Remember the baritone of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan? With the help of his tone of voice, coupled with power-packed dialogues, he successfully created the persona of the “angry young man” in the 1970s.

On the other hand, former US president Barack Obama’s assuring and friendly tone of voice won hearts and votes for him.

The tone of voice is an integral part of communication and an effective tool in public speaking. When Kaushik Roy spoke, everyone listened. As a highly revered CEO, he communicated in a way that commanded attentiveness, trust, and respect. His tone of voice conveyed his power as well as position.

What is tone of voice?

The tone of voice in communication is defined as ‘the way a person speaks to someone’. It is how you use your voice to get your point across. If you don’t do it right, there is a risk of your point getting lost or misinterpreted.

An optimistic and positive tone of voice is always welcome. If you use a pessimistic or accusatory tone of voice in communication, the results may be negative. One of the examples of tones is humor. Genuine humor creates trust and hope and makes your speech memorable.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle said that you can persuade others in three ways, by appealing to reason, emotion, or to character. Great Greek orators used a persuasive tone of voice in communication, which was based on a problem-solution structure. This almost always resulted in the desired results.

Importance of tone of voice

Raj was a master communicator and much loved by his peers. He knew exactly what needed to be said at what occasion. He became soft-spoken and sounded concerned when asking about a stressed colleague. He was firm and authoritative with his juniors. He spoke respectfully to his seniors. His presentations were motivating. His negotiations were persuasive. Raj used various types of tone expertly.

Your tone of voice conveys your feelings and has an impact on how people react to you. In a business scenario, the tone of voice has a direct effect on team dynamics and productivity.

Types of tone of voice

You can train yourself to use the apt tone for different situations and occasions perfectly. Let’s explore some types of tone:

  1. Motivating tone of voice

Motivational speaker Chris Gardner, who inspired the film The Pursuit of Happyness, speaks with conviction and motivates people to tap into their potential and plan for success. A motivational tone keeps people engaged and inspires their personal as well as professional lives.

  1. Informative tone of voice

Why are some teachers highly popular with the students and leave a lasting impression on their lives? One of the many reasons is their tone of voice. An informative tone of voice enhances knowledge, imparts information, and inspires personal growth.

  1. Soft tone of voice

Soft types of tone are used for intimate conversations. A soft helps form a bond and nurture a relationship. It also helps express empathy and gentleness during difficult conversations. Soft tones, as opposed to harsh or angry tones, make people feel safe. This is why people tend to use a soft tone while talking to a child.

  1. Humorous tone of voice

Keeping your speech humorous with funny anecdotes or quotes keeps the audience in a positive mood. But you should be aware of keeping your tone cheerful and genuine, not mocking or sarcastic.

  1. Respectful tone of voice

One of the important examples of tones is the respectful tone of voice. A respectful tone enhances the quality of your communication. It conveys your kindness, humility, and truthfulness.

More examples of tone

A monotonous tone could be boring and cause disinterest. You can mix the following types of tones in your communication to make it more vibrant, impactful, and result-oriented:

  • Formal tone
  • Informal tone
  • Factual tone
  • Directive tone
  • Assertive tone
  • Friendly tone
  • Questioning tone
  • Conversational tone

Speaking with the correct tone of voice indicates your decisiveness and intelligence.

Harappa Education’s Speaking Effectively course teaches you to communicate effectively by using the PAM Framework, which suggests the speaker focuses on the Purpose, Audience, and Message when framing their piece of communication. Using this framework helps you prepare and organize thoughts before any speaking engagement.

After completing this course, you will be able to communicate convincingly, speak concisely, and exhibit confidence. It will go a long way in making your personal and professional life a success.


Explore topics such as The Art of Public SpeakingAudience AnalysisRule of 3Seven C’s of communication, and the Elements of Communication Process from our Harappa Diaries blog section to ace your soft skills.

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