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How to Be More Articulate And Improve Your Speech

How to Be More Articulate And Improve Your Speech
Reciting a speech allows for preparation. But what about those people who sound rehearsed in everyday exchanges? Here's how to be more articulate.


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Listen to yourself speak

Listen to yourself speak

Most people don't like to hear their own voice, but nothing will squash those verbal ticks quite like listening to yourself speak. Record yourself in a natural conversation, such as a conference call, then replay and listen to yourself speak.

Pay attention to filler words, up talk, monotone, and run-on sentences.



Keep track of your speed

If you are not sure if you’re speaking too fast or too slow, copy and paste a 160-word passage into a word processor. Read the excerpt aloud at your normal speed while recording yourself. It should take about a minute.

A normal conversation should take about 155 to 175 words per minute. Pick up the pace when you are reciting information or summarising something. If you're explaining technical information, slow it down.


Eliminate filler words

Words such as "um," "like," and "ahh," can make you sound unsure and inarticulate.

Replace these filler words with fluent words. "Um," tells your audience that you're collecting your thoughts. Instead, use 'Let's move on to ...' or 'Another important consideration is...'


Focus on the final sound

Make a conscious effort to pronounce each syllable and avoid mumbling or trailing off.

Pay attention to the Ts in contractions and the last words in a sentence.


Study other speakers

Articulate speakers learn from other speakers.

Find a radio show or podcast you enjoy, and spend some time analysing the host's speech.


Speak with confidence

Your posture impacts the way people perceive your ideas.

Extend your vocal cords by keeping your chin parallel to the floor, sitting up straight, and avoid moving your hands too much.


Think before you speak

Know what you want to say.

When you have a clear idea of what you want to communicate, you can organise your thoughts into a coherent structure.


Address your weaknesses

Once you know your weaknesses, create a plan for overcoming them.

Tackle a specific issue each day. Focus on filler words on Monday, and on completing your sentences on Tuesday. Repeat the process until speaking clearly is a habit.



Small talk

Not everyone enjoys small talk. It is not that they are not comfortable talking, but one-on-one, small talk remains an issue.

Small talk precedes big talk in the normal course of human af...

Small talk has meaning

Anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski noted in 1923 that a great deal of talk "does not serve any purpose of communicating ideas" but "to establish bonds of personal union." He also said that small talk was merely a way to fill the silence.

He was wrong. Small talk is not just for those seeking companionship. It enacts and reinforces social roles in a whole range of social, commercial, and professional settings. 

Speech operates on two levels

  • Speech communicates information or ideas. It is the semantic content of speech.
  • On another level, talking is a social behavior. Every speech does something. It reassures, acknowledges, nurtures, enjoins, rejects, dominates, encourages, or just fill an awkward silence.

3 more ideas

Uhh... Umm...

The 'Uhs' and 'Ums' we naturally utter while speaking, or giving a speech, are generally considered to be a flaw, and a person who makes a lot of these pauses while giving a speech is generally con...

Our Brain's Spinning Noise

Disfluencies occur naturally when a speaker is processing thought while speaking a sentence, talking and thinking at the same time. The speaker can take slightly longer to find the correct phrase or word and says 'uhh'. This can also drum up the next words, making the listeners remember them.

Natural Sounding Artificial Intelligence

The attempt to remove disfluencies from public speaking is in effect 'robotizing' human beings, who unconsciously display their wisdom, intellect, and complex thinking by naturally using the pauses in their speeches.

Ironically, synthesized voice systems and Artificial Intelligence assistants are now beginning to insert disfluencies in their artificial speech, to sound warm and human-like to the listener.

Being Unable To Articulate Your Thoughts

Being Unable To Articulate Your Thoughts
  • Many introverts face difficulty in being able to articulate what is in their minds into words.
  • Introverts process information in a much deeper way, trying to think of the exact wor...

Long-Term Memory Vs Short-Term Memory For Introverts

Like in a computer hard disk, information that is retained for long periods of time is in our long-term memory and is not easy to recall reflexively, as it is outside our conscious awareness.

Our short-term memory (also called working memory or active memory) is smaller in size and recalls information in an instant.

Introverts seem to favour long-term memory over short-term memory.

Writing And Introverts

Due to the way their brains are wired, introverts make great writers, able to express themselves in a more comfortable and relaxed manner, as they take their own time to build a great story or narrative.

Many introverts prefer text messages or email over phone calls, and are great at journaling and blogging.