Modulate your Voice to create Impact!

Modulation makes meaning. A change in frequency in speaking tone provides the listener with a signal that something is happening. Voice modulation means the fine-tuning of the pitch or tone of voice that helps the audience clearly hear and understand the lecture, presentation, and speech delivered by a speaker. Modulating your voice means moving the pitch up and down. A downwards pitch adds authority to a sentence i.e. unquestioning acceptance. An upwards pitch adds interest to a sentence. It questions and provokes engagement and response.  If the voice is not modulated and the pitch kept same in the entire statement then it will sound odd at its best  and at worst dull, boring or confusing.

For e.g. :-

I was just wondering…whether you would like…maybe to come today?

Some tips you can follow :-

  • Listen to the TV presenter introducing a program or reading the news. Notice how their voice goes up and down very deliberately. They know very well what they are doing.
  • Notice also how the TV presenter moves their head and their in time with the modulation. Their body is often positioned by a table or even off-camera. They have to use just their voice and their head to convey meaning.
  • The most important three speech organs of a human being are lips, jaws and tongue. You have to exercise these three speech organs like other parts of your body. Reading loudly can help you discover the variety, power, ability as well as faults of your vocal organs. Such a regular practice will certainly help you correct and improve your voice modulation.
  • You can at times record your speech on a device, and listen to it later for any flaws. Besides, whenever you attend a meeting, event, lecture, or seminar, you should mark carefully how effective speakers vary the pitch of their voice to match the thoughts, ideas, and feelings they convey. Also, consult a dictionary not only for the meaning of a word but also for the pronunciation of the word.
  • Always convey your message with the variation in the pitch and tempo. Never deliver your speech in a monotone as it will not only bore but also send your audience to sleep.
  • Speak normally at about 125 to 150 words per minute. Check your speed and try to bring it within this range.
  • Pronounce words properly, putting stresses at the right syllables.
  • Speak loud enough so that everyone in the audience can hear you clearly.
  • Pause for a moment in between sentences to control your speed and approach better.
  • Avoid vocalized pauses and nasalization such as ‘er’, ‘ah’, ‘unh’, ‘umm’, etc.
  • Take care that you do not repeatedly use such phrases as ‘you see’, ‘I mean’, ‘What I meant,’ ‘Understand?, ‘Have you understood,’ ‘Clear?’, ‘Is it clear?’, ‘Was it clear?’, etc.
  • Avoid lazy lip movements always try to maintain a balance while speaking or delivering your lecture.

Top 10 Qualities of an Effective Trainer

An effective trainer being a facilitator is one of the most valuable assets to an organization where he belongs, as he creates value to it by providing Invaluable training and development programs – encouraging all learners and contributing to the group learning process effectively and efficiently.

Knowledgeable

An effective trainer is one who holds strong knowledge and experience in the related field. He is well informed about the topics that he needs to deliver in the class or sessions. He knows how to balance the knowledge with good teaching and presentation skills.

Beneficial teaching

His way of teaching with his particular methodologies, being designed, is so beneficial to the students that they can not only develop themselves in terms of what they need, but also can lead themselves to a level from where they can find their own ways for professional growth and development.

Disciplined

He shows respect for everyone and listens to the learners effectively, so that he can advise, inspire, motivate them towards learning and applying the concepts in real life situations successfully.

Qualified

An effective trainer possesses relevant qualifications and required skills and capacity to train the learners in an effective and efficient manner.

Quality training

It is his quality of teaching that causes professional credibility and helps learners gain confidence in them being convinced with the methods he adopts and the way he gives lectures.

Honesty

Be honest with the group you are presenting to. If you don’t know the answer to a question, admit it. You can always respond with: “I’m not sure but I will check into it”. You gain the respect of the audience and establish yourself as a human being, not some kind of hero. Always, however make sure that you DO check into it and that you get back to the individual who asked the question.

