how to speak better

How to Speak Better: Quick & Easy Tricks

To get what you need out of life you need to speak smoothly. In the last blog post, we talked about  the 3 critical steps to speaking well in high-anxiety situations (like interviews, presentations, venture capital meetings, client meetings, small talk, etc.) They were:

  1. Be relaxed. We perform better at everything we do when we’re comfortable, and speaking is no exception.
  2. Eliminate Over-Articulation. The pervasive misconception is that to speak better, you must punch out on each sound. Instead, use co-articulation where you smooth your sounds together.
  3. Pause. Stop after concepts and phrases to make it easier for people to understand you.
  4. Breathe. Speech is air molecules that vibrate, so “let your voice take a ride on the air.”
  5. Use Back Resonance. People can understand you better when you don’t use your lips too much to speak. Let the vibration hover over the back of your tongue.

Get What You Want With More Persuasive Speaking

The next important step is to make sure you speak smoothly & fluidly. Why do you need to speak smoothly? Because choppy speech doesn’t hold people’s attention for very long. Choppy, staccato, monosyllabic speech causes your listeners to work too hard to follow your message. And when they’re working too hard to follow your message they’ll have a harder time following your call to action.

 

how to be a persuasive speaker

 

Choppy speech, the opposite of smooth speech, even causes people to interrupt you. If people are interrupting you frequently you’ll want to assess how you sound and think about using very smooth speech.

Stressless Holiday Conversations–Dealing With Difficult Relatives

Speak Smoothly

Want super choppy speech? Go ahead & use over-articulation. That’s the exact opposite of speaking smoothly.

So instead of popping each sound, link your sounds together between your pauses.  This results in words that are connected to each other.

Following are some fun/amazing tricks to transitioning from the last sound in a word to the first sound in the next word. 🙂

 

how to improve your communication skills

 

 

From a Consonant to a Vowel

When one word ends in a consonant and the next word begins in a vowel make it so the word beginning with the vowel starts with the final consonant of the last sound.

For example:

“I have an apple” becomes “I_have_anapple” where there are no sound breaks between any of the words. All the sounds are connected. Make sense?

How does this impact your speech? You end up sounding smooth & fluid, making it easier for people to listen to you. Making them really want to listen to you.

 

how to speak better

 

How To Improve the Sound of Your Voice

From Vowel to Vowel

When a word ends in a vowel & the next begins in a vowel you add a “glide” sound in between the 2. If it’s a front vowel like the sound /eee/ use a y and if it’s a back vowel use a w.

Let me show you:

She is” becomes “Sheyis

Going to the party on Saturday” becomes “…”partyanSunday” (of course the letter “o” is not pronounced like an “o”!)

Consonant to Consonant

When one word ends in a consonant & the next begins with a consonant just slide your tongue from one place to the next. If the 2 consonants are the same say the sound only 1ce! (the only exceptions are the ch & dz sounds as in: orangejuice–say those 2ce!)

Like this:

Whatisshedoing?  Your tongue goes from the /s/ spot to the /sh/ spot (further back on your palate) without stopping.  It’s a continuous sound.

The Voice Spa with Ita Olsen

 

Speak Smoothly Tip II

There’s another trick to sounding smooth. Because speech is air molecules that vibrate we need to use a lot of air when we speak.  That results in having a full resonance that’s well able to project across the room & in a loud environment.

For every breath group you utter, make sure the air comes out continuously. Don’t stop the air from coming out in between breath groups. This results in a very smooth sound that really holds people’s attention consequently doing what you need them to do.

Get in touch with me if you have any trouble speaking smoothly.  🙂 I can sort it out for you in no time flat!

Watch this video of Ita OlsenWhy am I Not Automatically an Incredible Speaker

12 thoughts on “How to Speak Better: Quick & Easy Tricks”

  1. My anxiety causes over articulation/ loss of smooth sounding speech.. how can I fix this other thn dealing with my anxiety

    1. Hi Hayden,
      Thanks for your question, sorry it took me forever to get back to you!
      What you describe is very common. Much more so than most people think.
      I’d recommend doing relaxation exercises (mine are awesome :))
      Also, practice some things you’re going to say gliding all the words together.
      Feel free to grab a couple of microsessions and I will walk you through it.
      https://conveyclearly.com/product/mini-sessions/
      Warm regards,
      Ita

    2. Hi Hayden. Take The Voice Spa and you’ll have smooth-sounding speech. Just be sure to do all the homework I assign you in the course. It’s not brain surgery, but you’ll want to do 10 minutes 2 times per day.

  2. The way you speak on Youtube embodies what you wrote here. And most international people struggle at THIS point. Thanks for a nice piece of article!

  3. I fell into the trap of thinking that in order to speak better, I needed to articulate each sound in every word. So happy to know that over-articulation is not necessary to being a good speaker.

  4. This is exactly the opposite of what I’ve been doing to speak better! Everything I’ve learned on the internet tells me to make my sounds more distinct and to use my articulators. I kept following that advice even though something in the back of my mind told me it wasn’t right.

    “Sheyis” makes perfect sense! Gluing your words together makes perfect sense. I just recorded myself, as I always have when doing the move my face/diction thing, and I’ve never sounded better. Holy Mackeral! How come I haven’t found you before?

  5. Hi everyone.

    I have the problem of using filler words more than most even though I know what to say or what I want to say. I often can’t get the word out I want to say. I have a very mild speech issue. Any ideas how to tackle this issue and have clearer speech?

    1. Schedule a consult so we can assess your needs and provide you with your options! There’s a link at the bottom of this article! 🙂

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