36: How to Speak Using the ‘RULE-OF-THREE’.

Hi, I’m Elaine A. Clark, and welcome to Real Talking Tips episode 36. This is my absolute favorite Word Emphasis technique! What makes the Up-Down-Split the Difference speech movements and gestures so important? This Real Talking Tips 10th Word Emphasis technique musically separates important information, making it easier for the listener to receive, define, and comprehend each spoken element. These three elements can be single words, phrases, or full sentences. Using 3 distinct musical speech placements supports the written ‘Rule-Of-Three’ that uses an odd number to achieve humor, uneven tempo, the element of surprise, and overall audience satisfaction. While some of the other Word Emphasis techniques should be used sparingly, this Up-Down-Middle Word Emphasis placement technique should be used a lot!

Watch, read, or listen to this Real Talking Tips Episode 36 podcast for the

10th of 11 Real Talking Tips Word Emphasis micro-learning lessons. Each element of the Word Emphasis Chart [introduced in Episode 27] adds variety and attitude to words and phrases! The last nine Real Talking Tips episodes, we added a • dot , Arrow Up arrow it up icon and Caret Up up caret icon, Arrow Down arrow down2, Caret Down caret it down2, Wiggle wiggle, and Word Stretch stretch out a word, Parenthetical ( ), Dip-Down dip, and the 3-part sentence Wave wave.

Practice along with this Real Talking Tips video, 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. For an effective 5-minute warm-up before speaking, use the Elaine Clark Activate Your Voice app!

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


Hi, I’m Speech Communication Coach Elaine A. Clark with Real Talking Tips Episode 36, the 10th episode in this Word Emphasis mini-series.

For those who tuned in to the last 9 episodes… and those of you just joining this podcast, Real Talking Tips episodes 27 – 35, drilled down on 11 gestures that impact how we talk and present information. These include the: • Dot , Arrow Up arrow it up icon and Caret Up up caret icon, Arrow Down arrow down2, Caret Down caret it down2, Wiggle wiggle, and Word Stretch stretch out a word, and Parenthetical ( ), Dip-Down dip, 3-Part Sentence Wave wave, and Hook Hook.

Now we’ve made it to my all-time favorite Word Emphasis movement: Up, Down, Split the Difference! This one is so special, you won’t find it in the Word Emphasis Chart I posted in Episode 27. It’s not even in my books and apps. I saved this one exclusively for my Real Talking Tips podcast followers.

split difference2 = Up, Down, Split the Difference.

What makes the Up-Down-Split the Difference speech movements and gestures so important? It’s the 3 distinct speech placements that support the effectiveness of the Rule-Of-Three and the element of surprise. While some of the other techniques should be used sparingly, this Word Emphasis placement technique should be used a lot!

Up, Down, Middle
Word Emphasis #10: Talk Effectively by Using 3 Musical Speech Placements to Define Information.

The line down the center of our body is the Mid-Line. It’s the area below the chin and above the stomach. In the upper part of that imaginary center line is the heart. That’s the truth you need to connect with every time you speak. Surprisingly, many people have trouble gesturing and moving their hands in the center of their body. It’s like there’s an imaginary barrier that protects it. So, before we begin this process, let’s cross the mid-line a few times. By that I mean, take your right hand and cross it across your body to the left side. Then take your left hand and cross it across your body to the right side. Repeat that a few times. If you’re aware of your body and breathing, you’ll notice your body relaxing and breathing becoming deeper.

Now that the hands are ready to move to the mid-line, place one hand under your chin. The hand should be flat and parallel to the floor. Now, take the other hand and place that straight flat hand directly underneath the top hand at waist level. If you look in the mirror and realize that your hands are angled slightly to the right and left of your body and not directly in the center, the sound and impact of the speaking voice will not be as effective. Do the mid-line cross over a few more times to help your body accept and allow this movement to reach your ‘center core.’

In previous Real Talking Tips episodes, we worked on on adding speech variety and voice follow through by leaving a hand in place (rather than dropping it) while the other hand gestures in a completely different way. If you keep your muscles engaged and active, the last movement you made will stay in place. Then, the movement you made prior to that will know it’s time to move.

Practice this now. Put one hand under the chin and the other hand directly underneath it at waist level. Now take the first hand (leaving the other hand in place) and move it to the center location between the first two hand movements. Now perform those gestures and say: “Up. Down. Split the Difference.”

Let’s now use this Up-Down-Split the Difference technique in a sentence. Say the first phrase with the hand under the chin, the second phrase with the other hand below it at waist level, and the first hand moving to the center position on the final phrase.

‘Use this Real Talking Tips – Word Emphasis Technique – to improve Speech Communication.’

Up, Down, Split the Difference


By now, your body should be warmed up, your mid-line is accessable, and you have a pretty good idea about the Up-Down-Split the Difference concept. Now, I’m going to throw you a few curveballs. Remember when we circled back for an English Lesson refresher on sentence structure in Episode 34? You need to use that sentence structure and key word focus again so the hand movements are coordinated with the first syllable of each important word, phrase, or sentence. Not a few syllables or a word or two later. When the Voice and Body are in sync and coordinated, these Word Emphasis techniques have maximum impact.

Below are 3 ways to practice coordinating and performing the voice and body Up-Down-Split the Difference technique. These are single words, phrases, and full sentences. As you practice, remember that the wider apart your gestures are the broader your musical speaking range. The less speaking notes you want to use, the closer the hand gestures are together.







But wait… there’s more! You can alter this Up-Down-Split the Difference technique by starting low and going Down-Up-Split the Difference. Or, start in the middle and go Middle-Up-Down. Or, Middle-Down-Up. Craziness, I know! There are so many speech permutations and combinations it’s almost unfathomable why many people speak in a repetitive or monotone manner.

Join me next time in Real Talking Tips Episode 37 as we Take The Word Emphasis Challenge and put all the Word Emphasis techniques from episodes 27-36 into action.


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