Purposeful training

Have a purpose for your presentation. Share your expectations with your audience. Divide any presentation into segments and establish criteria for each segment that you attain with the group you are presenting. Ensure that the subordinate goals are reached by the audience before leaving a section to move on to the next.

Exemplifying

A unique way of giving examples and presenting case studies while implementing particular strategies to make the students understand the whole course module successfully creates great interest in students to attend the lectures regularly, while his art of articulation motivates them to be more desirable of gaining more knowledge and understanding and insight.

Designing course curriculum

He is capable enough for designing the course curriculum or manual successfully. He gets the students completed the specific designed courses through is valuable lectures and training methods.

Motivates the participants

An effective trainer not only raises learners’ spirits to share their experiences encouraging their contribution to the group learning process, but also validates their experiences acknowledging their feelings stem from their own perspectives.

What are Vowels and their Sounds

A vowel is classified as a speech sound produced by a comparatively open configuration of the vocal tract, with vibration of the vocal cords but without audible friction.

The letters A, E, I, O, and U are called vowels. The other letters in the alphabet are called consonants.

A vowel sound (but not necessarily a vowel in the actual spelling) will be present in a syllable.

The letter Y can be a vowel (as in the words “cry”, “sky”, “fly” or “why”), or it can be a consonant (as in “yellow”, “yacht”, “yam” or “yesterday”).

These five or six letters stand for about 20 vowel sounds in most English accents.[1] This important fact helps to explain why pronunciation can be difficult for both native speakers and learners of English.

  • The rest of the letters of the alphabet are consonants:

B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y (sometimes), and Z

When a vowel sounds like its name, this is called a long sound. A vowel letter can also have short sounds. Whether a vowel has a long sound, a short sound, or remains silent, depends on its position in a word and the letters around it. Click on the following vowel letters to hear their long and short sounds.

a pronounced in the alphabet as ay (as in the word mate)

e pronounced in the alphabet as ee (as in the word edict)
i pronounced in the alphabet as ei (as in the word life)
o pronounced in the alpbabet as oh (as in the word only)
u pronounced in the alphabet as yu (as in the word union)

y pronounced in the alphabet as why is usually considered to be a consonant (as in yet). But it also is used as a vowel (as in merry), and then functions as a letter i.

The vowel a may be pronounced:

1. a as in apple (short a)
2. a as in father (long a)
3. ay as in mate (peculiarly English a)
4. as a schwa*.

5. “e” as in many.

6. “aw” as in mall.
7. “o” as in alter.

8. “eh” as in Mary.

 

The vowel e may be pronounced:

1. e as in get (short e)
2. e as in beta ["bay-ta"] (long e)
3. ee as in edict (peculiarly English e)
4. as a schwa*.

5. “uh” as in mercy.

6. or it may be silent as in life.

 

The vowel i may be pronounced:
1. i as in pit (short i)
2. i as in machine (long i)
3. ei as in life (peculiarly English i)
4. as a schwa”

 

The vowel o may be pronounced:
1. o as in font (short o)
2. oh as in only (long o)
3. “uh” as in some.

4. as a schwa*

 

The vowel u may be pronounced:
1. u as in full (short u)
2. u as in brute (long u)
3. yu as in union (peculiarly English u)
4. “uh” as in cup

Know the Perfect Handshake!

Firmness of handshake is not the reliable indicator of firmness of character that many believe it to be. Firm handshakes tend to be those of confident people, especially those who have spent some time in business, and who realise that most people in business consider a firm handshake to be a good thing. A proper handshake should last from 3 to 6 seconds, be equally balanced meaning each persons hand is vertically side by side, thumbs must be locked around each others upper hand and fingers have a firm grip.

There are many types of handshakes you will come across every day, here are a few:

Hand Hug: The hand hug is perceived as being warm, friendly,  trustworthy and honest, and sometimes this handshake is reciprocated creating a pile of 4 hands.  However, this type of handshake is only done genuinely with people who share close bonds, as similar to hugs, this handshake is seen as an invasion of intimacy when done by people who have just met.

