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Mastering verbal communication

Updated: Aug 2, 2022



If you want to master the art of good verbal skills while doing public speaking, this article is for you…


Let’s say you are invited on stage for a talk and you are not sure what to say.


People get attracted to your voice; it’s a powerful instrument when it comes to Public Speaking. Your voice will make people sit up & listen or put them to sleep. If you don’t have that kind of voice does it mean you are not a good communicator? No, that isn’t true, these skills can be learnt. In fact you develop a good voice by cultivating certain habits and practices by working on the following aspects:


  • Pronunciation and articulation

  • Emphasis

  • Pace

  • Pitch

  • Volume

  • Pause


These aspects help us to improve our voice & skills and in Public speaking these are our core areas.All the above aspects need practice and understanding of when to use which particular part while we execute the role of a public speaker. Just to introduce some insights, let’s discuss a few details:


Pronunciation and Articulation


Pronunciation is your ability to speak the words in the right manner. Pronunciation depends on accent. Accent doesn’t mean you need to change your way of speaking; it means you need to pronounce the word clearly. Avoid speaking too fast. While talking fast, we tend to be thinking fast and our ending words will not be pronounced clearly. As a result we’ll either miss out on words or parts of the word will get eaten up by the beginning of the next word.


Emphasis


When we talk, every word in the sentence is not equally important. By emphasizing on the right words, you get the correct meaning across. If you say the full sentence with the same emphasis then the audience will not be pulled towards what you are trying to say.

For best results combine emphasis of words with Volume and tone. Don’t forget, the appropriate body language is also extremely important.


Pace


Pace means how fast or slow you speak. In public speaking, pace needs to be maintained so that your audience is with you throughout your talk. The real issue is not whether you speak slow or fast, but in fact how well you are able to pace your message to communicate in an effective manner. Vary your speed: Synchronize the pace with other vocal elements like pitch, volume, body language.


Pitch


Pitch means how shrill or deep is the frequency of your voice. Each of us has some limits in our voice pitch within which we can modulate our pitch. Too much modulation can actually impact us physically by causing pain to the throat etc. But, sometimes certain interesting changes & usage of our pitch modulation can engage the audience provided you do it the right way.


Volume


Volume is how loud you can talk/speak. You may need a remote control button to manage your volume or maybe, you talk so softly that the other person can’t even hear what you are saying. If you are in a small room, speaking too loudly can be very irritating & putting off for the audience. Volume goes with parameters like speed, pitch and articulation. Talking in high pitch and high volume may drain your internal resources very fast.

Pauses


Periodic pauses during a presentation are essential. Always remember “Silence speaks louder than words.” Watch comedy shows and see the silence, volume, speed, body language. It’s a stage show. A pause helps the audience to reflect on what you said and ask questions. This will engage the audience more, instead of making them hear a monologue from you.


In short, you can improve your voice. It’s God’s Gift. Utilize it properly. Remember, how we learnt our rhymes in school?


Did you sing or recite them in a monotone? No you didn’t. So, practice by reading/ singing your kids story books/ poems or anything else that interests you. Show your passion. Set yourself free and just go on…remember volume, pause, articulation, pitch play an important role.


Verbal skills can be utilized in your day to day activity. Talking to your friends, family, clients, children, grandparents, neighbours, your daily vendors (driver, support staff, vegetable/ fruit, garbage man) & much more…Always remember you may utilize some voice over software to listen to yourself and keep making improvements.


Storytelling is what we need to engage our audience. Tell them with examples and experiences. Remember your childhood, how we used to get engrossed when our parents, grandparents, teachers had story time with us. They read story books to us. Human brain gets stimulated by listening to stories. This helps the speaker to connect with the audience.


Dale Carneige believed in the power of stories to inspire audiences. Stories plants ideas, helps us to visualize in our own way. Stories can be personal, stories about people, any learning through stories (remember to add humor to your stories), borrowed from your grandparents, parents, brand stories. So what are you waiting for to get started? Write, read and record your stories!


By: Gunpreet Kaur(Communications Specialist)


Disclaimer: Kindly note that the above blog has been submitted by members in their individual capacity.


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