In the past, you could afford to speak with a Brooklyn dialect because your business probably dealt with those who spoke the same way. Today, however, no matter where you live, business is global. What this means is that your clients and associates need to be able to understand your words. If not, your message is lost.
With the lightning quick speed available because of the internet, prospective clients can come and go in the blink of an eye. If they are unable to understand you when you speak, then they are more likely to go and find someone else whose diction is clear and concise.
This does not mean you must eliminate your dialect or accent. What this means is that you must learn to speak distinctly. As long as others can understand you, then I say keep the accent or dialect, just clean it up. Your manner of speaking is one of the things that makes you unique. Whether you are from Boston or Baton Rouge, Korea or India, your accent is not the problem – your diction is.
Along with the dialect or accent is your speed. Often those who speak unclearly talk so fast that it is difficult for the listener to keep up with them. If this is typical of you, then appreciate the fact that not only is your diction troubling for your listeners but your speed is exacerbating the problem as well.
You can improve your articulation considerably with a course in voice training. Not only will you speak more distinctly but you will gain control over your speed. In addition, you will discover a better voice inside of you that you are presently unaware of. Deeper in pitch and resonant, your ‘real’ voice will be powered by your chest cavity which means less pressure on your throat and vocal folds. If you are required to speak for great lengths of time, either on the phone, in training sessions, as a public speaker, or just in your daily activities, you will have more voice by the end of the day as well as more energy.
Another benefit is that you will be able to increase your volume without shouting. This is indeed a bonus whether you are trying to be heard in a noisy area or coaching your son’s baseball team.
Being understood the first time you say it should be your goal in life, both professionally and personally. Don’t let your dialect or accent stand in the way of your success. There is no doubt that speaking clearly is the name of the game in business today.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover how to speak more distinctly.