Dominator: Someone who likes to shake hands while their hand is on top and their palm is facing the ground. This handshake may come handy in certain situations like letting your boss feel powerful by ‘submitting’ to his dominance, or if you are apologizing about something, letting someone have their palm on top will make them feel in control of the situation.

Cold and Clammy: This handshake is where the person shaking your hand has a cold sweaty hand. This handshake can be found in nervous people with weak characters or a lack of energy used by passive or apathetic people.

Crusher: The overly aggressive personality handshake displays  confidence and power.  This is the handshake that makes your knuckles grind each other when shaking, and leaves your hand in numbing pain afterwards so that you dread the moment you have to shake their hand goodbye again.

Queens Fingertips:  This is quite common in male-female encounters.  As women need more personal space than men, they will stretch out their hand from a distance allowing the other person to barely grasp the two or three fingers without a good grip of the hand.  It is also used by individuals who feel superior to the other person, e.g: The Queen, therefore stretching out their hands with their palms downwards (a sign of authority/superiority) and only allowing a hold of the fingers.

Keep Back:  Another type of handshake used by aggressive types.  The main purpose of this handshake is to keep you at a distance and away from the persons personal space as they may feel threatened.

Yank and Pull:  This handshake is considered a power play, as it’s when a person decides to grab your arm and pull you in close towards them and inside their territory/personal space.

 

What are Pronouns?

Neha has to study in order for Neha to get the job that Neha wants.

 A pronoun is a word that takes the place of or refers to a noun. You may recall that a noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. To cut down on repetitiveness, I can change my original sentence to:Neha has to study in order for her to get the job that she wants.

In this sentence, the word ‘Neha’ is a noun, and the words ‘her’ and ‘she’ are pronouns that replace that noun. There are several different types of pronouns. One type of pronoun is a personal pronoun that takes the place of a particular person or thing. In this lesson, we’ll focus on two categories of personal pronouns.

There four types of pronoun

1. Personal Pronoun

2. Possessive Pronoun

3. Reflexive Pronoun

4. Demonstrative Pronoun

 

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronoun describes a particular person or thing or group.

Personal pronoun describes the person speaking (I, me, we, us), the person spoken to (you), or the person or thing spoken about (he, she, it, they, him, her, them).

Example.

He helps poor.

The pronoun “he” in above sentence describes a person who helps poor.

Examples.

She is intelligent

They are playing chess.

He sent me a letter.

It is raining.

We love our country.

The teacher appreciated them.

I met him yesterday.

He gave her a gift.

Did you go to home?

 

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive Pronoun indicates close possession or ownership or relationship of a thing/person to another thing/person.

e.g. yours, mine, his,  hers, ours, theirs, hers,

Example.

This book is mine.

The pronoun “mine” describes the relationship between book and a person (me) who possesses this book or who is the owner of this book.

Examples

That car is hers.

Your book is old. Mine is new.

The pen on the table is mine.

The smallest cup is yours.

The voice is hers.

The car is ours not theirs.

I have lost my camera. May I use yours?

They received your letter. Did you received theirs.

 

Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronoun describes noun when subject’s action affects the subject itself.

e.g himself, yourself, herself, ourselves, themselves, itself  are reflexive pronouns.

Reflexive pronouns always act as objects not subjects, and they require an interaction between the subject and an object.

Examples.

I looked at myself in the mirror.

You should think about yourself.

They prepared themselves for completion.

She pleases herself by think that she will win the prize.

He bought a car for himself.

He locked himself in the room.

He who loves only himself is a selfish.

 

Demonstrative Pronouns.

Demonstrative pronoun is a pronoun that points to a thing or things.

e.g. this, that, these, those, none, neither

These pronouns point to thing or things in short distance/time or long distance/time.

Short distance or time: This, these.

Long distance or time: That, those.

Demonstrative pronouns “this and that” are used for singular thing while “these or those” are used for plural things.

 

Examples

This is black.

That is heavy.

Can you see these?

