A surprising technique from a jazz pianist to make you’re better speaker
A reporter once asked Thelonious Monk, the late jazz pianist, to explain why he could make such a unique sound on the piano. Monk pointed to the piano and said something to the effect; ‘There aren’t any extra keys there so it can’t be that . . . but when you Mean, a note enough it will sound different – you’ve got to choose the notes you Really Want to Mean’.
Similarly, in your speech communication, you have to choose a word you really want to mean – the word you want to stick in the audience’s mind and for them to remember after your presentation on interaction. For example, in a presentation to barristers I suggested they could speak the following to the judge, ‘Your honour, opposing counsel’s point is wrong. It does – NOT – prove anything’.
To make your chosen words stand out and sound different, increase your loudness a notch or two and ‘hit’ the word sharply. Do not choose too many words to really mean – as they will not stand out from surrounding words.