When we talk to each other, we communicate with more than just the words we use. We watch each other’s body language, and we listen to people’s tone of voice. If you’re having a casual, happy conversation with someone, it’s important to speak in a friendly tone. To do this, adjust your speaking style and body language. You’ll soon sound as friendly as can be!
/Changing Your Speaking Patterns/
1. Breathe from your diaphragm to control your voice. Making your tone of voice friendlier requires you to be aware of how fast you talk and how high and low your voice gets. Use strong breaths from your abdomen for better control.
—To check if you’re breathing from your diaphragm (the muscle that sits right below your lungs), watch yourself in the mirror while you breathe in. If your shoulders and chest rise, you’re taking shallow breaths without using your diaphragm.
—Practice using your diaphragm by placing your hand on your abdomen and pushing it outward while you breathe in.
2.Vary your vocal pitch. Don’t speak in a monotone voice. Instead, make your voice both high and low as you talk. Stressing important words in your sentence with a higher pitch reassures listeners, while lower pitches can inject calmness into your conversation.
—End questions on a higher pitch and statements on a lower pitch. If you end statements with a high pitch, you’ll sound like you don’t believe what you just said.
—The best way to keep up a friendly tone is to have varied pitches while you talk. You don’t want to have a totally high-pitched conversation, as people might think you just inhaled a helium balloon. A completely low-pitched conversation, however, could make your listener think you’re uninterested in your chat with them.
3.Speak slowly to keep people engaged. When you speak too quickly, you sound like you just want your conversation to be over and done. Instead, speak slowly to allow your listener to hear every word you say. This will tell them you actually want to be there talking to them.
—You don’t need to take thirty seconds to get out every word. Be aware of your speed, and you’ll naturally slow down. Add some pauses to let your listener keep up with you.
4.Use a softer voice to avoid sounding aggressive. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re being yelled at by someone. Keep your voice at a level that allows people to hear you without shouting at them.
—Breathing from your diaphragm will help with this problem. These controlled breaths let everyone hear you without making you work too hard to push out the sound. Any time you’re struggling to make yourself heard, you’re probably going to end up shouting, which won’t sound friendly.
5.Avoid mumbling to keep your listener from getting confused. If you’re not clearly articulating every syllable of each word, your listener might not understand you. Worse, they may think you’re saying something they can’t hear on purpose. This could make them confused and frustrated.
—Practice good articulation by saying tongue twisters to yourself for five minutes each morning or night. For example, say these as fast as you can while still keeping the words clear: “James just jostled Jean gently. Jack the jailbird jacked a jeep,” “Kiss her quick, kiss her quicker, kiss her quickest,” and “The shrewd shrew sold Sarah seven silver fish slices.”
6.Record yourself to practice your changes. Use your smartphone or a camera to take a voice recording or video of you while you speak. Pay close attention to the pitch, speed, and loudness of your voice. Make improvements after each new recording.
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Note: This article has been adapted from the following source.