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Inflection
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Navy Instructional Theory - Military manual for teaching in the military
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Speech Improvement - 14300_51
The   following   example   illustrates   how   inflection   on   different   words   changes   the   meaning   of a   question.   Say   the   question   to   yourself,   raising   your   pitch   (but   not   your   volume)   on   the underlined  words,  as  indicated: What  am  I  doing? What  am  I   doing? What  am  I doing? What  am  I  doing? Inflection   is   the   key   to   expression   of   mood.   It   can   be   emotional,   persuasive,   or   convincing. Using  inflection  can  move  an  audience  to  tears  or  laughter  and  create  a  lasting  impression. Without  inflection,  the  audience  may  fall  asleep. Like  pauses,  inflection  is  a  way  of  punctuating  speech;  it  can  put  the  question  mark  at  the  end of  a  question,  make  a  statement  of  fact  more  positive,  or  help  to  put  an  exclamation  mark  at the   end   of   a   strong   statement.   Inflection   is   the   principal   difference   between   just   saying   words and  speaking  ideas  with  meaning. Try   the   following   suggestions   to   improve   inflection: Read  aloud  and  communicate  your  emotions.   Inflection   conveys   feeling   and   meaning. However,  feeling  also  produces  good  inflection.    As  an  instructor,  you  must  show  your  feeling about   what   you   say.   To   practice   using   inflection,   read   aloud   and   communicate   your   emotions. Using   a   tape   recorder   is   a   good   way   to   improve   inflection   because   you   must   communicate emotion  entirely  through  your  voice;  gestures  or  visible  facial  expressions  provide  no  help. Downward  and  upward  inflection. Generally,  downward  inflection  at  the  end  of  a sentence   expresses   conviction.   However,   downward   inflection   within   the   sentence   itself   gives   a sense  of  finality  to  the  thought  and  creates  a  mental  break  in  the  listeners’  thoughts.  Use  slight upward  inflection  within  the  sentence  to  indicate  that  the  thought  is  not  yet  complete;  that  serves to  bind  ideas  together  and  to  give  unity  to  the  thought.  Use  upward  inflection  at  the  end  of  a sentence  only  when  you  ask  a  question  or  imply  uncertainty. Force Forceful   speech   combines   the   volume   or   carrying   power   of   the   voice   with   the   demonstrated vitality,   strength,   and   conviction   of   the   speaker;   it   includes   the   proper   placement   of   stress   or emphasis   on   key   words   and   phrases. Like  rate,  pauses,  and  inflection,  force  is  a  way  of conveying  conviction,  of  giving  meaning,  or  of  adding  emphasis.  Yet,  unlike  rate,  pauses,  and inflection,  it  cannot  be  set  apart  distinctly. Force  involves  rate,  pauses,  and  inflection  plus carrying  power,  fullness  of  tone  (or  body),  and  proper  regulation  of  loudness. Listeners  will  not  respond  to  a  speaker  who  shouts  and  is  insensitive  to  their  feelings.  Neither will  they  be  convinced  by  the  cool,  detached  manner  of  a  speaker  who  is  consistently  calm, quiet,  or  patronizing. To  communicate,  you  must  awaken  reactions  and  feelings  in  your listeners. Knowledge  of  the  subject  and  of  the  sequence  in  which  you  plan  to  present  ideas  will  help  you to  calmly  lead  the  thoughts  of  your  audience.  You  can  then  drive  home  a  point  with  power  and 38

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