Effective Public Speaking: Voice Modulation

Voice Modulation is a part of Effective Public Speaking which has been discussed in the earlier article.

Voice Modulation is an important aspect of Effective Public Speaking. Without Voice Modulation, the speech would sound flat and will not be able to catch audience attention. The time span for the attention of the audience is very short so the speaker has to draw the interest of audience so that they listen to him carefully. Voice modulation is necessary to engage your listeners.

Importance of Pitch for Voice Modulation

1) Do not speak in a high pitch. It sounds like noise.

2) Do not speak in a very low pitch. It’s not audible.

3) Speak in pitch which is comfortable to you and your audience. The natural pitch of conversation is good for delivering speeches.

4) Do not speak in a monotonous voice. Your voice should rise and fall.

5) Modulate your pitch for emphasizing a particular idea.


The tone of voice conveys about the situation whether a serious or joyous situation.

Tone helps in visualising the words of the speaker. It’s very much necessary to speak in the right tone and stress words which carry importance. You need to take care as to when you should change the pitch to stress a word.


Pause helps in understanding the meaning of the spoken words. Pause helps in enhancing the meaning of words and it also provides a breathing opportunity.

How to use the pause effectively –

1) After you are introduced

2) When you want to emphasise certain ideas

3) Pause after questions

4) Use the pause as a transitional device – When moving from one point to another

5) Pause to get the best effect from humor – pausing before and after the humor prepares the audience to understand and react to the message.

6) Pause after the end of the speech. It will give time to the audience to react.

7) Pause to add your overall effectiveness as a speaker.


You keep silence so that the audience absorbs what you have said.

The Skill cycle – Presenting, Evaluating, Improving

There are few things which should be kept in mind when Presenting speeches –

1) Know your Audience – Know about the age of the audience. What is the percentage of males and females? Education level. This will help you in making a presentation which suits your audience. The mindset differs according to age. If you have made a speech for Working professional and you are going to present that to college students, they will not be able to get a line of it. So your whole effort will get wasted. Always research your audience before going to speak.

2) Find out what your audience want – Enquire from the event organiser about the expectation of the audience. This will help you in planning the topic and speech better.

3) Be Enthusiastic – Be enthusiastic when giving your speech. The audience will feel it and will listen. If you are in a hurry just to complete and leave, the audience will lose interest and switch off their mind.

4) Use examples – Try to quote examples wherever necessary to explain a point. This will draw the attention of the audience. Examples provide a good mix when there is too much theory in a speech.

5) use your non-verbals correctly – Your body language i.e gesture and posture should convey confidence and you should not look like and imposter. Just be yourself.

6) Speak with modulation in your voice to draw the attention of the audience. People get bored listening to a monotonous speech. Make use of pitch, tone and pause in your speech.

7) Be specific – Be specific as to what you want to speak before the audience. Don’t beat in the bush and discuss any odd thing in the middle. Whatever you speak should sound sensible and the audience should connect with it. Never mislead your audience, once they run away they will not come back.

8) Do not use words like “UM” “UH” in your speech. It distracts. If you need time to recollect you can take a pause of 2 to 3 seconds and then move on. Or you can engage your audience in a question or activity and recall from your mind.

9) Smile – It will release your tension and make your audience more comfortable.


Once you have given your speech it’s necessary to evaluate it so that you are aware of the drawbacks and corrections. The process of evaluation helps you in improving your speech so that it meets the audience expectations.

There are various ways in which you can evaluate your speech –

1) Reaction from the audience ( Here I mean overall reaction, leave a few )

2) Evaluation by means of feedback forms

3) Our own personal evaluation. Once we give our speech we are aware of what all mistakes we have committed and what corrections need to be made. We have to mend these and move further.

Don’t let your ego come in the process of evaluation because it will stop your growth and further developments.


Once a person is aware of his shortcomings he can improve.

Improvement can involve any of the following-

1) Improving language.

2) Finishing on time and covering all the points.

3) Checking all non-verbals

4) Giving important information in the best possible time.

5) Add humor to it

6) Getting less nervous

7) Improving eye contact, gestures and postures

8) Improving the tone and attitude

9) Know when to use visuals

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