How to repair breakdowns in communication
One of the most effective techniques you can use to repair breakdowns in communication is this.
Highlight the most important word in your message.
When a conversation breaks down, identify the most important word in your message.
We’ll call this the focus word.
Say that word again using pitch emphasis
Say the focus word again.
But this time, be careful to emphasize the focus word. To do that, lengthen the vowel sound and use a slight rise in pitch.
Then insert a short pause
After you emphasize the focus word, insert a short pause. This pause should be brief.
Inserting a brief pause after the focus word gives your listeners time to process what you just said. Inserting a brief pause will give your listener a moment to “get it”.
Here’s sample sentence.
I’ll meet with the ma→nager⤼ on Tue→sday.
In order to say this sentence clearly:
- emphasize the word manager using vowel length & pitch
- pause briefly after the word manager
- then stress the word Tuesday
Take time to emphasize the words that are most important to your message.
But don’t emphasize every word.
Why use pitch emphasis on important words?
Americans listen for the stressed words in sentences and phrases. They want you to emphasize the most important words using vowel length & pitch.
Bringing attention to focus words using pitch emphasis will make your English sound clear to Americans.
Using this pitch emphasis strategy will clear up most misunderstandings.
Learn the rules for clear American speech
If you want to communicate efficiently and effectively in American English, you’ll need to learn the rules for using pitch emphasis.
I have some excellent online courses that will teach you to do this.
You can take a free trial lesson by following the link below. Give it a try!
My training programs will teach you how to repair breakdowns in communication and speak English in a way that Americans understand!
About the author
Susan Ryan is an American English communication and accent reduction coach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions about speaking clear American English.