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Guidelines For Better Speaking

Updated on October 22, 2011

If you want to be popular, you have to become speech- conscious. When we speak, through our speech our personality makes a great impact on others. Here are some points that will help you improve your way of speaking.


Voice tells you so much about people. If you listen carefully to the voices of others, you will learn a lot from them. You will also learn about your own voice and manner of speech.

There is character in voice. Loud voices tell of lack of confidence. The colourless, unfeeling tone may be the result of tension. Every voice makes its own particular impact. Notice particularly voices on telephone. Sometimes quite pleasant people have an objectionable manner of speaking on the telephone. One man bellows "Hello!" as if he were hailing from miles away. Another's harsh "Yes?" almost makes you drop the instrument.

Experiment by saying some words first in a very loud voice and then try them again in lower tones, which do you find more pleasing? Of course in public speaking, the higher tones have sometimes to be used. But in ordinary conversation, as well as in public speaking or reading it is most effective to use mostly the lower register of voice.

Breathe slowly and regularly and think in terms of relaxation. When you speak, always start low and slow.


It is very important. If you speak too fast, you will tend to run your words into one another, thus you will be indistinct, and if you are giving a public address, the result will be an incomprehensible jargon. If you are a quick thinker or quick mover, you may be specially prone to this fault. Practice by trying to slow down your tempo while you are reading something. Your reading should sound slow to you. It will then probably be about right for a listener.


You should avoid slurred and indistinctive speech. English people are notorious for their slack and inert speech.

Really competent speakers are always particularly careful about the ends of small words, like "not," "get," "but," "must," and "quite."

Think about what you are saying. Use the lips and tip of the tongue energetically, and all your vocal organs will respond. Your voice will develop a resonant and pleasing tone. Have a daily session with tongue twisters. Say, "Two trade totally tired trying to trot to twekes bury." Or "Betty bought a bit of butter, but she found the butter bitter." Either of these will help you move your lips and your tongue and get the tone forward in your mouth; this makes your voice travel.


Silence is often more eloquent than sound. Every public speaker knows when and how long to pause. In reading we have some help from punctuation, but only experience and careful observation of others as well as feeling for the language and understanding of the matter to be read can make you an expert in knowing just where to pause and for how long. We are familiar with the story teller who holds up his narration while he reflects and the speaker who irritates us with his "". But in speaking it is always good to make a decided pause before beginning a new heading; this will give a feeling of leisure and relaxation both to the audience and to the speaker.


This can trip you up. If you are not certain of the pronunciation of a word, it is wise to check it out. If you want to use a word that you are not perfectly sure of, a wrong pronunciation can destroy your confidence and your speech.

Aids to correct pronunciation are readily available from books, specially the dictionary. For confidence and facility in public as well as in private speaking, correct your pronunciation. Build up a good vocabulary, then you will never be stuck for the right word.


The key to persuasive speech is to think about the other person, not about yourself. If you are in private conversation, try to find out the other person's interests. If you are to meet new people find out what they are interested in, in this way you can prepare yourself and make a favourable impression at once. If you are to speak in public, speak as if you are addressing one person in your audience, some one whose face you can see, preferably in the back of the room. This will give a personal touch to all that you say, it will also help your voice to carry "quite without effort" to the place to which you are speaking.


Put yourself into your speech. Never imitate but be entirely sincere. Voices are largely a measure of personality. The relaxed, happy, kindly person, who smiles a lot and thinks more of others than himself, will tend to speak with a warm, pleasant tone-colour in his voice. The qualities that show in your face, the look in your eyes, your expressions and your gestures, all make an impact on your voice.

Never put on a special voice when you speak. We all are familiar with the "personic voice" which sounds artificial and is suited to theatre. Be yourself whatever your manner of speech is. Every one must decide for himself whether he will cultivate a standard English accent or whether his local way is worth keeping. But sincerity is essential for a good speech in public or in private.

I hope these points will help you in improving your manner of speaking


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