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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Public Speaking & Voice Modulation

Public speaking is not just opening your mouth with a few gestures to convey emotions. Your voice should be pleasant to the ears of the audiences so that they would be interested in listening to what you have to say.
Part of the improvement as a public speaker is improvement of your speaking voice. Your voice is the best tool in public speaking. Without your voice, you would be able to deliver a single speech because you will never be heard. Your voice allows you to communicate to your audiences, convey ideas and even solicit emotions and reactions because of your compelling speech.
You have to slowly improve the quality of your voice as this will help you became an efficient speaker. A good sounding voice can easily attract audience and the message gets across faster.
  • Breathe from your diaphragm – Practice long and controlled exhales. When you speak, use breath to punctuate your point. For example, take a breath at the end of each phrase whether you need to or not. Use that opportunity to pause and let the listeners absorb what you say.
  • Use pitch – Lower pitches generally are more soothing to hear. However, modulating your pitch for emphasis will keep your listeners engaged. Develop your pitch by practicing humming.
  • Moderate your volume – Find out if you speak too loudly or too softly. When you begin speaking, ask your audience how your volume is (each situation is different). Try to stay at the appropriate volume throughout your speech.
  • Moderate your pace – This one is also closely related to breath. If you speak too quickly, people can’t keep up. If you speak too slowly, people will lose interest. Record your speech to determine if you need to change your pace. Get feedback from others.
  • Articulate – Try exaggerating your lip movement to reduce mumbling. Practice articulating tongue twisters and extending and exaggerating vowel sounds. Become an expert at articulating tongue twisters as quickly and crisply as possible. Focus on the ones you find difficult.
  • Practice your speech in advance and determine where you want to pause for a breath. For more emphasis, pause for more than one breath. Mark your breathing points in your notes.
  • Loosen up before you begin. Look side to side. Roll your head in half-circles and roll your shoulders back. Shift your rib cage from side to side. Yawn. Stretch. Touch your toes while completely relaxing your upper body, then slowly stand up, one vertebra at a time, raising your head last. Repeat as needed.
  • Posture – Stand up straight and tall to allow full lung capacity and airflow.
  • Record your voice repeatedly using different ways of speaking. Determine which one is most pleasing.
  • Practice breath control – Take a deep breath, and while you exhale, count to 10 (or recite the months or days of the week). Try gradually increasing your volume as you count, using your abdominal muscles—not your throat—for volume. Don’t let your larynx tense up.

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