Speaking with clarity is one of the many concerns that a presenter needs to be conscious of, whether you are doing a speech, presenting a proposal or sales prompt, or having an interview. Most speakers are able to enunciate each word very clearly; but many tend to mumble, speak too quickly, or lack any energy which clouds the overall clarity of your speech.
Here are three questions to ask yourself, and the reasons why they are important to your communication skills.
1. Have you looked at yourself speaking in a mirror? If not, do so right now and look at your mouth. A mouth that is barely open is blocking your vocal sound from exiting your mouth so that your listener wouldn't be able to hear you clearly or loudly. It's as if you have put a lock on your door; in this case, it's your mouth, and you only opened it just enough to see who's knocking at your door. What are you afraid of when it comes to opening your mouth wider? I'm sure no one is going to see past your teeth to the back of your throat and down into your larynx.
Go ahead and give your jaw some exercises. Open your mouth wide, drop your chin and jaw to allow your sound out of the doorway to your speech. This allows you to stretch your lips, mouth, jaw, and tongue to be flexible, so that your words become exact and definitely, crystal clear for the listener.
To remedy this, you will have to make a conscious effort to slow down so your listeners can keep up with you, or you will have to exaggerate the enunciation of your initial and final consonant sounds.
For practice and to loosen your lips, simply repeat a tongue twister very carefully and deliberate; not too quickly. Here are a couple of my favourite tongue twisters:
3. Have you ever felt tired or bored with the whole process of speaking out? If you are not totally focused and into your topic, you will sound boring and that will make your audience bored too. Before you deliver your next presentation, think of it as if you are approaching a marathon race with all the excitement at the start line, and everyone cheering you on your way. You are motivated to show that you can do this; you are energized! Your mind can make or break the flow of your speech; so keep your motor running and enjoy the energy to surge you forward.
After your speech is all done, you can take credit for being the factor of making it the best speech you've done so far. Your speech receives your mental signal to be energized. You also get the feedback of delivering a satisfactory speech to be proud of.
It only takes a moment to get yourself in shape for your next presentation. So, go look in the mirror, record yourself, and mind-direct your energy to positive results; and you will have an amazing speech.
There are two available self-help guides written by Voice Coach, Brenda C. Smith that will lead you through the exercises to help remedy your challenges.
Brenda C. Smith