Lesson 68: Speaking- The End Makes The Difference

The job of a teacher, coach or instructor, is to speak. No voice, no job. However, there are sometimes which we could not really do our job even if we have our voices or sometimes the students just would not listen even we spoke louder and louder. There were even times when we could not attract the attention of the students even though we shared a lot of interesting things.

The human voice is the most beautiful instrument of all, but it is the most difficult to play (Richard Strauss)

We need to know how to "play" our our own voice besides having tons of knowledge with us. Human voice is just like an instrument, it will not sound nice without knowing the proper way of playing. The key is TONALITY.

I guess there are many professional musicians who have better knowledge than me. Now we do not want to care much about the loudness, pitch, or tone, just put them aside. Let's look at a simple example.

Everyone knows how does the bell sound and how does the drum sound, doesn't we? Some people has a high pitch which resembles high pitch bell sound, whereas some people has a low pitch voice which resembles the drum.

From the perspective of Neuro Linguistic Programming(NLP), the tonality during speaking is very crucial, especially at the end of a sentence. You will find different meaning if the same sentence were to be spoken in different tones.

For example, "please sit down."

If you raise you tone at the end of the sentence, "Please sit down?", it will be a question with doubts, uncertainty or a sentence full of joy.

If you lower your tone, it will be a command, "Please sit down!".

If you use a flat tone, it will be a normal declarative sentence. What happens when the whole sentence sounds flat? I guess you will sound like a robot. Thus, speaking with merely flat tone throughout a long period of time is the reason for a person to fall asleep.

Then, how is your tonality when you speak? This is important as it will determine whether the students will listen to you or not.

Why is it so?

All of us had went through the moment when the students were noisy and disobedient, right? How was your tone at the end of the sentence when you yell, "Keep quiet! Sit down!"?

When I was doing class evaluation, I found that most of the coaches would use a high tone to say, "Keep Quiet~~~ Sit Down~~~". Raising your tone means that you have doubts, uncertainty or you are just so happy. Well, since you are uncertain and so happy, of course the students will continue to make a mess of the class.

A lot of famous speakers usually use a lower tone at the end of their sentences. For instances, Martin Luther King once said,

"I have a dream that one day
this nation will rise up,
live up the true meaning of its creed:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident;
that all men are created equal."

Listen to Martin Luther King I Have A Dream Speech.

He too, toned down when he was speaking. Now, try to raise your tone at the end of every sentence. It sounds weird, doesn't it? Now, try to tone down at the end of each sentence. It sounds more powerful, doesn't it?

It is the same for conducting a lesson. If you want the students to listen, make sure you use a lower tone when you speak. In this way, you are indirectly "commanding" them to listen to you. Tone down will be more effective than tone up. When the students are making a chaos, cool down and command them to keep quiet using a lower tone. (Make your face look serious. It may help!)

You have to express well. You have to sound well (Joshua J). 

Speaking with the right tonality, is to make the audiences feel comfortable when they are listening, as well as expressing the real meaning of the sentence. So what are you waiting for? Start to be conscious of every sentence that you say!

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