Have You Been Told That You Speak in a Monotone?

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Often those who speak in a monotone are not allowing their emotions to be heard or be seen. They have a tendency to repress their feelings, keeping them on the inside. Expressing emotion is normal; it is natural; and, it is referred to as color – the life, the animation, and the passion which is heard in those who have a dynamic, interesting and exciting delivery in speaking. Lack of color makes for speech that is lackluster or boring which is typical of the actor Ben Stein.

If you know or have been told that your voice is monotonous, you should consider improving this particular characteristic of your communication skills, whether it is for professional or personal conversation, for sales presentations, or for other forms of public speaking. Allowing yourself to be more expressive on the outside is not only healthier but it is definitely more interesting for your listeners.

Color is heard not only in the vocal variety of the voice, but is also seen in your facial expression and body language. A good example of wonderful facial expression and body language is Harrison Ford. His emotion is seen in both his face and his body. He doesn’t have to say a word for you to know exactly what he is feeling.

If you have been told that you speak in a monotone, you can become more expressive. Try the following exercise.

Say the sentence below emphasizing the word in bold. If you do it correctly, the word that will have more power, force, or length than the other 3 words.

That is the answer.

Now say it again emphasizing the word is. In this case, you may notice that in stressing the word is, you are elongating the word – you are extending the sound of the word.

That is the answer.

When you emphasize the word answer in the example below, you should notice that the sentence takes on a slightly different meaning and that the tone of your voice will change also. You may even hear a bit of defiance in this example although you may have heard that tone in the 2nd example too.

That is the answer.

It would be a good idea to record yourself when you try this exercise so that you can hear what is happening to your voice as well as your tone. Using a camcorder would be even better because in all three of the examples above, your facial expression should change as well as your body language. At one point, you may nod your head as you say it, reinforcing your belief in what you are saying.

There is no right or wrong with color. How you feel at the moment can have a profound effect on how you express yourself. The only thing that is wrong in color is having no color.

Everyone has emotion inside – the secret is to allow it to be seen and heard on the outside. For some, that is a tall order. There is nothing wrong in expressing emotion; in truth, the best public speakers and presenters are doing it. If you want to become a more dynamic communicator, make the change and watch how much more appreciative your listeners are!


The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only complete video training program on voice improvement. Visit Nancy’s Voice Training Website and discover the best means of adding some life to your voice and your delivery.