Communication class notes by Dr. Plexico


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Notes for Communication class taught by Dr. Alvin Plexico at Park University in Millington, TN. The notes are based on the book Your Voice and How to Use It by Cicelly Berry

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Communication class notes by Dr. Plexico

  1. 1. by Cicely Berry Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company
  2. 2. • Personal (how we arrive at our own voice) • Social (how we react to other people) • Public (different public expectations) • Practical (exercise your voice)
  3. 3. Two factors: 1.Something that strikes 2.An object that is struck Volume will depend on: 1.Hardness of the object struck 2.Sensitivity to vibrations 3.Size of vibration determines the volume 4.Vibrations = resonance Example: violin (vocal chords) , bow (breath) and vibrations (chest, throat, nose, head)
  4. 4. Four factors: 1.What you hear 2.How you hear it 3.Your physical make-up 4.Your personality and experience
  5. 5. Why do you sound different than you think? - Use a tape recorder or video camera - Cup your hands around your ears to approximate how you sound to others. Would you be surprised if others said you appear to be abrupt, discouraged, disinterested (especially when you felt none of these emotions)? How do you find your vocal energy and use it to your advantage? - Listen to the behavior in your own voice. - Notice how others react to your voice - Monitor your own private image (what you think about yourself)
  6. 6. by Cicely Berry Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company
  7. 7. • Sound • Tone • Understood • Good voice should not be noticed
  8. 8. • Use the voice you have and stretch it to reveal your own personality • Form your words completely to gain the most value • Speak clearly (both consonants and vowels) • Avoid using a “thick” accent • Discover the vitality of your own speech and have confidence in your own words • Deep, DEEP breaths (all the way to the diaphragm)
  9. 9. Message sent = message received
  10. 10. by Cicely Berry Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company
  11. 11. • Good breathing is key to a good voice • Strong bow/breath across well- tuned strings/vocal chords • Good breathing is fundamental: • Expanded chest gives fuller, richer space for sound • More breath to flow across the vocal chords • Calming effect
  12. 12. • Take time to think • Don’t be afraid of silence • Tension wastes energy • mental • physical • Some nervous energy is good • makes the adrenalin flow • helps the mind work quicker
  13. 13. by Cicely Berry Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company
  14. 14. • We use words to: • Communicate information • Share experiences • How do we use language to cover up what we feel? • How can we use language to reveal what we feel? • The more a person wishes to conceal, the wordier he or she becomes. • Conceal our lack of knowledge through a lot of words. • “…some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?” • “Precision of thought. Economy of expression.”
  15. 15. Unusual words used significantly catch on quick, but soon become abused - charisma, literally, if you will - Obamacare, - other examples? Unnecessary phrases - at that point in time - in fact - other examples? Don’t use a $.25 word when a nickel word will do “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
  16. 16.  When you lose confidence:  You tense up  You stop taking your time  You stop choosing your words with care  You lose reasoning and control  Gain confidence through:  Preparation  Breathing  Practice
  17. 17. by Cicely Berry Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company
  18. 18.  No voice is wrong if it is communicating adequately  Cannot divorce the voice from the person  Strive for clarity  A good voice will not be noticed.
  19. 19.  Put yourself in the position of your audience  Realize the value of silence  Rid yourself of feelings of inadequacy  Accept and believe in yourself and what you have to say
  20. 20.  Athletes exercise their muscles  Pianists exercise their fingers  Speakers exercise:  Diaphragm  Vocal chords  Vocabulary  Exercises in Berry (pp. 57-66, 89-96, 134-138)
  21. 21. Volume Pitch Pace Pause
  22. 22.  Listener needs pauses to digest your message  You need pauses to rest and receive feedback  Pauses give you energy  Pauses draw your listeners into your message  Use with discretion
  23. 23.  Know your audience  Know your purpose  Make your points clearly  Keep it simple  Brevity is better  Prepare, practice, perform!