How to be more expressive when speaking in public - Pitch

Do you want people to listen to you? Want to sound more interesting? Do you want to become and even greater speaker and command your audience?

Carrying on with my series of videos on ‘How to be more expressive’ when speaking in public, I wanted to talk about pitch in speech.

In singing, we change the pitch of a note to follow a prescribed melody, and as singers we all have a slightly different range depending on our gender, but also our physiology. That range and control of the pitches can be improved with training.

Now, we can use this melodic expression for speaking, in fact, if you were to stop at any time during a dialogue and extend the sound of the vowel you finished on, then you would find that it was a certain pitch. The range and the variety of pitch you use will make you sound more melodic and ultimately more interesting, engaging the listener for longer.

“Monotony can only be overcome by variation” Arnold Schoenberg

Try these two exercises to find your different voices:

Ex. #1 - Singing siren:

Not only is this a great vocal warm up exercise used by thousands of singer across the world, it’s a fantastic way to explore your vocal range and smooth out an cracks you have in your voice.

Say the word ‘singing’ and hold the last sound - singing… (a Consonant digraph)

Ex.#2 - Closing your mouth

I’m not suggesting you talk with your mouth closed….

No, try saying a simple sentence, something you would say every day, such as:

“Could I have a cappuccino, a glass of tap water and one of those lovely vegan muffins you have over there please”

Now, say it with your mouth closed. You’ll notice that you can hear the sound and the intonation more clearly.

Still with you mouth closed, say it again, but this time really try and exaggerate the high pitches and low pitches.

Now, say it out loud (with your mouth open) and you should find a much more expressive variation in pitch