The way you say things is as important as what you say.

Even the most inspiring, and powerful message can sound flat if you fail to ignite your listeners’ passion through how you say it.

Here are a few strategies:

Remember to accentuate what you say: 

  • Decide which word or phrase you want to accentuate in a sentence.  Underline or highlight it.  Then, when you speak, using your voice, place the emphasis on that word or phrase.

To avoid monotony, intonate:

  • Your voice can be loud or soft, high-pitched, or a low-pitched. You can speak fast or slowly.  When you don’t not use these variations, you sound monotonous. You don’t want to sound as if you are reading your speech.  Find the one word or phrase in each sentence that is the key point.  Use your voice to ‘carving’ out the meaning of the sentence clearly.

William James, an American psychologist and philosopher, (1842 - 1910) said,

The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

My husband and I attended a family workshop last Saturday. The facilitator had just developed this workshop and it was the first time that she presented her workshop to a group of friends. She had asked the small audience to evaluate her presentation and provide suggestions for improvement. Boy, and did they shoot her down. Hey, all of us can improve, but there is lots we do right, don't you think? It reminded me of the power that words have.

My husband and I attended our school hostel’s yearly ‘Candle light dinner’ the other day.  It’s a fund-raising event (all school and hostel events seem to be fund raising these days). Yes, you guessed it, there were speeches, announcements, an auction… plenty of them…

Aaah, what a pleasure it was to listen to the hostels’ patron introducing the evening:

She spoke with wonderful clear pronunciation, and loud enough to reach even those people who chit-chatted during her speech.  Her emphasis was varied and interesting, she has a well-rounded voice (like some of the lovely red wine we had for the evening).

She did not ‘hit’ us with her voice over the microphone (ok, our female voices don’t usually do that, but guys, do you know how to use the microphone without causing damage to our ears?)

But best of all: she painted pictures for us in our minds – describing places, smells, events, people, activities, colours – we could imagine the scene – and she had us spell-bound!