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0322 – Intonation Summary

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2021.11.18 – 0322 – In SummaryA common failing of script readers is banging out every, say, fifth word, like a beat on a drum.Or banging out unimportant words, the ‘grammar glue’ that simply link a sentence together, rather than the words which do the ‘heavy lifting’ and help explain the story. (Here I have underlined the correct ones to lift!)Having this kind of intonation gives the impression that you don’t understand the story – and of course it is your job to explain it. Intonation exists to bring out meaning. And to get the meaning over to someone else, you have to know it yourself first.So we lift (by varying degrees) the words and phrases that help make the story the story. To lift other words can at best confuse the listener and at worst make you look foolish, or land you in trouble. An example: ‘The police chief says he WASN’T speeding’ is a flat denial reported by an impartial newsreader. ‘The police chief SAYS he wasn’t speeding’ suggests that you think he’s lying…As I say in my seminars: Use your inflection and intonation to extract the information from your stories, with your voices.Audio recording script and show notes (c) 2021 Peter Stewart Through these around-5-minute episodes, you can build your confidence and competence with advice on breathing and reading, inflection andprojection, the roles played by better scripting and better sitting, mic techniques and voice care tips... with exercises and anecdotes from a careerspent in TV and radio studios. If you're wondering about how to start a podcast, or have had one for a while - download every episode! And as themes develop over the weeks (that is, they are not random topics day-by-day), this is a free, course to help you GET A BETTERBROADCAST, PODCAST AND VIDEO VOICE. Look out for more details of the book during 2021. Contacts: Peter has been around voice and audio all his working life and has trained hundreds of broadcasters in all styles of radio from pop music stations such as Capital FM and BBC Radio 1 to Heart FM, the classical music station BBC Radio 3 and regional BBC stations. He’s trained news presenters on regional TV, the BBC News Channel and on flagship programmes such as the BBC’s Panorama. Other trainees have been music presenters, breakfast show hosts, travel news presenters and voice-over artists. He has written a number of books on audio and video presentation and production (“Essential Radio Journalism”, “JournoLists”, two editions of “Essential Radio Skills” and three editions of “Broadcast Journalism”) and has written on voice and presentation skills in the BBC’s in-house newspaper “Ariel”. Peter has presented hundreds of radio shows (you may have heard him on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, Virgin Radio or Kiss, as well as BBC regional radio) with formats as diverse as music-presentation, interview shows, ‘special’ programmes for elections and budgets, live outside broadcasts and commentaries and even the occasional sports, gardening and dedication programmes. He has read several thousand news bulletins, and hosted nearly 2,000 podcast episodes, and is a vocal image consultant advising in all aspects of voice and speech training for presenters on radio and TV, podcasts and YouTube, voiceovers and videocalls. The podcast title refers to those who may wish to change their speaking voice in some way. It is not a suggestion that anyone should, or be pressured into needing to. We love accents and dialects, and are well aware that how we speak changes over time. The key is: is your voice successfully communicating your message, so it is being understood (and potentially being acted upon) by your target audience? This podcast is London-based and examples are spoken in the RP (Received Pronunciation) / standard-English / BBC English pronunciation, although invariably applicable to other languages, accents and dialects. Music credits:"Bleeping Demo" Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License "Beauty Flow" Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License "Envision"