Logical stress - a way to highlight thoughts
When speaking or reading out loud, it is important not only to pronounce the words correctly, but also to emphasize the necessary phrases that carry the basic meaning. Even if the material that is presented orally is very valuable, but presented without the necessary logical stress, it will not be understood by the audience as it should. When a speaker speaks sluggishly and monotonously, he is unlikely to be able to hold the listeners attention for a long time, not to mention convincing them of something or encouraging them to take action.
Logical stress is the selection in speech of a word or phrase that is most important in a message. How to do it? And is it connected with pauses and changes in intonation?
Methods of transferring the logical stress
There are several of them, and skillful speakers learned how to combine them. For example, if you need to highlight an important idea, you can do it like this: increase the power of the voice, speak the necessary phrase more slowly, pause before and / or after it, use suitable gestures and facial expressions.Another way to focus attention is to correctly change the volume, pitch and tempo, that is, intonation. Logical stress contributes to assimilating the meaning of what has been said, but intonation helps to make speech colorful. These two tools complement each other.
Which of these methods is most appropriate in a particular situation depends on the content of the material and the circumstances.
What to highlight?
If we talk about the report, logical stress can mark the beginning of a new thought or a transition from one thought to another, so that the listeners can catch how speech is constructed. This can be done by emphasizing the following words: “first of all”, “in the end”, “it follows from this”, “therefore”, “a conclusion suggests itself”, etc.
If we are talking about several factors, reasons or components of something, it is quite appropriate to identify each of them with the accented phrases “first,” “second,” and “third,” along with the enumerating gestures.
Also, the speaker with the help of logical stress can show a personal attitude to the subject. These are the thoughts that he wants to give a special emotional coloring. And the words "unconditionally", "extremely important", "unthinkable", "completely" will help to highlight them. Here the correct change of intonation is useful.In this case, the opinion of the speaker can be conveyed to the audience and even affect their own position.
Logical stress when reading text
In everyday conversations, people use semantic stress without difficulty, without even thinking about it, because they clearly realize what they want to say. The difficulty arises when you need to read aloud the text written by someone else.
The key to success is to understand for yourself what the main idea of the text is. Then it is necessary to carefully analyze each paragraph, sentence by sentence, and find not individual words, but whole phrases that express this thought.
For convenience, you can emphasize them with a pencil or marker. If the word is already in italics, then this is an additional reminder that it should also be emphasized.
Logical stress: errors
It is impossible to allocate too many words when reading a text: it dispels attention.
Also, some use the method of periodic underscore, that is, they emphasize words at regular intervals, it does not matter whether these words carry a meaning or not. And some needlessly distinguish prepositions and conjunctions, such as "and", "but", "also", "for", "before" and so on.This is very distracting and looks like a bad manner.
Changing the power of voice should also be used wisely, because if you overdo it, then the audience will feel that they are being spoken of haughtily.
If the speaker speaks very quickly and without stopping, then the benefits of such a speech are reduced to zero. Logical pauses and stress contribute to the clarity of what has been said.
To become a skilled speaker, you have to train hard until you can select words and phrases so that it sounds natural.