Teaching Tools

Emphasis Drills

There are a couple ways.

One method is to encourage students to read aloud selections from poetry that require emphasis and feeling. Students are encouraged to vary pitch, rate, and inflection in order to convey the meaning and importance of various phrases. In addition, students should underline key words and phrases which should receive special stress. While the emotional component of poetry is often clear, any speech has at least the potential for a more emotional or emphatic presentation.

A second possibility then is to have students bring in written speeches, their own or someone elses, and have them underline key words and mark potential places for pauses. The instructor can call on students to deliver the passages and comment on the differences in emphasis revealed by different presentations.