Long before the Victorian period, people took elocution lessons to break through social barriers. In the UK, people still do it, but what about we North American English speakers? It doesn’t seem to be as popular here, but I do see a definite need for people to learn how to express themselves well; particularly those under the age of 35. If you don’t understand why this is important for even native speakers of English, consider the consequences to your career or business if you create the impression of being unintelligent simply by opening your mouth to speak.
The problem with poor speakers, is that often they don’t realize the impression their speech patterns give people. Poor diction, mispronouncing words and using poor grammar are only part of the problem. If you do any of the following, you should consider learning how to speak well.
· Your statements end in a rising pattern like a question
· You over use certain words, such as “right” or “okay”
· People tell you that you talk like a valley girl
· The pitch and tone of your voice doesn’t match your size, age or gender
· You mumble or eat your words
· You are a low volume speaker (no one can ever hear you)
· You are an overly loud speaker
· You are told you write like you speak and you don’t write well
· You are a poor writer (you speak like you write)
· You have a problem with verbal diarrhea
· You speak too quickly or too slowly
Learning to speak well will boost your career and business opportunities. People like to listen to people who are both easy to understand and articulate. Elocution is not about using fancy words or sounding like a phoney person. It is about learning to speak in a way that both raises your credibility and makes people want to listen to you.