Beat the intermediate Mumbles
Want to turn your child into an expert orator, but don’t know how to rid him of the intermediate mumbles? Try this at-home activity to get your child thinking about voice modulation, inflection, tempo, enunciation, and eye contact. Confidence is all it takes to make a public speaker out of a bashful tween.
Voice modulation: loudness or intensity of speech
- Inflection: change in tone or pitch of the voice
- Tempo: speed of delivery
- Enunciation: clarity of the spoken word
- Eye contact: connection between speaker and audience
He can give the speakers grades A – F, or write notes for each. However, he wants to rate them on each technique. Pause the video whenever you see a good example (or bad example) of any of the techniques, and point it out to your child. For instance, if you notice a speaker talking too quickly, rewind it and watch it again, and talk about it with your child. Have him tell you why it’s important for speakers to use a moderate tempo. Or if you hear a speaker mumble or not enunciate words clearly, again, pause and watch it a couple of times and have your child explain why it causes a problem if a speaker doesn’t enunciate well.
Eye contact is a hard one for students, especially if they are reading as opposed to memorizing a piece. If that’s the case, teach him to glance up at the end of every other sentence or so. It’s fine to pause for a couple of seconds in between sentences in order to make eye contact. If he is reciting from memory, tell him to glance around the room as he speaks. If he’s worried about someone making faces or distracting him, tell him to look at the top of the person’s head, or at her neck just under her chin.