Speaking, cont'd...

Voice Inflection

girl texting

Inflection describes various changes in your voice when speaking. In addition to the volume level at which you speak, inflection also includes tone, pace, pitch, and modulation or intonation of the words that come out of your mouth.

The below exercise allows you to practice voice inflection so that you can see how if you place emphasis on the right words, your intended message will be correctly conveyed.

Slowly say the following sentence out loud, "I did not say she lost the coat."

Now, repeat that same sentence, but this time with voice inflection on the word(s) in red.

"I did not say she lost the coat." (If you didn't say it, who did?)

"I did not say she lost the coat." (You didn't say those words, but maybe you texted it, emailed...)

"I did not say she lost the coat." (Did someone else lose the coat?)

"I did not say she lost the coat." (Did she give it away or put it somewhere else?)

"I did not say she lost the coat." (Did you say she lost something else?)


Isn't it interesting how the meaning of the same sentence can change simply by inflecting words? That is why voice inflection is important during training. You do not want your participants to misinterpret what you are saying.

Inflection takes practice, so create some practice training courses and tape yourself to ensure that you are conveying the information you want the learner to acquire. Prior to presenting your online training course, do a dry run. If you sound monotone, you will lose your audience because they will assume you are bored or uninterested in what you are teaching. Present with passion! Speaking too slowly can communicate lack of enthusiam or depression to your audience. Additionally, be careful of ending your sentences or tones on a high pitch. Ending a sentence on a high pitch sounds as if you are uncertain of yourself and will come across as if you are asking questions, rather than making statements.

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