My last article dealt with the subject of Eloquence and its barriers.
– Did you discover your barrier/barriers?
– Do you want to improve, to become an eloquent, confident speaker?
– Are you prepared to do what it takes? Then read on!
- Build a Positive Mindset.
- Visualize yourself giving a presentation with confidence, clarity and conviction. Picture an appreciative audience, listening intently and applauding your effort.
Do this regularly.
- Believe in yourself, that you have in you all you need to be an effective, eloquent speaker.
- Write down what you wish to overcome and the action needed. Take positive steps to do so.
- Find a Mentor. Ask around, persevere until you have found on, then commit yourself fully to the journey.
- Build knowledge. Read, attend courses on speech training, watch video clips, join a Toastmasters Club. Practise what you learn.
- Expand your Vocabulary. Make the Dictionary and the Thesaurus your best friends. Learn a word a day and you will see definite improvements.
- Work on your pronunciation. Every Dictionary has the IPA symbols in the opening pages. It gives the sounds that must accompany these phonetic symbols. When you check a word for its meaning, it is also spelt phonetically, and therefore shows how that word is to be pronounced.
- Get rid of speech mannerisms. Also known as Speech Distractors or Non-words-these are the “umms,” “aahs” and “errrs’ we hear so often when people speak. Listen to the news and see how these are used in answer to a question or when explaining something. Newscasters of some well-known TV stations are among the biggest offenders.
To avoid this irritating habit, practice the pause when speaking. “Zip the lip”, find the word then continue speaking.
- Avoid slang. It may be fashionable to say “yep’ in place of “yes” or “ ‘kay” in place of “alright” but that is not the way to eloquent speaking.
Remember, while a speaker may have excellent material for the audience, it will never get this across effectively unless the delivery is powered by the essentials of eloquence, pitch, pause and pace.
A closing thought.
“Kindness in thought leads to wisdom, kindness in speech leads to eloquence, kindness in action leads to love.” Laozi