Many people want to sound more polished when they speak, but sometimes it is difficult for an individual to know exactly what they need to do to achieve the sound that they admire in others.
One of the things I am able to do for my clients is to pinpoint exactly why they may not sound they would like. I find that there are a few common habits that deteriorate the way we sound. My clients find that by implementing a few simple changes their speech not only becomes cleaner and clearer, it improves the overall sound of their voice. You will find that if you dissect the speech of those you enjoy listening to they probably naturally implement the following linguistic sounds.
Firstly, ing at the end of a word should be completely enunciated and not abbreviated to in. You will notice the difference in the way you sound by comparing runnin’, skippin’ and jumpin’ to running, skipping and jumping.
Another syllable that is often cheated of its full glory is er. The word letter often morphs into letta’, leather in to leatha’, mother becomes motha’ and so on. Simply pronouncing the er at the end of your words brings a refreshing crispness to the way you sound, and in a world fettered with sloppy speech it makes you stand out.
Another phonetic casualty in the English language is the th sound. The only way you can achieve the proper pronunciation of this sound is to put your tongue between your teeth. Uddawise you will wind up saying teet or tree for three or dat for that. So your speech will lack clarity and you will come across as if you are not well educated. For most people these errors in pronunciation are just habit. They are acceptable as colloquial vernacular, however when you are in the boardroom, these habits will greatly diminish the quality of your speech.
A fourth tip to sounding more polished is to simply put the endings on your words. Instead of tha’ try that, instead of wha’ try what.
My clients have found that as they practice the proper pronunciations, even their voices sound better. They are easier to understand and they do come across as more polished which is an extremely important part of your professional persona. You will be surprised how these small adjustments can make a big difference in how people see you and even respond to you.
If you take the way you sound for granted, you may find it interesting to note that a study done by Harvard University found that people with great voices actually appear more attractive. In their experiment they paired bad voices to various faces and had the participants rate their attractiveness. They then paired the same faces with great voices and amazingly their attractiveness ratings went up.Daily practice will help to create new muscle memory in your face and tongue; it’s is all about creating new speech habits. If you would like me to email free exercises you can practice on your own, send me an email.
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Kim Welcome CEO of
Influential Voice works with progressive companies and individuals who
are concerned that unrefined communication skills may be hindering their
growth and advancement. She helps them to increase their power to
influence for greater productivity and impact. For more info visit www.influentialvoice.com. For a Free Speech & Voice Evaluation email firstname.lastname@example.org.