Volume • It doesn’t matter how good your speech is, if your audience cannot hear you! • Your own voice always sounds louder to you than it does to your audience. • Vary your volume as you deliver a speech to add emphasis and create other specific effects. Ex: loudamplifies emotion soft to draw close attention of the audience or to suggest important privileged information.
Volume Drills • Practice reading the following words out loud. With each word, increase your volume slightly. RED ORANGE YELLOW GREEN BLUE PURPLE • Now try varying your volume from loud to soft.
Playing with Volume • Partner A: Read the following passage below and choose two places to increase your speaking volume to add emphasis and emotional intensity. When I got to the theatre and found out that the movie was sold out, I was so angry. I have been waiting to see that movie for three months now and tonight is my only day off all week. If only I had bought my ticket earlier! I tried to bargain with the ticket taker, but he would not even listen to me. First I offered him ten bucks to let me in, then I promised to stay after the show and help clean up all the popcorn and M&M’s on the floor of the theatre. I can’t believe he didn’t accept my offer!
Playing with Volume • Partner B: Read the following passage below and choose two places to decrease your speaking volume to draw in the audience’s attention or suggest important privileged information. You will never guess what happened today in Speech class! We were taking a test and my pencil broke… so I got up and went to the sharpener in the back of the room. That’s when I glance over at Nick and notice that he keeps continuously blowing his nose. I mean he didn’t seem to have a cold or anything, but he must have pulled out that tissue about six times a minute! Then I realize… it is because he has all of his study notes written on the Kleenex. Each time he would blow his nose, he would glance down at the tissue that revealed the answer. It was so obvious! I can’t believe that Mr. Homan didn’t notice.
Pitch • Pitch refers to the highness or lowness of a speaker’s voice tone. • Change in pitch is called inflection. • A speaker’s inflection helps us distinguish between a question and a statement, as well as gauge the emotion of the speaker. • Avoid speaking in monotone when you never change the pitch of your voice at all!
Exercises in Pitch and Tone Tone = the speaker’s attitude towards the subject matter he/she is speaking about. Tone and pitch are closely related! Alternating turns with your partner, read the statement below out loud with the following emotions. Take note of how you change your pitch to convey each tone. BORED UNCERTAIN EXCITED SAD PROUD/BOASTFUL FRIGHTENED
Rate • The speed at which a person speaks. • People in the U.S. usually speak at a rate of 125-155 words per minute. • There is not one specific speaking rate that indicates effective public speaking. • Daniel Webster- 92 wpm • Franklin Delano Roosevelt- 110 wpm • John F. Kennedy- 180 wpm • Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” Speech- opened at 92 wpm and finished at 145 wpm.
Rate • The rate you speak at depends on your subject matter, tone, audience, and occasion. • Generally, you should avoid: • Speaking so slowly that you bore your audience. • Speaking so quickly that your audience cannot understand you or comprehend your message. • Racing through your speech is a common symptom of nervousness and can easily be cured with practice!
PAUSES “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as the rightly timed pause.” ~Mark Twain • Speakers use intentional pause to: • Signal the end of a thought • Give time for an idea to really sink in • Lend dramatic impact to a statement • Signal that an especially important is going to be made or has been made.
Practice the Pause! • Choose two places in the following famous speech excerpt to add a pause. Read it aloud to your partner! Why did you make the choices you did? I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
Pronunciation • Our speaking vocabulary is often different from our reading and writing vocabulary, which explains why we mispronounce written words at times. • Correct pronunciation is essential for your audience to take you seriously. It is important to practice your speech to anyone who will listen and look up any unfamiliar words in a dictionary before you include them in your speech!
Articulation and Enunciation • The clarity with which one speaks. • Sloppy articulation is a bad habit! It includes not fully pronouncing sounds or dropping the ending sounds of words. Ex: goin’, imporant, ya… and other slang. • Public speaking requires clear articulation and enunciation of all sounds. • I’m goin’ to n imporant meetin’ t’night. • I am going to an important meeting tonight.
Red Carpet Announcement • You must practice your announcement so that: • You vary your volume at least once to produce an effect. • You vary your pitch at least once to convey two different emotions or tones. • You speak at a clear and appropriate rate. ** Don’t overthink this… your goal is to read your announcement with more animation than you might otherwise.