Whether you are looking for a job, a promotion, or even that someone special in your life, have you ever considered what your diction says about you? You may speak with an accent or a heavy dialect or you may mumble or have ‘lockjaw.’ Whatever the cause, it is definitely in your best interest to learn to speak so that your listeners understand you the 1st time you say it.
The pace of life today is fast and furious; and, good communication skills are vital. Thus, if you want to succeed, both professionally and personally, speaking clearly and distinctly is a requirement.
Voice training is an excellent means of improving your diction as well as the sound of your speaking voice. While the goal of the voice coach is not to eliminate your accent or dialect, it is that person’s job to teach you to enunciate your words more clearly. By learning how to use your chest cavity as your primary sounding board in the production of your speaking voice, you will notice that you have control over your speed as well as your diction.
Most people are not using their chest as a means of powering the voice. Instead, they rely on their other 4 resonators: the larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), mouth, and nasal cavities. And, in most cases, the real work of phonation or voice production is being handled by the voice box and throat. When you add your 5th resonator, the chest cavity, you will not only speak more distinctly but you will discover a richer, warmer, deeper voice that you were previously unaware of.
Both your speech and voice distinguish you. It tells your listeners whether you are concerned about how you speak and how you sound. Incidentally, the voice I’m talking about is the one you hear on your answering machine – not the one you hear in your head. A voice that is difficult to understand due to a heavy accent or because of a volume that is too soft or from lazy movement of the mouth does not sound professional.
Listen to other professionals in your field and notice how they talk: distinctly, clearly, and with enough volume. Don’t let poor enunciation stand in the way of your success. Discover your ‘real’ voice and you will be amazed at how much more distinctly you will speak – so will your listeners!
The Voice Lady, Nancy Daniels, offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as the Voicing It! the only video training on voice improvement. If you would like to see a wonderful example of volume control and diction, watch Mohammad's ‘before & after’ video clip at Nancy's Voice Training website.