Have you suffered from a monotone voice? Would you like more vocal variety and a public speaking voice that sounds like music to the ears of the listeners?

In high school I was chosen to be a narrator for the spring concert. Confidently I stood on stage and delivered to several hundred people. My speech was clear and easy to listen to. However, it lacked vocal variety.

The music director told me I was emphasizing every single word. It is like having a sentence with EVERY WORD IN CAPS. Or as one of my speech mentors said, “It was like listening to a machine gun fire.”

Do you remember the old records and how sometimes they would get stuck on the same phrase and repeat over and over again. Many people get their voice stuck in one gear. They may be loud/fast, slow/soft or any combination. When it stays the same, it is monotone and can put an audience to sleep or make it difficult to concentrate.

How to Improve Your Vocal Variety

Patricia Fripp, an executive speaking coach, taught me the following public speaking technique.

Vocal Variety Technique: Only emphasize 2-3 words in a sentence.

Look at the following sentence:

To be successful you need to have goals and a plan to reach them.

To deliver with vocal variety you may say:

To be successful you need to have goals and a plan to reach them.

In high-school I delivered the line like this:

To be successful you need to have goals and a plan to reach them.

Every word was emphasized. You can improve your voice and vocal variety by following Patricia Fripp’s advice: emphasize 2-3 words a sentence. Do this and it will sound like music to your audience’s ears.

To emphasize a word, change how you say it. Even pause for a micro second beforehand. This subtle shift in your voice will cause the words to stand out. Record yourself before and after. You’ll notice the extra vocal variety and your audience will love you for it.

Practice for just a couple minutes a day, and you soon develop good vocal variety and avoid being monotone.

(C) Arlen Busenitz – Speakinginfo.com

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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