How You Talk Indicates to People How You Are CD 1 Track 24
Beware of "Revealing" a Personality that You Don't Have!
There is no absolute right or wrong in regard to intonation because a case can be made for stressing just about any word or syllable, but you actually reveal a lot about yourself by the elements you choose to emphasize. For example, if you say, Hello, this intonation would indicate doubt. This is why you say, Hello ? when answering the telephone because you don't know who is on the other end. Or when you go into a house and you don't know who's there because you don't see anyone. But if you're giving a speech or making a presentation and you stand up in front of a crowd and say, Hello, the people would probably laugh because it sounds so uncertain. This is where you'd confidently want to say Hello, my name is So-and-so.
A second example is, my name is—as opposed to my name is. If you stress name, it sounds as if you are going to continue with more personal information: My name is So-and-so, my address is suchand-such, my blood type is O. Since it may not be your intention to give all that information, stay with the standard—Hello, my name is So-and-so. If you stress / every time, it will seem that you have a very high opinion of yourself. Try it: I'm taking American Accent Training. I've been paying attention to pitch, too. I think I'm quite wonderful.
An earnest, hard-working person might emphasize words this way: I'm taking American Accent Training (Can I learn this stuff?). I hope to make it as enjoyable as possible (I'll force myself to enjoy it if I have to). Although the only way to get it is to practice all the time (24 hours a day).
A Doubting Thomas would show up with: I should pick up on (but I might not) the American intonation pattern pretty easily, (but it looks pretty hard, too). I've been talking to a lot of Americans lately, and they tell me that I'm easier to understand (but I think they're just being polite).