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IMPORTANCE OF TONE, PITCH, VOLUME, STRESS AND INTONATION IN SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION

English Presentation
By: Hamza Mustafa UsmanImtiaz Daniyal Kamran Ali Rahman

10-Jan-13

Importance of various factors in successful communication


Tone:
Tone relates to the musical aspects of a persons voice. It pertains to pitch, stress, volume and emphasis. Tone greatly affects the mood of conversation and it carries great importance in every conversation we have. Using different tones can determine the course of our conversation. Hushed tone can shorten the conversation while gentle and calm tone can prolong it. There are certain people who have a warm, attractive welcoming voice quality. Their voice tone has a positive effect on others. There are others, who have a flat, monotone droning quality to their voice. They have a negative effect on others. Their voice quality switches off the mind of the listener. To develop speaking skill one should use the deeper and slower tone so the words properly sink in the mind of the listener. In order to develop interest in ones conversation one should use proper variability of tone. The tone and voice is usually high and rushed when we are excited and it is deep and slow when we are sad. So the tone must match the mood of the listener in order to convey proper message.

Pace:
Pace of speech is an important aspect of proper and successful communication. In debates and declamation, especially, it is given utmost importance and properly varying pace, combined with volume, is considered to be the hardest skill and the most essential part of the speech. The rate of speech should always be slow enough so that the other person is able to comprehend what is being said and at least fast enough that he does not lose interest. If a sentence is delivered rapidly, the listener does not get the time to mentally keep up with what has been said. It therefore results in the risk of the person losing further interest in the speech. If, however, you speak at an extremely slow pace, the person gets too much time for processing the information, and his mind loses the concentration on your speech, and focuses on any other interesting things he or she can find. Overall, the rate of speech is unsuitable if these goals are not reached. A simple technique for adjusting the rate of speech is to measure the number of words spoken per minute. Speaking too quickly is one of the most common speech problems perhaps because almost all of us tend to speed up our speech when were stressed or excited, since the main goal is the purpose of the communication and not the method or means of communication.

Pitch:
Pitch is the relative lowness or highness of a tone as perceived by a person, it depends on the number of vibrations per unit time produced by the vocal cords. Normally, women have a higher pitched natural voice compared to men, this is said to be because women have shorter vocal cords.

Generally, pitch is used to highlight the importance of a word, a phrase (or even the entire sentence), by pronouncing the stressed part with a different pitch than the rest of the sentence. In such cases, the use of varied pitch is highly similar to the use of varied volume. Apart from this, a high pitched tone is also commonly used to signify sentences meant in a sarcastic manner. Therefore, culturally, high pitch and sarcasm have become associated with each other. In other cases, a high pitch is commonly used to indicate excitement, joy, fear or anger. When you are excited or frightened, unconsciously the muscles around your voice box or larynx are tightened. It is also widespread practice to imitate someones tone deliberately in a high pitched manner, though it is usually meant as an insult. However, variance of pitch in speech is also essential for successful communication since it allows change of tone, preventing the speech from becoming monotonous and uninteresting.

Volume:
When we are speaking, our voice volume say a great deal about how we are feeling. This is very important to remember when you are speaking with someone. If you are angry, sad, frustrated or even happy, your voice volume will reveal it whether you want it to or not. This makes important for you to monitor your voice volume when conversing with someone. A loud voice, usually represented by capital letters in written form, can represent a number of expressions like fury, joy, excitement, panic etc. Anything can become more intense when spoken with a loud volume, take for instance the following sentence: Ali, didnt I tell you to brush before you sleep? ALI! DIDNT I TELL YOU TO BRUSH BEFORE YOU SLEEP? The first sentence might make Ali realize his mistake, the second one might make him look for a hiding spot. Similarly excitement can be expressed in a similar manner: I got a scholarship. I GOT A SCHOLARSHIP! The volume here is loud as well but the context makes it different from anger to excitement, being an intense conversation nevertheless.

Contrary to loud volume, low volume makes everything less intense. A number of other factors are used to determine the intentions of speech when the volume is low.

Stress:

Stress is the relative emphasis given to certain syllables in words. The variation in emphasis on different syllables leads to a variance of prominence of the syllables in words. The prominence of a syllable can be changed by pronouncing it either longer, louder or in a higher pitch.
Changing the stress of even a single syllable can change the tone of an entire sentence. For instance: You mustnt talk so loudly If the above sentence is said without any stress, it seems its just a simple statement telling someone to refrain from talking loudly. But if its said as: You MUSTNT talk so loudly where the stress is on the word mustnt, it sounds as if its an angry warning.

Stress also indicates the background behind a sentence.

1. She played the piano yesterday.

2. She played the piano yesterday.

3. She played the piano yesterday.

Statement 1 meant to answer the identity of the pianist while statement 2 seems to answer that the musical instrumental in question was a piano. Statement 3 meant to tel the time of the performance.

Intonation: Intonation is the variation of pitcg during speaking. During the course of speaking, the pitch will rise and fall. This variation gives the meaning behind what is being said or expressed and is called the intonation contour. You are going. You are going? The first is a statement while the second is a question. In spoken English the statement will have a uniform pitch while in the question, the pitch will usually rise towards the end. Sentences with a pitch variation that goes from low to high may express sarcasm or disbelief while those with a pattern of high to low may express seriousness. The change in variation also plays a part. For instance, if the pitch is low initially and rises slowly the sentence will sound like a simple yes/no question.