Ever wonder how you can maintain concentration when you listen to talk radio?
The answer is that you never have to listen to any one voice for too long.
Note how one person gives the traffic report, another talks about weather, and a third gives the financial update - all in under a minute.
We maintain our attention because of this vocal variation. If the same person were to speak for all three, we would have a much harder time digesting the information.
This is why someone can have no problem listening for an entire hour to talk radio while driving, but will drift off during a 15 minute lecture.
So how can you achieve this kind of vocal variation in a speech?
Divide your speech into several mini-speeches, each with a different, contrasting tone. Each tone should have an emotional intent - how you want the audience to feel when they listen to you. The tones should be completely distinct from each other.
For example, you might begin your speech with the goal of making the audience feel frustrated and then immediately switch tones so they feel hopeful.
And it goes without saying that tone changes should reinforce and support your content - that, of course, is the point in the first place!
From the Green Room: End vocal monotony. Change tones.