Pitch is the intonation given to a word when spoken. It can also refer to the overall tonal quality of the voice. How can this quality of voice be mastered? How can it affect the meaning of words used?
The Voice Quality of Pitch
The voice has a higher or lower tonal quality depending on the size of the vocal cords. Children and women typically will have higher voices. Men typically have lower tonal voices.
Another aspect of how we are made is that the smaller the body the higher the voice.
Other things will affect this quality of voice. Smoking will tend to make a voice deeper in a woman.
Being tense or stressed will cause both men and women to have a higher voice. Although not a problem for women, it is very noticeable and annoying when a man has a high voice.
Solution: stress management and conscious voice management.
The second aspect of this quality has to do with tonal intonation.
Using Intonation in Public Speaking
A more important aspect of intonation is the use to accent the words you speak.
Using variations in intonation can convey surprise, change a statement into a question, or express information flow (topic-focus, contrasting).
In these cases, tones can change how the audience is intended to interpret a word.
Exercise...From Monty Python and the Holy Grail comes the lines...
Sir, by what name be you known?
Some call me Tim?
If you have ever asked a question of an uncertain youth and they reply with an upward tonality of voice that makes their answer sound as though they are asking a question in answering the question, then you know the importance of tonality.
In the Tim example above, the Tim is said with an upward tonality as asking the question...is your name Tim?
Is this tonal skill necessary to be a public speaker? No. To attain the dynamic public speaking, mastery of this skill is essential.
When you master the use of your voice and more importantly the tone of your voice, you are on your way to speechmastery.
Nerves and Tonality
Some speakers, especially when they are nervous may as a result, have their vocal cords tighten up. This raises the tone of your voice. It may take conscious thought to get your voice to come back down to where you speak best.
Another challenge, even for experienced speakers, is when excited, the tone may increase in the words spoken. Again, consciously being aware of this can help you to maintain relaxed vocal cords so that your tone is normal when speaking.
Go to Dynamic Range Page and learn how to put this all together.