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Elements of Speech for Instructors

Group Fitness Instructors, here are some elements of speech adapted from Krummel’s The Art of Speech, that should be understood and considered when you are teaching a Group Fitness Class.

Pitch: Pitch is the height and depth of sound. You should never talk in the same pitch. Often pitch is higher when you are being more positive.

Intonation: Intonation is the rise and fall in the pitch of the voice during speech. When pitch rises at the end of the sentence it usually denotes a question.

Pace: Pace is the rate at which words are spoken. Changes of pace during speech avoid monotony, express mood change and build climaxes.

Pause: Pauses might be used emphatically, for breath, to acknowledge punctuation, to create emotion, when rhythm is required and so on.

Emphasis: This occurs when words are made prominent. This can be done by making a particular word louder, softer, longer, shorter, pausing before the word, a change in pitch, gesture or facial expression.

Volume: Volume is the intensity or fullness of the vocal tone. It can be used to avoid monotony, express changing mood, give colour to repeated instructions, to make something sound important, for motivation and so on. Inadequate volume lacks carrying power. If your participants have to strain to hear you, the class becomes boring. Voice projection is important but whatever you do, don’t shout! There is not much worse than being in a class with an instructor screaming into the microphone. You can build your voice without shouting.