bare words are only so many bricks―inflection will make them a pavement, a garage, or a cathedral. It is the power of inflection to change the meaning of words that gave birth to the old saying ‘It is not so much what you say, as how you say it.’”
One of your goals as a speaker is to make sure that your listeners correctly understand the message you are trying to convey.
To achieve that, you have to practice your voice pitch. This means you have to avoid having a monotonous tone throughout your talk or else your audience will get bored and you’ll risk them not getting a good grasp of your message.
There are 2 kinds of inflection:
- Rising Inflection – The change of voice pitch or tone from a lower note to higher note.
- Falling Inflection – The change of voice pitch or tone from a higher note to a lower note.
If you learn to manage the pitch of your voice and understand when to use each kind of inflection, you’ll be able to capture the attention of your audience and help them interpret the main points of your speech or presentation correctly.
So… how do you practice and apply voice modulation techniques in your speech?
- Talk slowly.
*Inhale, exhale… Inhale, exhale…”
Take deep breaths to avoid speaking too fast during your talk.
This is because when you’re under pressure or stress, you tend to breathe fast. When this happens, your manner of speaking will be affected and your voice will sound strained.
On the other hand, when you take deep breaths and speak in a calm manner, you’ll be able to manage your voice inflection properly.
So, take deep breaths and slow down.
- Record your speech or presentation rehearsals.
This technique will help you take note of the areas you need to improve and work on.
Additionally, recording your rehearsals enable you to keep track of your progress and identify whether or not you’re using the appropriate voice modulation.
Remember that the voice tone you use must help your listeners understand your message.
Take note of how you can use rising and falling intonations to get your message across.
Rising inflection – Used to indicate questioning, surprise, or suspense.
- This is important!
- What do you mean?
- My heart breaks for this country!
Even when you’re just reading the statements above, you’ll notice the change of pitch from low to high―that’s how rising inflection works.
Falling inflection – Used to indicate confidence, power, and certainty.
- There it is.
In these statements, the pitch can be changed from high to low to do a falling inflection.
Taking note of the changes on your voice pitch during your rehearsals will help you effectively deliver your message without any complications.
Record your practice sessions and see where a change in voice modulation is a must!
- Practice the use of pauses.
In public speaking, pauses are important in making your next statement impactful.
… but are you aware that the use of inflection also relies on the use of pauses?
Combining these two enables you to emphasize key words or thoughts you’d like your audience to absorb.
With the help of pauses, you’ll be able to prepare how you should modulate your voice to deliver the right emotions and messages to your listeners.
Practice the use of power pauses to help make your voice inflection more powerful during your speech or presentation.
According to Carnegie,
“This most expressive element of our speech (inflection) is the last to be mastered in attaining to naturalness in speaking a foreign language, and its correct use is the main element in a natural, flexible utterance of our native tongue. Without varied inflections, speech becomes wooden and monotonous.”
This is true in public speaking and in any other type of verbal communication.
Without the proper use of inflections, your whole speech or presentation will be dull, leaving your audience unsatisfied and confused.
If you want your talk to be expressive and worth your listeners’ time and attention, practice these voice modulation tips above.
These tips will keep you from delivering a monotonous presentation and help make your speech more impactful to your listeners.
Apply these proper inflection tips and use your message to leave a lasting positive impression on your audience!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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