Dear Friends:

I’ve been in a delightful flurry of SpeakFluence coaching activity these past weeks, including a week out of the country, so I haven’t posted for a bit. I have a number of Posts I’d like to share. For today, here’s an important tip to help you engage and captivate your audiences.

Speak in Phrases or “Chunks” and use plenty of downward inflections for strength and impact in your speaking. Every sentence has one or more word phrases in it. You will insert mini-pauses between the phrases, which may be as short as a millisecond to whatever length seems appropriate. This approach makes your content have more immediate clarity of meaning to your listener. They can digest the information more quickly and effectively.

The “downward inflection” (think “Down the Hill”) is the opposite of what I call “upspeak,” which sounds like a question. Generally upspeak dilutes assertiveness and strength of delivery. When you speak downward at the end of a phrase or important point, the message conveys a stronger impression to the ear. Be sure, however, not to speak softer when doing this; and maintain your energy.

You can practice this by marking your written copy with little slashes where you want pauses between phrases, and a little downward arrow when you want to be sure and speak downward. A quick way to practice is to speak the Pledge of Allegiance, and observe the pauses/phrasing and vocal inflection.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. Have a fabulous week!