Say the words UP and DOWN the scale! How can you get your message across in a more vibrant manner? [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
―the quality that enables us to judge a sound as “higher” or “lower” in a sense associated with musical melodies.
… is pitch only applicable in music?
Pitch is also evident in our day-to-day conversations as well as in public speaking!
According to Dale Carnegie in the book, “The Art of Public Speaking,”
“By pitch, as everyone knows, we mean the relative position of a vocal tone―as high, medium, low, or any variation in between. In public speech, we apply it not only to a single utterance, as an exclamation or a monosyllable, but to any group of syllables, words, and even sentences that may be spoken in a single tone.”
Carnegie said the distinction in vocal tone is important.
Changes in pitch on successive syllables or word groups of different sentences make your message more effective and impactful.
In other words, pitch variations add color and life to your talk!
Here are some of Carnegie’s insights about why differences in pitch are important in a speech or presentation:
A change in thought requires a change in voice pitch.
For Carnegie, this is the logical basis of every good voice variation.
Throughout your speech or presentation, your pitch should vary depending on what you’re saying.
If you’re making an introduction to your audience, your pitch should be higher.
On the other hand, your voice tone should be lower if you’re about to end your talk.
It’s like a constant wave of ups and downs to get your message across in a more vibrant manner.
While changing your voice pitch is sometimes challenging―especially when you memorize your presentation script―it’s important that you still make an effort to improve your way of delivery.
Show your audience that you value their time and attendance by staying away from a monotonous talk!
If you’d like to hear how monotony sounds, strike the same note on a piano or any other musical instrument over and over again.
You’ll realize that no matter how beautiful a sound is, it can still be boring for an audience to listen to for a long period of time if there are no changes to the tone.
Apply this concept in public speaking, too!
No matter how useful your message is, if you don’t add a twist to how you deliver it, the impact on your audience won’t be as great as when you level up your talk.
So… what’s one solution you can do?
Keep your audience from getting bored by adding variations to your vocal tone!
A change of pitch is one of nature’s highest methods in capturing the attention of listeners.
Take time to listen to how birds sing.
Which type of bird is more pleasing to hear? The one whose voice, though sweet, has little or no range at all or the one that utters its notes in continual variety of combinations?
We bet you’d choose the latter!
See? Even a sweet-toned chirp, when repeated continuously without change, can become boring to listeners.
Observe people’s conversations that you hear on the street or at home. Take note of the continual changes in voice pitch. You’ll hear that casual talks of people, whether children or adults, are full of different pitch variations.
Let’s go back to public speaking…
As much as you can, try to deliver your message in a purely conversational tone with several changes in pitch.
Think about how you can make your audience feel like you’re simply discussing something in a casual conversation with a friend instead of a memorized monologue.
If you’re in doubt about the impact you’re making in your speech or presentation, rehearse in front of a friend and after one round, ask him or her if your message sounds too memorized.
If your friend answers “yes,” then you have to restructure your talk and level up your way of delivery.
However, if he or she doesn’t feel like you’re just delivering a memorized speech or presentation, then awesome! That means listeners in your actual talk will probably feel that way as well.
A change of pitch creates emphasis.
According to Carnegie, variety in pitch maintains an audience’s interest.
One of the ways you can make sure your audience doesn’t lose interest in your talk?
It’s to change your voice pitch suddenly and to a marked degree!
“What are we going to do next?
(High pitch) Let’s take a look at some of these ideas!
(proceed with what you have to say next with a lower pitch)”
By applying a sudden change in your vocal tone, you’ll more likely achieve greater emphasis on your message.
Remember that you should do this in your speech or presentation only when appropriate or necessary.
You wouldn’t want to suddenly shout at your audience too often while delivering your message.
To summarize our points in this article:
|–||A change in thought requires a change in voice pitch.|
|–||A change of pitch is part of how nature captures the attention of listeners.|
|–||A change of pitch creates emphasis.|
Take note of the importance of using pitch variety in your talk!
Say the words up and down the scale, first touching one note then another above or below it.
By doing so, you’ll be able to effectively add color to your discussion and sustain your listeners’ attention throughout your speech or presentation.
Apply these important insights from Carnegie the next time you deliver a talk!
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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