33: Public Speaking, Voice-Over, and Speech Communication Talking Tips
with Elaine A. Clark.

As a speaker, when you need to quickly change direction and attitude, the ‘Dip-Down’ is your Word Emphasis choice. This Real Talking Tips dip-down technique uses opposing gestures, movements, voice pitch, tempo, and attitude to create a story arc. It’s another effective speaking tip to engage the listener and prevent the message from ‘flat-lining’.

The purpose of the dip-down is to speak so opposing information from the past “before moment” is clearly defined and understood. Then, when the voice and attitude quickly shifts in the opposite direction in the second part of the dip-down, the speaker takes the listener to the outcome and result of the “current moment” information, message, and attitude.

Practice adding Dip-Downs in this 7th of 11 Real Talking Tips Word Emphasis lessons. Each element of the Word Emphasis Chart introduced in Episode 27 adds variety and attitude to words and phrases! In the last six episodes, we added a • dot , Arrow Up and Caret Up , Arrow Down , Caret Down , Wiggle , and Word Stretch , and Parenthetical ( ) to key words and phrases. Practice along with this Real Talking Tips vidcast, podcast, and blog, my Elaine Clark app, Adding Melody To Your Voice, and my best selling books, There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is and Voice-Overs for Podcasting.

Click the video to watch or select the audio podcast by clicking start or selecting the audio player in the icon below.

DIP THE PITCH DOWN AND CHANGE TEMPO.

Now that we made it to the 7th of 11 Word Emphasis lessons, it means we’re over half-way through this Real Talking Tips mini-series. The Word Emphasis movements and speech variations that we worked on so far include a • Dot , Arrow Up and Caret Up , Arrow Down , Caret Down , Wiggle , and Word Stretch , and Parenthetical ( ). These movements, and now the Dip-Down plus the new techniques that will be added to this Word Emphasis series, are the speech equivalent to playing scales and chords on the piano, guitar, clarinet, or any other musical instrument! As well as following the musical style, pitch, and intonation movements conductors use when directing singers and musicians to add variety and dynamics to their performance.

Music is a series of connected scales, individual notes, and chords assembled in a variety of ways to create unique tunes and musical styles. And so is the speaking voice. Speakers, when they add their unique pitch, emphasis, and tempo variety to a spoken message, helps hold a listener’s attention. It can draw the listener into the key information or distract the listener from absorbing information the speaker doesn’t want the listener to retain.

The Dip-Down is another way of using alternating hand gestures to change the pitch, focus, and speed of the speaking voice.

= dip the pitch down and speed up the tempo on a phrase or sentence

As described in the Word Emphasis Chart shown in Episode 27, my books There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is and Voice-Overs For Podcasting, and my Adding Melody to Your Voice app… the Dip Down dips the pitch down and speeds up or slows down the tempo of the next phrase or sentence.

Word Emphasis #7: Change Direction with a Dip-Down.

In Real Talking Tips Episode 31, we used both hands to billboard and stretch out proper nouns, business names, company brands, and titles. The Dip-Down also requires that the speaker use two hands but in a different way. This time, the hands move in opposing directions, are placed at slightly different positions, and the speed of the movements vary.

To demonstrate, let’s get physical! That means, get both hands ready for the Dip-Down. With both hands pointing out, drop one hand slightly lower than the other hand. Then, move the top hand away from the other hand in a slow to medium pace. When that hand movement is complete, the lower hand moves quickly in the opposite direction.

Here’s an example of a dip-down:

The purpose of the dip-down is to speak so opposing information is clearly defined and understood.

5 WAYS TO SPEAK THAT CHANGE THE PACE, PITCH,
AND ATTITUDE.

When a speaker has a Muddy speech pattern, it’s hard to decipher the meaning and separate the various elements in the message. The person speaks in the same musical and physical direction without changing the pace, pitch, tempo, or word focus. That’s tough to follow when there is more than one Who, What, Why, When, or How bit of information. The Dip-Down is a technique that provides clarity, story arc, and a quick attitude shift.

One of the things that made the classic “Got Milk?” advertisements so popular was the opposition of the two words. The situations in the advertising campaign showcased a problem that only milk could solve, yet wasn’t available to the person in the scene. “Got” was read normally in one direction. “Milk” was said slower with a hint of danger in the opposite direction. So those two words were 180˚ apart.

To achieve that 180˚ message shift, both hands gesture out in opposing directions. To add a hint of danger to the title of this podcast using the same concept as ‘Got Milk’, start with both hands in loose fists facing down. Flip the left hand up and point that thumb out on the word “Got.” The right hand then flips up and the thumb on that hand points out on “Real Talking Tips.” Because the hand movements are angled (rather than flat and straight), the attitude in the voice is more ironic, sarcastic, and a tiny bit dangerous.

1. HANDS FLAT, FACING DOWN:

2. LOOSE FISTS WITH THUMBS ANGLED

3. LONGER SENTENCE – HANDS FLAT TO THE GROUND:

4. LONGER SENTENCE WITH LOOSE FISTS AND THUMB ANGLED OUT:

5. COMBO – FLAT HAND MOVEMENT FOLLOWED BY LOOSE FIST AND THUMB ANGLED OUT:

Opposite movements and the shape of the hands are useful in taking the listener from the “Before” moment to the “Present”. Practice reading aloud or saying a sentence in a straight line (without the dip-down) and again with the opposing hand gestures. Listen to how the voice shifts and adds clarity to the opposing statements. Try this technique at work when you make a sales call, presentation, podcast, or voiceover recording.

Join me next time in Real Talking Tips Episode 34 as we do the WAVE.

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