21: Join Elaine A. Clark as she gives Real Talking Tips to Clarify Your Message and Speak with Authority.
What is Good? What information is Bad? Words can be the same but attitudes and opinions can be completely opposite! When both good and bad information is shared in a script, message, presentation, or conversation, the story and focus of the spoken message and endorsement can get muddy.
Real Talking Tips Episodes 18-22 are about Tempo Changes. Comparing good and bad information fits right into that tempo changing challenge. Here’s why: Good information should be said slower. Bad information should be spoken faster. Adding a smile when saying good information slows down the tempo. Not smiling or remaining emotionally neutral allows the speech pattern to remain steady or get faster. That’s because it requires more facial muscles to smile than frown.
Practice along with these Real Talking Tips at ElaineClarkVO.com/podcast where you can watch the video, read the blog, select your favorite way to listen, share, subscribe, and write a review.
This is Good – This is Bad… or is it?
Comparisons are a fact of life. Good and bad are the extremes with a myriad of subtle possibilities between them. Hi, I’m voiceover actor, business and speech communication coach, Elaine A. Clark. Real Talking Tips offers practical communication tips for professionals, students, and everyone in between.
Real Talking Tips 21 – Good vs. Bad is the fourth episode in a 5-part Add Tempo Changes mini-series. This time we will focus on how to draw positive attention to good information so it stands out when compared to something bad. To clarify, ‘BAD’ doesn’t necessarily mean terrible. NEUTRAL is BAD, too. For instance, a neutral endorsement of a product, service, or person is vastly different than a glowing report and recommendation. When given a choice, we’re more likely to go to the restaurant where the advice giver smiles and says, “That restaurant is good.” As opposed to not smiling and remaining neutral when saying the same sentence, “That restaurant is good.”
Because of attitudes and opinions, the same words can have completely different meanings! And when both good and bad information is shared in a script, message, presentation, or conversation, the story and focus of the message and endorsement can get muddy.
How to make Good Information Stand Out in Speech!
Since Real Talking Tips Episodes 18-22 are about Tempo Changes, comparing good and bad information fits right into that tempo changing challenge. Here’s why: Good information should be said slower. Bad information should be spoken faster. Adding a smile when sharing good information slows down the tempo. Not smiling or remaining emotionally neutral allows the speech pattern to remain steady or speed up. That’s because it requires more facial muscles to smile than a frown.
Let’s take a moment to revisit the example demonstrated in the opening segment of this episode.
- It’s not necessary or natural to smile on every word in a statement. To make this point, smile throughout the whole sentence as you say aloud, “That restaurant is good.” If you kept the smile from beginning to end, it probably felt fake! That’s because the point of view is on the quality and taste of the food not on the fact that it’s a restaurant. Therefore, the smile was only needed on the focus word ‘good’.
- If the speaker only smiles on the POV/focus word but doesn’t slow down, the message can be unclear.
- Therefore, the smile has to start BEFORE the key word and not just ON the word. When that muscle smile movement happens just prior to the key word, that POV word slows down, draws focus, and sounds positive.
Just to add a bit of confusion to the Good vs. Bad, Smile vs. No Smile tempo change, the speaker has to present information from their perspective and point of view. That’s what makes politics and religion contentious talking points. Good information on one side of the issue can be considered Bad from the opposite vantage point.
- If the entire conversation or report is about bad news, then the tempo will remain the same.
- If the speaker wants the bad news to stand out, then the bad news will be slower and delivered with a smirk or smile while the good news spoken in a neutral or negative manner.
- If the bad news is a recap of events leading to a positive solution, then the bad news will be fast and the good news will be slower.
So, good and bad information and how it’s delivered is based on a person’s point of view.
Slow Down on Positives – Speed Up on Negatives.
Here are two tricks I do to quickly change attitude from good to bad.
- TIP 1: If you flip the palm of the hand up, the voice also lifts up and sounds positive. When the palm of the hand is turned down, the voice becomes neutral or negative. For many, the upward hand position is accompanied by a smile while the facial expression associated with the downward hand placement is neutral.
- TIP 2: Another good vs. bad comparison is to assign one side of the body for the good information and the other side of the body for the bad or neutral information.
Below are some practice examples. Prepare your right and left hands to flip up or down. Negative information is italicized and positive information is bolded.
- We handle all your banking needs online, not in line.[The comparison is between locations. Therefore, the hand is flipped up on ‘online’ and down on ‘in line.’]
- Don’t let it happen. Support a Drug-Free America.[The flips down on ‘happen’ and turns up slowly on ‘Drug-Free America.’]
- Vote NO on Proposition Q. It’s a vote for better management, not bigger spending.[The POV of the speaker is that the statements ‘NO’ and ‘for better management’ are positive and that ‘Proposition Q’ and ‘bigger spending’ are negative.]
Keep using these tips to connect your voice and body so you can be “wired for sound.” Please take a moment to share this Episode using the purple bar below. It would be great if you’d add a positive review or comment on my youtube channel as well!. As part of the Real Talking Tips community, let’s work together to improve speech communication!