Chapter 4: Stand and Deliver

Sounding off about Verbal Communication

Your verbal communication skills are of particular importance when you're delivering a speech. The voice has several elements that you can vary as a means to enhance your speech, they include volume, pitch, tone, and rate. As a good speaker, it's your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these areas so you can manipulate them for greatest effectiveness.

You should also consider altering your voice according to your speech. As long as you don't overdo it, you can speak in a lower tone to draw the audience in or raise your voice to underscore a particular point. Similarly, consider whispering when talking about a secret or private conversation and pump up the volume as you speak about a challenge or victory. Sprinkling variety in your volume adds spice.

Pauses also influence the pace. A pause between words or phrases adds emphasis. You can use pauses to highlight certain points, regulate your pace (and prevent you from speaking too quickly), and add dramatic effect.

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