Those look attractive.

What is a Proverb?

A proverb is a simple and concrete saying and is popularly defined as short expressions, popularly known and repeated, that expresses a truth based on common sense or experience.

Few examples are:-

A good mind possesses a kingdom.

  • Meaning: Material assets are fleeting, but intellectual assets will basically stay with you for the rest of your life. Therefore, intellectual assets are much more worth than material ones.

Advisers run no risks.

  • Meaning: It is easy to give advice, but hard to act.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

  • You don’t lose anything by enlightening others.

 

Proverbs are wise sayings in a language based on the practical experiences of different kinds. They can mostly be used independently to explain a situation in very few words.
Here are some common proverbs used in English which you can also use in your day to day talks to cut the long talk short and still convey it with same conviction.

 

1. Absence makes the heart grow fonder – Our love for the loved ones grows more with the distance.
The two brothers deeply wish to meet as they haven’t seen each other since 10 years. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

2. Accidents will happen in the best regulated families – Unforeseen can happen with anybody.
You need to be extremely cautious with electricity – The accidents will happen in the best regulated families.

3. Actions speak louder than words – What people do shows more about them than what they just say.
Hearing about her friend’s illness, she directly reached the hospital with a cheque of 50,000 /-. Her concern was evident – after all, actions speak louder than words.

4. Appearances are deceptive – Internal truth of a person is usually different from what is visible outside.
You should not believe strangers immediately. Appearances can be deceptive.

5. Never judge by appearances – Don’t use looks as the criteria to assess someone.
I saw the CEO of a big blue chip company hanging out with his friends at a local market in casual attire. Its true that you can’t judge someone by their appearance.

6. An apple a day keeps the doctor away – An apple eaten everyday keeps you in good health.
My father has always stayed in a good health with his habit of eating an apple everyday. For him, An apple a day keeps the doctor away has worked well.

7. Art is long, life is short. – Life is too short to learn all the art in this world.
She always complained of getting bored. I advised her to learn some music or painting. After all, Art is long, life is short.

8. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours – If you help me, I’ll help you.
America is pushing the Indian government for FDI in retail. Indian government will get the foreign currency while America gets a big market for its goods. The principle is simple – You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

9. Beauty is only skin deep – Never judge by appearance – A good looking woman may not necessarily be good by character.
My daughter-in-law is very beautiful but very cunning – Beauty is only skin deep.

Technical Tips for Emails

An email is a form of non-verbal communication so feelings and expressions of verbal communication can be conveyed only through the use of right words and phrases. There are few tips that needs to be followed when you write an email:-

1.)   Subject: A well-chosen subject line is an important opportunity to inform and persuade your reader. If you don’t include a subject line, then your recipient should need in order to make your message a top priority just by seeing your name. That could come across as arrogant, or at the very least, thoughtless.

2.)    Proofread – Proofread your email before you hit the send icon. All-caps comes across as shouting, and no-caps makes you look like a lazy teenager. Regardless of your intention, people will respond accordingly. Spellings are equally important to be correct. Avoid writing these ways:-

-        “thx 4 ur help 2day ur gr8!″

-       u want ur prof r ur boss 2 think u cant spl? LOL ;-)

3.)   Avoid attachments – Rather than forcing you reader to download an attachment and open it in a separate program, you will probably get faster results if you just copy-paste the most important part of the document into the body of your message.

4.)   Examine the problem from every point of view – I know, I know, this is about as obvious as it gets. But you’d be surprised at the number of times customers call technical support and the guys at the other end just refuse to listen.

5.)   Try the solution out yourself – When you are typing a reply, don’t validate the solution because you tried it out in the past  or someone from your team explained it to you. Do it yourself, and see the result with your own eyes and confirm that it’s working before you hit that send button. Even the slightest missteps can, after all, turn a satisfied customer into an irate one.

6.)   Put yourself in their shoes – Every customer you speak to has a genuine problem. To them, the littlest of glitches could mean a critical issue that can cause bottlenecks. It is not okay for you to take them lightly just because the fix is already on the way.

