Public Speaking Tips – Inflection

How to Command a Room – Public speaking Tips

There is a great public speaking tip that enable you to command the attention of a room, conversation or meeting. Used well, this public speaking tip will direct people to do as you ask. But if not used correctly, this public speaking tip will encourage people to question you. This short video show you what I mean.

G’day! Darren from Executive Speaking here.

I’ve got a great public speaking tip for you that will help you become more influential and able to command people and direct them to achieve what it is that you want when you’re talking, when you’re presenting, negotiating or any public speaking situation. It’s a great public speaking tip.

When we speak, the end of the sentence can have what is known as an inflexion. Inflexions can up, they can be stable, which is basically no inflexion, or downwards. And the way the inflexion comes through changes the message that you’re delivering. Let’s take a simple statement of “We’re going out Saturday night.”

If I make that statement with an upward inflexion – it goes up at the end – it changes. “We’re going out Saturday night.” When there’s the upward inflexion at the end it becomes tentative. It becomes a question, almost hesitant. If you’re a leader and you’re ending your sentences with upward inflexions, what that is saying to the audience is, “I’m not quite sure. I’m putting this out as a question.” If you’re trying to lead, that can be difficult, if that’s the subtext of the message you’re putting out.

If we take the same statement with no inflexion – “We’re going out Saturday night” – there’s no inflexion. There’s more information, that’s not a question, it’s not a directive, it’s just information.

Finally, we can put a downward inflexion on it. “We’re going out Saturday night.” What does that tell you? It’s not Saturday afternoon, it’s not Sunday, it’s not Monday, it’s Saturday night. What that does – when you put a downward inflexion, it makes it a command. It makes it a direct statement that shows you know what you’re talking about and what it is that you want.

You can use these techniques in various ways to draw information out of people. Repeat what is they said with the upward inflexion questions what it is they are saying. Putting the downward inflexion on it shows that this is what the message is.

There is a technique that you can use, very powerful for directing people to do what it is that you want, and that is asking a question with a downward inflexion. It’s powerful in any public speaking situation. It’s another great public speaking tip.

Normally, the question would have an upward inflexion, but put a downward inflexion on it. Great example of that would be, “Do you want to go buy some beers?” Now, from that statement, you know that I want you to go buy the beers.

This technique is very powerful. You need to use it sparingly. You don’t want to be using it all the time, because what’ll happen is people will tweak to the way that you speak, and then they’ll start building up defences to it. These techniques are like salt. We love salt in a meal, it tastes great. But if you have too much salt, it ruins the meal.

Use this technique, and once you have, make some comments below on how it’s worked for you. I look forward to helping you out and, of course, drinking some of those beers you’re about to go get me.

Pop your comments down below, and I’ll speak to you soon.

I hope you enjoyed this great public speaking tip.


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