Pitch and Tempo

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pitch and tempo for effective presentation

If you're male, your voice will have a lower pitch than most of your female friends. If you are very slender, you will probably not have as much vocal resonance as someone with a larger chest cavity. But don't despair. There are many features of your voice that you can change with a little practice and if you are going to be giving a presentation, a little bit of vocal warm-up may be all the practice you will need to sound dramatically better.

The truly controllable and therefore changeable features of your voice are:

1) volume,

2) Tempo.

3) Pitch,

4) Quality,

5) Articulation,

6) Pronunciation.

Let's consider each one and discuss some exercises you can do to make each of these areas of your voice as First, volume is simply how loud or how soft you speak. If you are giving a presentation, you will probably need to speak louder than you would in an informal conversation.

A good exercise to increase you volume is to stand at one end of a large room (preferably a room the same size as that where you will give your presentation) and practice "bouncing" words off the back wall as if they were tennis balls. If you can, have a friend sit at the back of the room and see if the friend can hear you. If you don't have a friend who can help you, record your efforts on a tape recorder that you can playback to see if you are achieving your volume goals.

If you feel comfortable producing individual words in this manner, move up to entire sentences, and then paragraphs. Also, practice varying your volume. For important words, increase the volume making the words quite loud, and then decrease the volume to a very soft, but still audible level.

Second, tempo refers to the speed at which you speakhow fast or how slow. Most speakers who give presentations speak too fast. When you are practicing, you might try timing yourself. A nice comfortable tempo is around 140 to 180 words per minute. If you speak...
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