When I teach my clients or my students how to speak with emotion, I emphasize that there is no right or wrong answer with color. Color is the life, the emotion, the animation you express in speaking. Color is determined by your topic as well as your mood or attitude. The only thing that would be considered wrong would be to deliver a speech or presentation without any life or emotion. That is called speaking in monotone and it is boring.
You can be more expressive when you speak but you must first give yourself permission to do so. That is the difficulty. If you have spent your entire life speaking without expression, ‘turning it on,’ so to speak, is going to take effort on your part. It is well worth the effort, however.
What you should do is record your voice when you speak and listen to it. If you find that it is lacking in inflection in which your voice raises and lowers in pitch as you talk, then practice the following exercises.
1. Say the word de–part–ment. When you say the syllable part, lift the pitch of your voice. In closing with the syllable ment, drop your pitch down.
2. Now say the word en-er-gy, dropping your pitch on both the syllables er – gy.
3. The 3rd word I want you to practice is fluor-es-cent in which the pitch of your voice rises on the syllable es.
4. Let’s put this all together and concentrate on each of these words, raising or lowering your pitch as to my suggestions.
- I went to the de-part-ment of en-er-gy, to see if fluor-es-cent lighting was the answer.
In this sentence I asked you to lift your pitch on the syllables in bold. Now I want you to say the sentence again, emphasizing the word I and again lifting your pitch on the syllables in bold.
There are many, many ways to vary your expression and again, no one way is absolutely correct. Try using force on a word when you speak, raising or lowering your pitch, slowing down on a couple of words or speeding up. Expression is entirely up to you; however, you must acknowledge that you want to add some enthusiasm to your delivery and then give yourself permission to do so. Only by recording yourself and listening to the difference will you realize that speaking in monotone is not normal; speaking with expression is.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover the best means of adding some life to your voice and your delivery.