While there are various means of being expressive in speaking, one of the most common components is the use of force. Force refers to expending extra energy or strength on a particular word, phrase, or sentence for emphasis. The majority of the population use force at one time or another in conversation. It is normal; it natural; it is effective; however, it is sometimes lacking in public speaking.

One of the greatest gifts you can give your audience is a delivery that sounds natural and normal. This is referred to as color. Without color, there is nothing natural or normal about your speech. And, one of the best characteristics of good color is force.

In Patrick Henry's historic speech at the 2nd Virginia Convention of 1775, he said, "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! These are the thoughts of an impassioned man, and I can only imagine that when he reached those last words, he used added strength or force in his voice as those famous words echoed throughout the House of Burgesses.

In the following example, say the word in bold with emphasis.

  • But it isn’t snowing.
  • But it isn’t snowing.
  • But it isn’t snowing.

If you were able to do this successfully, then you just said 3 different things. You may have been saying: It isn’t snowing, it is raining. You could have been saying: We can’t go skiing because there is no snow. Or you might even have been replying to someone with sarcasm: It is July, for crying out loud, there is no snow! All of these variations are quite possible just by using force on one word.

There are times as well, as in the Patrick Henry speech, when an entire phrase or sentence could be said effectively with force as in: I said No! a phrase we often say to our children (or should be saying to our children).

With all the various components that make up expressive speaking, what I do not recommend is an overabundance of any of these techniques because your delivery would then become more like acting. Public speaking is a form of communication; acting is a form of entertainment, although one would hope that your delivery of a speech or presentation is entertaining as well!

You have the means at your disposal to speak with color if you will allow your emotion to come through in your speech.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only 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.