Improving Your Speech Patterns

Working as a speech coach, one of the successful techniques I use to help people speak clearly is to figure out where there may be snags in their speech patterns. Here are two of the most common.

1. Are you dropping volume at the end of sentences?

It is normal to soften your volume at the end of a thought, but don’t trail your sentences into oblivion.  Assess your volume by taping yourself and checking to make sure you can hear the last words of your sentences.  Practice speaking or reading aloud with conscious attention on lessening the decibel drop.  Use these practice sentences:

“Let’s meet in the lobby of the downtown Marriott.”

“Sarah James was finally promoted to regional manager.”

In these examples, if you don’t keep your volume up, you’ll be swallowing your main point.

2. Are you jumbling words together?

Some degree of assimilation, or blending sounds and words together, is normal in conversational speech.  An example of assimilation is the phrase, “How are you?”  The owsound at the end ofhownaturally blends into the ain are, so the phrase sounds more like “Hower you?”

When sounds and words blend too much, clarity collapses in a condition specialists call over assimilation.  Over assimilation makes it difficult for a listener to tell if you said “at you” or “ah choo,” “we can” or “weekend.”

You can find out if you tend to jumble your words by listening to a five-minute sample of a telephone call or conversation you have taped.  If possible, ask a friend or relative to listen with you to provide objective feedback.  Note any words or phrases that were difficult to understand.  Pay particular attention to long words, names, and the ends of sentences.

If you are jumbling more than twice a minute, here is a list or words and phrases that are frequently assimilated.  Practice saying them incorrectly, then correctly for contrast. Add additional phrases to the list as you observe yourself in everyday talking.

cancha              can’t you

cudja                could you

generly            generally

havta                have to

howzitgon        how’s it going

I dunno            I don’t know

probly              probably

shuda               should have

uzhly               usually

wanna              want to

wuncha            wouldn’t you

It helps, but it doesn’t require executive coaching to master these two communication skills. Being aware of them and practicing them on your own will have you well on your way to good communication.

Spread the love


Similar posts

“84% of employees expect this job perk—but most executives think it’s a ‘waste of time’”

Can you guess what it is? Answer: Eighty-four percent of employees expect their employer to provide the training and education they need to stay up-to-date with changing skills in their industry, according to a recent survey of more than 800 C-suite executives and 800 employees from online learning platform edX. But senior managers aren’t seeing that way according to an article in CNBC by Ece Yildirim. The article shares that employees value their career development

Spread the love

Artificial Intelligence is Fake

Now, before you jump to conclusions, allow me to be clear with a few definitions and thoughts. The growing nervousness and fear that AI will take over our educational systems and produce future generations of bot brains and wobbly children is ridiculous. That is just the start of the pervasive concerns that writers and artists fear about losing their jobs. Let’s not even start with the apprehension that educators face about their societal roles. One needs only to

Spread the love

Why Do They Say “Look”?

Have you noticed how many times a political candidate or commentator will say the word “look”? Why do they say that? Well, let us zoom the picture back a little and think about this. Linguists and psychologists have introduced us to what they refer to as “representational systems.” They tell us that people are prone to expressing their feelings, attitudes, opinions, and using one of three ‘representational systems.’ They have named these to be Visual,

Spread the love


Tell us what’s on your mind: