Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Read a good book on public speaking

I bought How to Say It with Your Voice by Jeffrey Jacobi, because someone at a writers workshop said I talked really fast, and I wanted to correct that. I also wanted to make sure I did the best possible job when I sat down to start recording my vlog (which should be very soon).

It's a great book: informative, clear, nonjudgmental, and easy to put into practice. I discovered a few tricks to get over speed talking, and also discovered that one of the things I always thought was a defect in my voice--the way it rises and falls as I speak--is actually a good trait to have. I would recommend this book to anyone who is concerned about the sound of their voice or about public speaking.

There were a few tips I think will be particularly helpful when it comes to recording my vlog:

1. "Underline the important words of your talk with a colored marker to remind you which words need a dramatic pitch change. You can also use italics to signify key words." (You should do this with several words in each sentence. Adjectives and verbs frequently work well for this. You can change pitch by either raising or lowering the pitch, and you can vary is for interest.)

2. "Indicate where you want to take extra time by e-l-o-n-g-a-t-i-n-g key words with dashes. Slowing down can also be indicated with an arrow below the key word."

3. "Write in double slash marks // to signify pauses." Pauses add power to your words.

This book has made me more aware of why I react the way I do to people with different public speaking styles, and I'm looking forward to using what I've learned when I start recording my vlog.


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