The theory of dynamic range in public speaking has been around for half a century. Also known as speaker skills, the concept has been published in literature since the start of the 20th century. It is a skill that was taught in acting classes in years gone by. It is a skill that only a few will be able to attain. If you do, mastery of public speaking is yours to claim.
In microphones, this is the range from absence of sound to the loudest audible sounds, be it a rock band singing or persons voice.
Mastery of this range is a learned process. In public speaking dynamic range involves mastering all the speaker skills. Five speaker skills are perhaps the most important.Pace, Pitch and Power Volume Modulation
Speaking Skill List The complete list of public speaking skills.
Wait, this is not for everyone. Only a few will master this. Not everyone can be an announcer or Master of Ceremony. Likewise not everyone is well suited to do a funeral eulogy. There are numerous places in-between. Like the variety of foods we enjoy, many of us have a variety of skills and talents that others do not have.
To master the dynamic range in public speaking will require practice. It will take a lot of hard work.
If you dare go on, check out each of the five speaker skills involved with dynamic range, practice and use. In time and with mastery, the dynamic range can be yours to possess.
How To Do It
This is a process that can be done before each and every important speech to be given. If you have ever watched news casters, actors and singers stretching their voices, then you know what public speakers can do to master their voices.
Pace, Pitch and Power. To practice this, read a book out loud. Read a page at a dull, slow monotone. Then read a page as fast as you can while still enunciating the words. A third page reading can include going from the lowest low to the highest high in a wave of high to low to high again.
This is just getting you warmed up. This is the pace part of pace, pitch and power. Next is the Pitch. Read the same page in a slow dull monotone but read it at the high end of your vocal range. Then at the low end of your range. Then like a wave from high to low and back again.
Repeat the process at a moderate pace, going through the three steps of pace, fast, slow and the wave.
Repeat the process at a fast pace. Go as fast as you can, being careful to enunciate each word rather than slurring words (the letter W is pronounced double u rather than slurred as dub-ba-yah).
Next add the power. Reading as slow as possible while still sounding like your reading and not saying a list of words, use your lowest voice add the softest power you can to your speech while keeping your speech above a whisper.
Then read with the same pace and pitch, only add a bit more power. Finally, really bellow it out as powerful as you can without making it sound garbled.
Learn to use power with each of the various paces and pitches available in your vocal range.
Next move the volume from a whisper to as loud as possible while maintaining a natural voice.
Finally, modulation, the hardest to add to the mix. Add it to each of the other speaker skills. Move through your practice reading where appropriate from one pace to another, one pitch to another. Practice varying the power and volume as well.
For books, read something s Who Moved My Cheese?. These are easy reads that will allow you to practice. They are also stories which are great for learning inflection.
Note...These are great for more than practice. They demonstrate the value of and how to tell stories. As best sellers, many who you public speak to will have read them. Some may even have had a Cheese Experience based on the Who Moved My Cheese book.
It is only by working through the progression of range of voice that the muscles in the mouth, larynx, and diaphragm can distinguish the difference and start to learn muscle memory.
Yes, your muscles have a memory. Once they are trained, your talent will be almost subconscious. This does not mean you do not have to practice. This does not exclude you from warming up and getting the muscles feeling normal as they go through the paces.
Learning it is not enough. Warm up is essential before every speech you give.
This is what will separate the good from the great. Most people are not willing to put in the time to do this essential element of public speaking mastery.
This is to public speaking what dynamic range is to singers and actors. They learned and mastered the skill to perfect their craft. Learn it, master it and attain Speechmastery.
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