Lacking vocal expressiveness is a common problem and sounding monotone won’t captivate your audience. Here is a solution to help you become more vocally expressive: Continue reading
When if comes to appearing competent, articulate and qualified, small changes in the way you speak can boost your potential for business success. Speaking well may influence the listener on whether or not he or she wants to pursue a business relationship with you. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:Continue reading
You are bright, extremely intelligent, and a great asset to your company. Everyone raves about your knowledge and expertise. People ask for your opinion but yet they don’t get done what you have asked them to do or you receive a lot of blank stares. Although English is not your native language, you know you have an excellent command of English grammar and perhaps you’ve even lived in the U.S. for many years. However, you realize that people have a difficult time understanding you and you notice that your colleagues seem to be avoiding you.
How is it that you have such a good command of the English language but are still difficult to understand? There are six potential problems to consider:
It’s that time of year again…holiday parties, festive decorations, and businesses competing for your money in an seemingly endless flurry of ads and discounts. I love this season despite a few hectic moments. I get to be with my family and sit down together to share meals and play games. If you are still considering gift ideas for your friends, colleagues or family, or perhaps you need ideas for games to play at the holiday party, I’d like to help you out by recommending some fun games that promote speech, language and cognitive skills. And these games are fun for both adults and children! Continue reading
When it comes to understanding someone who is from another culture who has a strong foreign accent, how do we listen more effectively to assure that the exchange is successful? Both the listener and the speaker are responsible for making sure that each party has understood. Both the listener and the speaker can use strategies to improve the situation. Here is a tip for the listener who is listening to the hard-to-understand person:
Be educated about the differences between languages. Certain languages have characteristics that are unique to that language. Since a language learner adapts what he knows about his language onto the new language, real differences in the way words are spoken occur. This fact can make the second language learner difficult to understand and can be a distraction to our ears.
There are many languages that don’t sound at all as rhythmic and melodious as English.
As a second language learner, have you ever wondered about the many intonation patterns of American English and how to learn to pronounce them?
What about those multi-syllable words that are intimidating just to look at? Have you ever looked at them and been completely dumbfounded by their pronunciation? So, you say the word as quickly as possible so that no one will notice.
Have you ever said something that even to your own ear, you didn’t recognize the word that just came out of your mouth? And when you are asked to repeat it, you cringed, knowing you won’t be able to say it correctly again.
Do you ever wonder why some speech titles grab your attention more than others and make you curious about the topic?
Do you know the essential ingredients behind a great title that sparks that curiosity?
Sam Wieder, author of the award-winning The Speech Title Cookbook, has created a masterpiece of proven recipes for titles that sell.
“Do you ever croak when you speak?” And what I mean by that is…Do you ever talk at the bottom of your pitch range and sound a bit like bacon frying or frog croaking? Both men and women have adopted this style of speaking and it almost seems like it’s trendy and cool. But it’s not! Those people who notice it find it often times annoying and painful to listen to. The voice isn’t clear and isn’t natural.
Not only this vocal behavior to your vocal cords but it is a distraction to your listener if you do it.
If you got to hear Pope Francis speak at all on his recent trip to the U.S., you witnessed a special sound unlike anyone else. His unique style may contradict what we typically would expect in leaders in the corporate setting but then again, maybe not. His style certainly works as a leader of lay people. Since I work with leaders on their communication style, I want to share the elements of speech and voice that Pope Francis has that brands him so positively and helps win friends and influence others. I divided what we hear in the Pope Francis’ voice into three categories:
Staying relaxed is one of the most valuable states have while speaking English. The oral musculature (tongue, lips, and jaw) vary in tension for the sounds of the English language, but general relaxation of the oral musculature is essential.
Our vocal cords pull together by way of the Bernoulli effect. (If you aren’t familiar with physics, that’s ok! This has to do with air pressure and the way our vocal folds pull together via a vacuum.) However, when the muscles around the larynx are tense, it affects the corresponding sound. The muscles of the larynx and the vocal tract need to be tension free to perform optimally. Imagine holding a tight fist for a period of time. When you are ready to pick up an object, the muscles of your hand will be stiff and tired for a while even for a simple act like picking up something.