06: Five Tips for Stopping UpSpeak and Landing the Message.

Are you an uptalker? You know, the person who speaks with an upward inflection at the end so it sounds more like a question than a statement. If you ‘re ready to reprogram that speech pattern to land confidently, check out these tips to reprogram your speech pattern out of upspeak and into downward ending statements.

Welcome back. I’m actor, coach, author, app developer, and Real Talking Tips podcast host, Elaine A. Clark. In the last four Real Talking Tips episodes, we concentrated on The Voice: Resonators, Breathing and Vowel Strengthening, Articulation, and Enunciation. Now, we’re going to reprogram…

UPTALK?

… the upward inflection at the end of a sentence that makes a declarative statement sound like a question. There are many theories on where, when, and why uptalk became prevalent and pervasive. It seems to work in some countries like Australia and New Zealand, while it may be interpreted as insecure or meek in other parts of the world. For some, it’s simply a process of culturally replicating what they’re used to hearing. For others, it may be a speech pattern developed as a result of one of the items you listed in the Real Talking Tips Episode 1“My Weaknesses” assignment.

Strengths and Weaknesses notebook

How many times have you introduced yourself in business and social gatherings? What impression does it make if you state your name as a question rather than a statement of fact. Or, if you coach a sports team and add a question to the end of the sentence, “Let’s go out there and win?” Sounds more like wishful thinking than confidence rallying encouragement.

While an upward inflection can be used to imply a willingness to listen to other people’s opinions rather than just your own, many people find that their ideas, advice, or suggestions are dismissed rather than being taken seriously. If so, you may need to reprogram your speech pattern out of uptalk and into downward ending statements.

Here are a few tips on how to stop uptalk and land the message.
1. Flip your hand over and point down on the final word.
2. Reverse your speech melody from starting at a lower note and ending higher, to starting higher and ending down.
3. Press your hand on your desk or thigh to remind your voice to drop lower.
4. When saying your name, imagine it being a firm handshake where the last name corresponds to the lower handshake motion (rather than it lifting up).
5. Press your heels into the ground when finishing your statement.

Practice Assignment #6: Stop Uptalk. Land the Message!

Try each of the five uptalk tips just mentioned to find out which one works best for you, or if a variety of these stop the upspeak methods are needed.

Get comfortable making a comment and letting it land. That means, ending it down and leaving it there so the other person in the conversation knows how you feel and that it’s their time to respond.

If you’re brave, ask a friend or family member to acknowledge or count how many times you use uptalk. Then see if the number decreases over time as you reprogram how you speak.

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