Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Emotional Power of Variety

In the June 2009 issue of Oprah magazine, Tim Jarvis discusses a psychology study conducted by Dr. Emily Pronin at Stanford on the power of speed reading to raise spirits. Pronin discovered that fast-thinking activities such as speed-reading actually induce a positive mood.

At the same time, she also found that in certain situations, such as times of stress, slowing down makes us happier. Pronin concludes:

"We found that varied thoughts tend to be more uplifting, whereas repetitive thinking tends to be mood downer."

The same is true for a listening audience.

A presentation with vocal variety - in volume, pace, pitch and emotion - is not only more interesting to listen to, but makes your audience feel better listening to you so that they want to hear more.

From the Green Room: Vary your voice. You will lift your audience's spirits so they have more energy to listen to you.


Anonymous said...

Although I tend to ignore, disregard, pay no mind, and turn a deaf ear to anything associated with Oprah or her magazine, I think your point well taken.

Anonymous said...

Makes sense, but I am not sure how the 'speed reading' model applies, since blazing through a speech -- even if one is articulate -- seems to be exactly what you're flagging as a danger. But maybe you mean that it's all about tone variation rather than the actual speed.