7.)   Check for grammatical errors – While it’s impossible for you to make sure that every email is perfect you need to at least try. Make it a point to go through every reply at least once before sending it. If you don’t trust yourself to spot all the errors, trust in a tool like  the Spell check in MS Word that can point out all the errors.

Suitable Vocabularies of Emails

Unlike the other situations even emails require certain vocabularies to make the emails perfectly understandable. Some of the most important email vocabularies are:-

Common vocabularies of emails:-

to send a letter or an email

to send something by post/ mail

to email somebody

to get/ receive

to reply to

to check emails

sender

addressee

to attach

attachment

to enclose

enclosure

Email vocabularies

  • Attach – Please find the report attached/ As you can see from the attachment…
  • Best – All the best/ Best wishes/ Pass my best wishes on to John/ Best regards (In)
  • convenience – Please reply at your earliest convenience/ We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused/ Please let me know what dates are convenient for you
  • Dear – Dear Sir or Madam/ Dear Mr Case/ Dear Alex/ Dear Sirs
  • Forward – I look forward to hearing from you soon/ Please forward this to John
  • Hear – I look forward to hearing from you (soon)/ Hope to hear from you soon/ It was really nice to hear from you
  • Hi – Hi/ Hi John/ Say “Hi” to Steve from me/ Julie says “Hi”
  • In – In connection with/ In advance
  • Inform – We regret to inform you that…/ We would like to inform you that…/ If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me
  • Love – Love from/ Lots of love/ Send my love to John/ John sends his love
  • Mail – Snail mail/ I’ve sent you a hard copy in the mail
  • Note – This is just a quick note to say…/ Please note that…/ NB

Email collocations

  • Please – Please let me know if you have any questions/ If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time
  • Reference – With reference to…/ Your ref:/ Our ref:/ Reference number
  • Regards – Best regards/ Give my regards to John/ Regards
  • See – See you (soon/ then)/ It was a pleasure to see you again last week/ Hope to see you again soon
  • Sir – Dear Sir/ Dear Sir or Madam
  • Soon – I look forward to hearing from you soon/ See you soon/ Write soon
  • Sorry – Sorry it took me so long to get back to you/ Sorry not to reply sooner/ Sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote/ Sorry to write to you out of the blue
  • Text – Send a text/ Textspeak/ Text someone
  • Thanks/ Thank you – Thanks (again/ in advance)/ Thank you for your email/ quick reply/ getting back to me so quickly/ taking the time to see me yesterday
  • To – To whom it may concern/ I’m writing to you concerning…
  • Write – Write soon!/ Thanks for writing back so quickly/ I am writing to you in connection with…/ concerning…/ about…/ (in order) to…
  • Yours – Yours sincerely/ Yours faithfully/ Sincerely yours/ Yours

Situational Vocabulary – Group Discussions

Group discussion is a discussion among participants who have an agreed (serious) topic wherein they present their opinion and it also  requires certain vocabularies like follows:-

 

To begin a speech

Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen

Ladies and gentlemen, madam Chair.

 

Points of information

Asking for points of information: Point of information!

On that point, sir/madam!

Answering points of information: Yes, please!

No, thank you!

Declined!

I’ll take you in a moment.

Interrupting a point of information: Thank you, I got the point!

 

Structuring a speech

As my previous speaker has pointed out …

As my next speaker will explain …

I’m going to present three arguments: first … second … third

I’ve just told you about … Now I’m going to ….

