Want to become more articulate and well-spoken? Chances are your answer is ‘Yes’.
And that’s not because I can read your mind. It’s because public speaking is the most common fear among people. We all could use a little help in that department.
But even though we’re not talking about public speaking, finding the right words to say at a job interview or in a casual conversation is something most of us sometimes struggle with.
The good news is that few are really born naturally articulate speakers. This means that with a bit of practice and a few tips and tricks, you too can become more well-spoken.
Let’s dive right into our guide on how to become well spoken.
Focus on Emotion, Not Words
Ever noticed how some people manage to get their point across better? They somehow nail the perfect combination of words and tone. Their secret is they are able to transmit emotion.
So, if you want to become more well-spoken, try shifting your focus. Pay less attention to the words you are using and more to how you say things. Concentrating on finding the “right” words will take up a lot of energy. The energy that you can spend on being more expressive.
Being expressive is all about fine-tuning your tone and pace with what you are saying.
For instance, you should use a slower pace if you are talking about something more serious. And speed up your pace if you are saying something thrilling. In the same way, you should be more somber if you are telling a sad story, and perkier when you are telling a funny one.
This lets your audience know what you are trying to express and it makes them more likely to become engaged in what you are saying.
Engage with Your Audience
Speaking of levels of engagement, remember that every conversation is between at least two people. Even if you are speaking to a large audience, you still don’t want your speech to be a monologue. You want to relate to your audience and bring them into the conversation.
To do this, you need to listen and make them feel heard. Ask the other person/persons questions. Show a little curiosity. It will make people think you are more genuine, likable, and better spoken.
Build Your Confidence
You don’t need something big like a public speaking gig or hosting a webinar to push you to become more confident when you are talking to other people.
Becoming well-spoken is a skill you should learn for your own development. It will come in handy in day-to-day conversations, job interviews, and for your social skills. And it all starts with and ends with building confidence.
To build your confidence, you will need a little practice.
First, you can try reading to expand your vocabulary. The more words you know, the easier it will be for you to find your words next time you speak. Reading will also help improve the structure and flow of your ideas. As strange as it may sound, reading is actually really good for speaking.
Second, try filming or recording yourself while you talk. Notice if there are any evident issues with how you speak. Perhaps you mumble your words or speak too fast. Or you have enunciation or anxiety issues.
Once you identify them, you will be able to tackle any issues and improve how well you speak. This, in turn, will build your confidence and allow you to be more relaxed and aware of how you speak next time.
Think Before You Speak
As tempting as it is to give an immediate answer to a question especially when you are feeling anxious, you should always think before you speak.
Knowing what you want to say and arranging the order of your thoughts before you speak them will give you a confidence boost. You will not only be more confident when speaking. You will also be more articulate because your words and thoughts won’t be incoherently wandering around in your head.
Apart from studying yourself, you should also study others.
Watch some TED Talks, check YouTube. You can find so many public speaker videos online.
Watching speakers that are more well-spoken than you are, will allow you to see what makes them tick.
Try to identify:
- the tone of voice they use
- the speed at which they talk
- what their posture is like
- how they engage with the audience.
A great example would be Jim Rohn. Watch some of his speeches on YouTube. You can see how he is captivating the audience with the topic, but also with the way he presents it.
Avoid Filler Words
Filler words are probably the number one speaking problem right now.
It’s like everyone is lost between an “umm” and a bunch of “like, yeah”. It should be clear to you that becoming more well-spoken means you need to identify this issue and fix it if need be.
Using too many filler words will make you lose your conversation partner’s attention. That happens because you seem insecure and not confident in what you are saying. It will also make you look less intelligent than you are.
Simply avoiding saying “umm” and “uh” too many times will keep your audience’s attention on what you are saying.
While you’re trying to identify what is preventing you from becoming a more articulate speaker, you may find that your enunciation skills are a bit far off. On the other hand, you may have many people asking you to repeat yourself in day-to-day conversations. Take that as a hint that your enunciation needs work.
Becoming more well-spoken is all about sounding confident and articulate. So, enunciation is important.
First, pay attention to how loud you speak. Many times it’s not an issue of how you pronounce words, but that people can’t hear you well enough. Second, make it a habit to do some enunciation exercises regularly. Simply pick a few complicated words and repeat them over and over. Until you are able to say them loud and clear without any issues.
Mind Your Body Language
Body language is also important. Your body could send messages that don’t mix well with what you are saying.
For instance, if you are trying to choose the right words to say, minding your tone, enunciation, speed, but you are still fidgeting, the message you are sending is not that of a well-spoken person. It’s that of an anxious person struggling to sound articulate.
To avoid this, try to:
- Keep your spine straight and shoulders back
- Avoid too many hand gestures
- Stay cool and calm and don’t make sudden movements
- Mimic the body language of the person you are speaking to
Monitor Your Speed
Another issue you may have if speaking causes you anxiety is speaking too fast.
Remind yourself to take a deep breath and slow down when you talk to someone else. Take your time to structure your thoughts before you speak. Don’t get nervous because they are waiting. You are not on the clock.
A good tip is to focus on your breathing throughout the conversation or speech. It will help you feel more relaxed and confident.
The bottom line is that being well-spoken may be a skill. But it’s far from unattainable. The next time you find yourself hoping you were more articulate, return to these tips and you’ll ace it in no time.
So how to get well spoken? It is pretty easy – practice. Shocker, I know.
The tips above are there to help you to be better, red through them, take notes and keep them in mind for the future.
When speaking privately or publicly keep those tips in mind and try to identify when you broke them during your speech.
This will help you to gradually improve. The change to becomming well articulate will come overnight – but work on it and you will be sure to speak better soon enough!
Yes, practice and remembering the right techniques will improve the way you speak.
30% of our waking time is dedicated to speaking. It is important to make sure you spend that one third of a day efficiently.
Of course. You will surprised how well you may do in front of the crowd.
Everybody should work on their speaking. The fact that you speak a lot does not mean that you speak well.