Following on from my last post on using variety in public speaking, how much “force” do you have in your voice.
Observe this statement: “The policeman stopped me and said, ‘Pull over to the curb, Junior!’” When stating this a speaker could boost the force when he or she quotes the policeman, and thereby get variation in the force of his speaking. Some speakers, however, will make a daunting policeman appear as if he were a floor-walker in a trendy department shop.
In public speaking, when relating conversations, use direct quotations – use the exact words each character said, as opposed to to expressing indirectly what was said.
For example, a speaker could say, “Bill said that he had a toothache.” But using these words would not give the opportunity to put variety in vocal tones nearly so well as if the speaker had said, “Bill yelled, Oh-h-h, Oh-h-h-h! This tooth is killin’ me!”
A speaker doesn’t need to be an actor to do this. All he or she has to do would be to make each character speak in his or her own words and manner, to alter his voice naturally and as well as he can to mimic each character. This often gives one a chance to get variety in force, rate and pitch. It also allows an audience a restful chance to hear several words spoken in a tone which is somewhat different than the one typically.used by the speaker. A speaker who is fairly good at mimicking characters may use this skill to add fascinating variety to his speaking.
For practice, say this, “We stopped at a cabin. A feeble old man came to the door and said, ‘Good morning, strangers. What can I do for you?’ ”
As you speak the old man’s words, “Good morning, strangers. What can I do for you?” is your voice slow, rather high-pitched, and without much force?
Now say, somewhat as a rough sailor would speak, “My name is Barney O’Day, and I can wipe up the deck with any man, I can!”
Does this seaman speak faster, deeper, with much more force compared to feeble old man?
Imagining those two characters sounding alike is difficult, yet some speakers would make them sound exactly alike. Of course all speaking will not consist of such vivid contrasts as just indicated, although every speech will offer you possibilities to vary vocal rate, pitch, or force.
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