Please do not mumble when you speak, speaking clearly is back in fashion - suddenly people are realising that we all need to be able to talk clearly. We all want to feel confident when we talk. Although we can now communicate using emails or WhatsApp or Facebook or simply texts - the spoken word is still the most effective way of communicating.
Not communicating clearly can prevent us from getting on in life. Most of us chat quite easily to friends and family, so find out how to move this skill on to talking to people we don't know.
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If you think of a little old lady dressed in a Tweed suit talking rather 'posh' when you hear the words 'elocution teacher' think again! I live in jeans, laugh a lot and have a hint of a Dorset accent when not teaching but I am passionate about my work and am incredibly serious (with a smile) when it comes to teaching my clients to sound confident.
Serena Greenslade F.V.C.M.(Hons), A.N.E.A., B.A.(Hons)
From being such a shy child that I didn't talk to my form teacher for almost a year, I am now a confident communicator and a world wide author on Speech Training. I have written for 'The Lady' magazine in the UK, The Voice and Speech Review, Dance Studio Life Magazine in the USA and various sports coaching publications including The International Tennis Federation Coaching and Sport Science Review. I have a unique way of teaching and I am eager to help you improve your speaking skills. Read more about me here.
I will teach you how to communicate at the correct pace (not too fast but not too slow), at the correct volume and with expression. I will show you how to make the sounds in your mouth and how to pronounce the vowel and consonant sounds. Talking with expression doesn't mean being dramatic, it means using your voice to sound interesting and exciting. If you sound expressive, people will want to listen to you.
Good articulation (saying the ends of words and correct vowel sounds) and accent reduction can also be achieved with practice - but a lot of people love their accent so it's worth remembering that you can sound clear and confident with an accent as long as you talk clearly.
The two main reasons people mumble is that they speak too quickly and they don't open their mouths wide enough. Both of these things can be easily and quickly overcome.
Whatever type of talking you're doing the basic skills needed are the same. You may have to read aloud which is a skill that most people think they can do but they do it badly and it such an easy skill to learn. You may have to explain and inform people or retell a story. Perhaps you need to sell your ideas or products. Some of the skills needed are technical some are just common sense - like how to stop saying 'um' when you're talking.
Click here for elocution voice exercises - some are easy, some are difficult! Remember whatever you do - do not mumble!