Have you ever noticed when watching a movie or a primetime television show that you can always understand the diction of those actors in which English is not their ‘mother tongue?’ We see and hear actors with German, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arab and African accents, to name just a few, who all speak clearly and distinctly. |
In searching for a video tutorial recently, I found a young man describing exactly what I wanted to learn. The problem was that I could not understand what he was saying. After about 90 seconds of trying to decipher his English, I clicked off his channel and searched for another. Sadly, this young man lost potential business from me because of his diction. For all I know, his tutorial may have been the best on the web; however, I will never know that.
If you are running your own small business, is your diction as good as your product or your service? If not, you should consider improving it. Even if the majority of your workday is spent primarily on the computer in which you seldom speak, it is important that your communication skills are working for you and not against you. From the largest to the smallest, websites are now offering video, conference calls, and webinars and this is where you communication skills will matter. While your own website may not be at that point yet, your success could depend on it in the near future.
Because of the furious pace of business today, your message must to be heard and understood the 1st time you say it. The need to continually repeat yourself is a waste of time and money because it is unproductive.
My advice to improve your diction is as follows.
1. Get an audio book (with the printed version as well) and record yourself reading a couple of paragraphs. Listen to the playback and compare it to that of the professional reader. Be honest in your analysis. Take note of how you say your words and also your speed. I love accents and am not an advocate of trying to eliminate them. My advice is not to get rid of your accent, just clean it up. Do not allow poor diction to limit the success of your business. Clear communication is vital no matter what language you speak.
2. Speak English at home. Many whose accents are heavy are speaking in their native tongue among family and friends. To improve your diction, you must practice talking more in English so that you begin thinking in English.
3. Enroll in an accent reduction or a voice training course. In both cases, you will gain control over your diction as well as your speed by retraining your inner ear to listen more closely to your words as you enunciate them.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and public speaking as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement and presentation skills. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover how to speak more distinctly.
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