 

 

Placing emphasis

This issue/problem cannot simply be shrugged off/dismissed/ignored

I’m convinced that

Let me repeat/reiterate the importance I attach to …

 

Strongly agreeing

You’re perfectly right

I quite agree with …

I cannot but agree/I couldn’t agree more

I accept the idea/proposal/suggestion without resevation

Precisely

Exactly

Absolutely

I am firmly/entirely/fully/completely/wholeheartedly in agreement with …

 

Mildly agreeing

You may be right there

That’s true, I suppose

I suppose so

 

Conceding

I must admit that your arguments have convinced me

You have convinced me that …

In order not to stand in the way of agreement …

 

 

Mild disagreement

That’s not really how I see it

I don’t really agree

 

Strong disagreement

I’m sorry, that’s out of the question

I believe it would be a mistake to …

I’, afraid I (totally) have to disagree with you

I beg to differ

I’m sorry I don’t agree at all

I simply can’t agree to this

Under no circumstances could I agree to …

 

Providing additional information

Perhaps I should be more specific

Without going too much into detail, I should perhaps mention …

I think it would be helpful to add/ point out ….

 

Checking understanding

Are you saying that …

Are you suggesting that …

Are you implying that …

If I understand you correctly …

If I follow you …

 

Interrupting

I’m terribly sorry to interrupt you, but …

Forgive me for interrupting, but …

Before you go any further, may I point out/indicate/explain

 

Handling an interruption

If you could bear with me for a moment, I shall deal with that point a little later

With your permission I would like to finish what I was saying

With all due respect I should like to finish the point I was making

If you would allow me to continue/finish?

 

Referring back

As we are saying earlier

To go back to what I was just saying

To go back to what X was saying earlier

 

Introducing new elements

I should now like to turn briefly to the question/problem of …

At this point I would like to raise the subject of …

There are some additional matters/questions which must be considered here

Another thought that occurs to me is …

 

Summing up an argument

If I might just go over the main points made?

To sum up/recapitulate, one can say that …

All the proposed solutions boil down to …

The most persuasive/compelling argument made today is …

 

Concluding

We’re running out of time so we’re going to have to stop here

To go over what’s been said

I’ve listened to both sides of the argument

I think I can sum it up

Unless anyone has anything else to add, I think that’s it

I think the following general conclusion may be drawn from the discussion…

Power of Gestures and Postures in Body Language

Perhaps the most fundamental form of visual communication – indeed of all communication – is body language. This is a language which we have all learnt to speak and understand and yet it is. As  body language is an important part of public speaking, your body language includes your posture, movement, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact and voice.  The way we carry ourselves, the gestures we use and our postures communicate much more than we realize.

Here are the most common gesture and posture mistakes that should be taken care of:

GESTURES 

  • Not using gestures at all.  If you keep your hands locked at your sides, you will look nervous and your presentation will lack the visual element to accompany and enhance your words.
  • Fidgeting with your hands.  Be aware of what your hands are doing, such as “washing” each other, grasping each other tightly, fiddling with your watch or jewelry, etc.  One of the common mistakes can be rolling and unrolling shirt sleeves while presenting.  If you must hold something, such as your notes or the PowerPoint remote, be conscious of how you are holding it.
  • Holding your hands behind your back.  This gesture usually resembles that of a child reciting a poem at a school assembly. When not gesturing, your hands should be in the “neutral position,” hanging loosely at your sides.
  • Folding your arms across your chest. Even if you are only doing this because you feel cold, this gesture will most likely be interpreted as your closing yourself off from the audience.
  • Moving without purpose.  Most of the time you should stand confidently in one place rather than pacing back and forth or walking aimlessly.  If you do need to move, it should have a purpose.  For example, walk confidently to the front of the room before you begin speaking and walk with purpose to the flipchart or to the computer.
  • Shifting from your weight from one foot to the other.  Many people do this unconsciously and sometimes because their feet hurt. Instead, stand with your feet firmly planted on the floor, with your weight equally distributed on both feet.

POSTURE

  • Standing too stiffly.  Yes, you should stand up straight but it should be natural, not like you are frozen at attention.  Keep your shoulders back and hold your head up so you can make eye contact.  This posture conveys confidence and helps you breathe more fully.
  • Slouching and keeping your head down.  Not only does it prevent you from looking at the audience, but it also conveys nervousness and makes it harder for the audience to hear you.

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