Effective Public Speaking Index
It is no secret that sound ( Your Voice ) is produced when the air you breathe vibrates in the vocal chords. It is modified and improved through the movement of your tongue and lips. Ergo, the more control you have over your breath, the better will be the quality of your voice. The following exercises will help you take charge of your breath.
1. Take a deep breath. Block your nostrils. Start counting aloud until there is no breath left and you are forced to take in air from your mouth. Stop. Do this over three weeks. From an initial count of 50-55 you could go up to 120-150.
2. Place a candle on a table about five feet away from you. Blow slowly on the flame from this distance so that it wavers but does not get extinguished. Do this for three minutes daily for three weeks.
3. Count from one to ten, with your ONE being an almost inaudible whisper and your TEN being a shout at the top of your voice. Count backwards again with TEN being a shout down to ONE being whisper. Do this three times a day as often as you can.
4. Repeat the words EEEEE, MM and 0000 ten times each every day. They help you exercise your lips in three directions
5. Open your mouth wide. Move your tongue in and out to its limit.
6. Move your tongue around your lips in a circle.
The Pause :
Public Speaking is like writing an essay. In an essay there are commas, full stops, paragraphs, exclamations and questions, In Public Speaking these are achieved by pauses. While a pause conveys a measured tone of voice, it also gives you an opportunity to breathe and even more important, to marshal your thoughts for the next point.
Some tips :
1. As soon as you reach the podium, don't start talking immediately. Pause. Look around the audience, like a batsman looking around at the field before he faces the bowler. This will take care of some of your nervousness, help you measure up the mood of your audience.
2. When you pause, do so clearly. There must be complete silence. Do not use URE…… and ER…….. as pauses.
3. Pause at every place where punctuation is necessary in a written sentence.
4. Vary the length of your pauses to indicate the transition of your thoughts, the movement from point to point and so on.
5. Use silence as effectively as you would use your speech.
The Pitch :
A speech made in one tone throughout can make it dull and monotonous. The volume control of your voice needs to vary to convey different emotions. Anger, outrageousness are best conveyed at a higher pitch while jokes and persuasive speeches do no need a high pitch. Varying the pitch also ensure that you do not damage your vocal chords unduly. When you talk, assume a normal tone. Raise it or lower it when the occasion demands. If you begin too high, you cannot keep it up for too long. If you start too low - nobody can hear you.
When you lay a little more emphasis on some words in a sentence, it is as if you are highlighting or underling them. The emphasis is an immensely useful tool in the public speakers armoury.
Look at the following sentence.
Ram married Sita at Ayodhya yesterday.
Now see what emphasis can do to this sentence. Read it again while emphasizing the words in capitals.
Each sentence now carries a different meaning!
When you want to emphasize a word or phrase, pause for 2 seconds, before the phrase and then say out the word or phrase in a slightly louder voice. The overall result is simple. You have achieved your purpose.