25: Six Tips that Add Musicality to your
Right, Left, Together is the 3rd of 4 in this Real Talking Tips Power Box mini-series speech communication podcast, vidcast, and blog. Typically, the RLT Power Box is horizontal but it can also be vertical, angled, or extend forward and back. In all formations, the right hand gestures to the right, the left hand to the left, and both hands gesture together in the space inbetween.
Using these 3 hand movements, rather than a single repeated gesture with the same hand, results in 3 different musical pitches. One hand has a higher voice, the other hand has a lower voice, and two handed gestures adds strength and gravitas to the voice.
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Power Box: Right – Left – Together
Hi, everyone. I’m Elaine Clark, business, speech communication, and voice-over coach, and the host of Real Talking Tips. Episode 25 Power Box – Right, Left, Together… Everyone is the 3rd of 4 episodes that focus on the speech Power Box.
As discussed and practiced in Real Talking Tips episode 17, we are all ‘Sing-Talkers’. Defining, rehearsing, and refining the melodic power box and the corresponding body-muscle-movement memory takes time and practice for it to become instinctive and natural.
Are you familiar with the musical term – tessitura? To quote Merriam-Webster, it’s “the general range of a melody or voice part. Specifically: the part of the register in which most of the tones of a melody or voice part lie.” The power box performs the same melodic range in speech. The speaking tune may be restricted to 2-3 musical notes or expanded to 2-3 musical octaves.
As creatures of habit, reprogramming and morphing that habit into something better takes time. The brain resists changes in responsibility and control. As the body incorporates new muscle memories, the brain eventually lets go and supports the new process.
Right. Left. Together. Let’s Give It A Try!
The Right-Left-Together Power Box is typically horizontal but it can also be vertical, angled, or extend forward and back. No matter the size and shape of each Power Box configuration, the right hand gestures to the right, the left hand to the left, and both hands gesture together in the space inbetween.
There are 6 simple Right-Left-Together Power Box permutations and combinations.
1. Right, Left, Together.
2. Left, Right, Together.
3. Right, Together, Left.
4. Left, Together, Right.
5. Together, Right, Left.
6. Together, Left, Right.
To add a little complexity to the concept, let’s factor in the mid-line. The mid-line is the invisible line that runs down the center of the body. When one hand crosses the mid-line and moves to the other side of body, the pitch of the voice takes on the quality of the other hand’s voice placement.
Record or listen to your voice as you gesture with your right hand and move it across the mid-line to the left. Then, do the opposite movement and move your left hand across the mid-line to the right side of your body. Two things happen when the gestures cross the mid-line:
- The placement and pitch of the voice raises or lowers when a hand movement or gesture crosses the mid-line.
- Right brain – Left brain transference occurs. As most people’s right hand is connected to the logical left side of the brain and the left hand is connected to emotional right side of the brain, crossing the mid-line subtly changes the attributes to those of the opposing side.
The RLT Power Box has 3 different and unique musical voice placements for each right, left, or both hands together hand movements and gestures. When a speaker gestures with the same hand, the musicality tends to repeat and the message results in sounding all logical or all emotional. To change the pattern, begin speaking with the opposite hand gesturing or both hands gesturing simultaneously.
ADDITIONAL TIP: When a word or phrase needs to stand out, gesture with both hands to slow down the pace and add more power to that part of the message.
Choose Your RLT Speech Power Box.
In the last two Real Talking Tips episodes, we explored the High vs. Low and Big vs. Small power boxes. The Right-Left-Together Power Box can be used inside the vertical, horizontal, or square ‘speaking stages’, too.
Time to Practice: Gesture and say the corresponding hand movement as you stay inside each Power Box shape:
- Large and Small Horizontal Power Box: [Wide] Right Hand. Left Hand. Two Hands Together [Narrow] Right Hand. Left Hand. Two Hands Together.
- Large and Small Vertical Power Box: [Tall] Left Hand. Right Hand. Two Hands Together [Short] Left Hand. Right Hand. Two Hands Together.
- Large and Small Square Power Box: [Big] Two Hands Together. Left Hand. Right Hand. [Small] Two Hands Together. Right Hand. Left Hand.
Not only can the shape of the Power Box change, but also the order of the hand movements, and muscle intensity or looseness. Practice the various combinations to create muscle memory so your body knows what to do when asked to make a presentation, speak in front of a group, record a voice-over script, or record a podcast.
Thanks for being part of the Real Talking Tips community where the goal is to understand, explore, practice, and improve speech communication! The most important thing is YOU and how Real Talking Tips, my books There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is and Voice-Overs for Podcasting, and my two apps Activate Your Voice and Adding Melody to Your Voice can improve your speaking voice, confidence, and message.
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Tune in to Real Talking Tips Episode 26 to complete the final segment of this 4-part speech Power Box mini-series.