Find and Power your Authentic Voice – Lesson 6 – Voice Melody

Voice Melody – The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the melody of speech as — “the intonation of connected speech: the continual rise and fall in pitch of the voice in speech.”

In an earlier lesson, I described the ability and how to of the human voice to have 36 different pitches. On the average most people use four or five pitches at the most.

You can vary pitch within one word. You can vary pitch within a string of words. You can vary pitch from sentence to sentence. What you choose depends on what word thought or emotion you want to emphasize.

Most of you know you speak with no melody to your voice. You speak with a solid burst of air with little or no pitch variance. Out loud, say the word HELLO emphasizing HE with a high pitch and LLO with a low pitch. Reverse the process. Say the sentence “hello how are you today” with as many pitch variances as you can. Repeat the process using pitch to emphasize the word in the sentence that has the most meaning for you. Do you want to emphasize you or today? I know some of you are concerned that you might sound singsongey. When you start this process you might sound singsongey. Finding and using your authentic voice takes practice.

musical scale_3

Stress is the relative emphasis you give to certain syllables or words by making the words louder, longer or higher or lower in pitch.

Another technique for building melody in your voice is by varying pace. The simplest rule of thumb is to stop or pause at every punctuation mark. The pause can be a millisecond. The pause could be a full second. The length of the pause depends what you want to emphasize following the pause. Or the length of the pause can be used to allow the preceding comments to sink in.

Monotone verses pitch, stress and pace variance in your speaking voice allows you to color your voice to create interest and attention from your listeners.

Practice Practice Practice


Blumsack Brown BackgroundAs a coach, trainer and consultant, Larry Blumsack partners with people and organizations on the move and those already there to accelerate their communication, presentation and speaking skills to be on par with their ambition. Through one-on-one coaching and group training Larry helps leaders and aspiring leaders elevate their presence and communication skills to influence more people, sell more products-services-ideas and inspire others more successfully than they ever imagined.

Larry is the bestselling author of Face-to-Face is The Ultimate Social Media and founder of Zoka Institute and Zoka Training®. Zoka Training® — Mind/Voice/Body/Mindfulness in sync — is the result of Larry’s 45 years as a coach, acting teacher, actor, voice-over artist, theater and TV director/producer, radio & TV commentator and show host, speaker, trainer, serial entrepreneur, and syndicated columnist. Larry was a founding member of the theater department at Northeastern University.

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