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     Now let's talk about duration, the fourth characteristic of effective speech. Words, like musical notes, last for a specific period of time. The longer a word, phrase or syllable is stretched out, the greater the emphasis placed upon it. I'll demonstrate.

 I was driving my car.

   That's a fairly 1)neutral statement. However, if I prolong just one word, the sentence takes on a different meaning.

   I was driving MY car.

   You're proud of owning your car, or you're letting us know that you were driving your car. Yes, I was not driving my daughter's car or anyone else's; but this makes the point that duration is a powerful speech tool.


  Now let's move on to the fifth characteristic of speech. That's 2)tempo. To put it simply, tempo is the rate of speed or pace at which you speak. There is no correct pace at which people should speak; the rate of speed depends upon the urgency of the message or perhaps the nervousness or intensity of the speaker. Speaking at one constant tempo is often boring. Tempo is very important to effective       speech.  

Listen to this:

  Those who purchased tickets to the football game should 3)assemble in lobby B immediately. The bus will leave in ten minutes.

    I heard the urgency because of the tone of voice and because of the tempo. A leisurely or slow tempo on the other hand conveys to listeners that the message is perhaps not of great urgency. But          listen to this:

   Well uh, just uh, let me think it over and I'll get back to you sometime next week.

     Now what did you hear in this message? You hear that you were hiding your true feelings in some way.

    I am not sure that I trust you. I'm not certain that you do plan to get back to me next week, and I'm not sure if you will phone me as you promised.

    Oh, you KNOW that's not true. I'll phone, I promise.

   Don't believe him. Well, I've illustrated my point then. Speech conveys mood, emotion and intention.

 I've noticed that if you speak too slowly people may cut you off before you have a chance to finish your statement.

  Now I think we should get on to the sixth characteristic of speech because I...

     Let's get on to the sixth characteristic of speech, volume.

     You interrupted me, I guess I was speaking too slowly.

     That's right, you were. I finished your sentence for you. If people often interrupt, your tempo may be too slow or 4)halting.

     The sixth characteristic of speech is volume.  That's the relative loudness or softness of speech.  Again there's no correct volume at which you should speak, suit your volume to the situation. It's true that there is not a particular volume level at which a person should speak, but I think you'll agree that certain volume levels can be more effective than others.

   Well if you speak too softly, people will probably ask you to speak up and repeat yourself. They're having a difficult time understanding you. You may be5)perceived as timid, shy, uncertain, unsure of yourself, or unknowledgeable about your subject.

  But, if you speak too loudly, you may be perceived as 6)overbearing, 7)bossy, a 8)bully, a 9)braggart.  Your social invitations will 10)dwindle and your circle of friends will undoubtedly shrink.

     Your volume level should be appropriate to the situation. A loud volume is best suited to a crowded and noisy room or when you are addressing a group without a microphone. You can speak more quietly when you are in a small quiet room or when you are talking with just a few people near you. Varying the volume at which you speak is an effective technique for making your speech more 11)entertaining and 12)engaging.

    As the phrase goes if you want to capture someone's attention, Whisper.


   Do you use all six speech characteristics to your best advantage? Think about it. Consider each speech characteristic one by one.  And improve those areas in which you're not as effective as you could be.






























1) neutral  a. 无特色的,无特征的;不明确的

2) tempo  n.(工作或活动的)进度、节奏或格调

3) assemble  vi. 聚集,集合

4) halt  vi. 吞吞吐吐地说,犹豫

5) perceive  vt. 领悟,理解                     6) overbearing  a. 专横的,傲慢的

7) bossy  a.(非正式语)专横的,摆出老板架势的    

8) bully  n. 暴徒,欺侮弱小者

9) braggart  n. 自夸者,吹牛者                 10) dwindle  vi. 变得越来越小;减少

11) entertaining  a. 使人愉快的,有趣的    

12) engaging . 吸引人的,动人的;可爱的