Fri, 22 Oct, 2021
10 Important Voice Modulation Tips for Kids to Enhance Their Public Speaking Skills
People who feel stage fright or fear of public speaking often have one thing in common. They speak in a monotone and fail to capture the attention of their audiences. Voice modulation, when speaking or addressing a group of people, is extremely important. And it is a skill that should be imbibed in children at a young age so that they can continue to grow confident as they move from classroom recitations to debates and public speaking competitions.
This brings us to the question…
What is voice modulation?
Voice modulation or public speaking voice modulation is all about how to control your voice when speaking. It means tuning the pitch or tone of the voice so that the message is communicated across clearly and well understood by the audience.
What is the ideal age for kids to begin with voice modulation training?
Voice modulation is not only important for public speaking but is also a crucial life skill. Therefore, children as young as 4.5 years of age must be introduced to voice modulation training or even voice training for public speaking.
What are the benefits of public speaking/voice modulation training?
Public speaking is a skill that proves helpful in all walks of life, be it education or any career path. And voice modulation sets a solid foundation for the same.
Moreover, public speaking/voice modulation training helps in the overall personality development of children since it:
- Instils confidence.
- Helps in overcoming stage fright.
- Improves communication and presentation skills.
Therefore, voice modulation skills must be inculcated in children early on.
Voice Modulation Tips to Improve the Speaking Voice
Encourage Active Listening
The first step to voice training for public speaking is listening and understanding different pitches and tones. So, help your child identify and understand the difference between neutral, positive, and negatives tones. Take every opportunity to discuss the emotion in the voice of the speaker.
Point Out Inflection
With varying tones, the same sentence can have different meanings. For example, asking “what are you doing?” calmly can be a simple, curious question. But when the same question is asked with a loud or quick tone, it can be out of anger or sarcasm. So, teach children about how to pick these differences.
Remind Kids to Speak Slowly
A common trait observed in successful people is that they all speak calmly and slowly – a quality that exudes confidence. It also gives listeners the time to absorb and comprehend what the speaker is saying. Therefore, make sure your child speaks slowly and enunciates clearly.
Explain how talking loudly can make the voice squeaky and reduce the impact of words. Also, teach them how to control your voice in accordance with emotions.
Teach the Importance of Stress on Certain Words
When you put emphasis on certain words, you not only draw your audience’s attention but also communicate the accurate meaning of your speech.
For example -
“Tom had a car” means Tom, not anyone else, had a car.
“Tom had a car” means that Tom had a car once but does not have it now.
Teach children how emphasising on certain words can impact what the speaker is trying to communicate
Practice Vocal Exercises for kids
Just like muscles, you can improve voice tone and its strength with exercise. Many confident public speakers today have taken voice training for public speaking to master voice modulation. So, make sure that your child practices speech every day.
Here are a couple of vocal exercises for kids
- Have kids recite the same rhyme or story with different tones and emotions every day.
- Ask them to change the emphasis on each word and talk about how it changes the meaning of the line.
A low or meek tone sounds unconfident, and a loud tone sounds unpleasant. Therefore, it’s important to create a balance and speak at a pitch that is neither too loud nor too low. Teach your kids how to speak clearly with confidence by having them practice different tones in different scenarios, so they know what to pick and what to avoid. Help them identify the right tone that sounds confident.
Talk About Body Language
Your body language when speaking says a lot about your attitude – a factor important in deciding if the speaker is worth listening to. So, show children how different body gestures can communicate their attitude. For example, a person crossing their arms and scowling at the same time is angry.
Similarly, talk about posture and how public speaking requires your body to be open, for example, the use of hand gestures while explaining something. Teach kids how to improve speaking voice in coordination with body language.
Watch Videos and TV Together
TV and videos are great mediums to observe and learn body language and intonation from. So, turn on educational channels and shows for children and watch them together. Point out scenes that they can learn from and ask them to repeat what they learned later in the day.
Talk About Pauses
Speaking in a continuous tone without any breaks or pauses ends up confusing the listener. So, communicate to kids how pauses are one of the most important voice techniques for public speaking. Show them how long a pause should be in different scenarios; teach them the use of commas and full stops while speaking.
Make Sure Your Child Eats and Drinks Well
Before public speaking, you should always watch what you’re eating. For example, before a short talk, you must have a light meal to keep the brain alert and functioning at its best. And before a long talk, it’s important to have a high-protein meal to maintain energy throughout the session. Similarly, you shouldn’t have cold water before a public speaking session since it reduces the warmth of the voice. Make sure you keep these things in mind before your child’s public speaking session.
Public speaking is a high-value skill that can have a huge role in children’s success. Therefore, keep all the tried and tested voice modulation tips above in mind when teaching it to children. You can also read this article on effective public speaking tips that covers other aspects of speech and communication.