9) Variance – variance of vocal elements is the most important consideration of all! One of the most persuasive speakers in modern history was Winston Churchill. One of his most remarkable qualities was his ability to vary the elements of his voice. He would start with a slow, laconic voice and then switch gears to a more rapid pace. People were light-headed after listening to him! Even if they have no desire to run for political office, students can still use the tools of variance. Have them try to change their pitch, volume, and speed at least once every 30 seconds, if only for just one word. Never let them go more than one paragraph without a vocal variance. This keeps the class locked into the speech, if for no other reason than it sounds interesting! Let the students’ words speak for themselves; reflect their nature through their voices. If they use the word “strangle,” have them say it with a hint of menace in their voices. If they say the word “heave,” let the class feel the onomatopoeic force behind it. If they say the word “bulldozer,” make it sound like a titan earthmover, not like a baby with a shovel.
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