How to improve diction
We all want to express ourselves well in public, but it is not always easy to articulate our thoughts and ideas fluently. Many people have an innate gift for modulating the speed and intonation of speech, but others, expressing themselves correctly costs a little more, especially if they are surrounded by people with whom they do not have confidence.
To improve the way of reading and speaking in public, it is necessary to have good diction, that is, to articulate the sounds of words properly, saving the characteristics of the accent and the native language of each person. In a HOWTO we explain several simple methods of how to improve diction so you can overcome your fears and optimize your eloquence.
If you wonder how to improve diction and oratory, the first step is to perform some breathing exercises. And there are many people who feel that they drown when they speak for several minutes, a problem that is almost always caused by nerves.
To avoid these inconveniences that make speech difficult, breathing exercises are necessary. If you have to speak in public for a long time, perform these techniques 15 minutes before your intervention:
- Stand up, with your back straight, and place your left hand on your belly and your right hand on your stomach, making a slight pressure.
- Breathe slowly through the nose until you inflate the rib cage and contract the belly.
- Then, slowly draw the air through the mouth, emptying the diaphragm and relaxing the abdomen.
- Complete 10 repetitions and then perform the same exercise but, when inhaling and exhaling, keep your mouth open and teeth together, without clenching them. In this way, when you breathe, you will relax your vocal cords.
By completing these simple exercises you will notice how, when you start talking, you are much more relaxed. When you speak, remember to take air through your nose and take it out of your mouth, breathing continuously.
Perfect the rhythm and intonation
Among the most useful techniques to learn how to vocalize better we find modulation exercises; many people have a voice timbre too low and find it difficult to project the voice. Many others, on the contrary, have such a strong doorbell that it is difficult not to disturb the listener.
With modulation exercises you will perfect the rhythm and intonation of speech, detecting the pauses and inflections necessary to make your way of expressing yourself more understandable and attractive.
- To warm your throat, rehearse syllables that include open vowels (a, e, o) and the consonants that (s) and erre (r). For example: bra-bre-bro; rae-rea-roa; ere-era-ara; ese-esa-osa; asa-ase-ose… Repeat each combination 5 times for 2 minutes.
- It continues with words that also include the consonants that (s) and err (r). For example: cups-hugs-shortcuts; forks-modulator-repeaters; supervisor-organizer-joint… repeats 5 times each combination, rehearsing for 2 minutes.
- Finish the round of exercises by reading a text of approximately 200 words in a minute. Thus, in just 5 minutes, you will activate your tongue, throat and lungs to correctly modulate speech.
The fundamental advice if you don’t know how to improve diction and how to improve oratory is to read aloud, well without realizing it. Likewise, the timbre and intonation of the voice are essential, so you must modulate the voice volume according to the context.
If, for example, you are in a chat with friends, you do not need to speak very loudly, but if it is a public event, you will need to raise the decibels.
Read aloud for 10 minutes at home, in front of family and friends. Try to look for simple readings first (news, literary texts), which do not include too complex terms. This will improve the intonation and articulation of words. Then, you can advance with more complex readings.
Improve your personal vocabulary
To avoid all these common mistakes, the main thing is to know the spelling of the words and the basic characteristics of Spanish grammar. A good review of the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy will allow you to improve your vocabulary and expand your knowledge.
It is not about learning unusual terms to appear to be someone cultured, but learning the essential terms that you need to use when expressing yourself in public, especially in formal situations. This article on How to read faster can be of great help.
Perfect your native accent
Another essential point to learn how to improve diction and oratory is to know how to combine the spelling rules that govern your language with the particularities of the native accent. A good diction does not mean losing the originality and essence of your native language.
The idea is to make you understand in the best way, combining your natural accent with a standard vocabulary, that is, without abusing colloquialisms. To do this, listen to cultural radio programs and detail the way in which the broadcasters in your country express themselves.
Recite tongue twister
If you are still not sure how to vocalize better, tongue twisters are of great help. Search the Internet and start with simple tongue twisters, gradually increasing the difficulty.
One of the most common problems when speaking in public is feeling choked by a word. The ele (l), the err (r), the pe (p) and the that (s) are some of the letters that cause the most problems. Some good examples are:
- The sky is bricked, who will unbrillate it? The de-driller that undrills it, a good de-brillator will be.
- Three sad tigers, swallowed wheat in a wheat field, in three sad junk, swallowed wheat three sad tigers.
Regulates the speed of speech
Like breathing, speech speed makes a big difference. If you speak very slowly, you will bore the public, but if you speak too fast, no one will understand you.
If you wonder how to improve diction, keep in mind that experts recommend saying approximately 180 words per minute, that is, 3 words per second. In this way, the diction will be dynamic and efficient, articulating words and phrases clearly and accurately.
The key is that you feel comfortable with your speech and that you have confidence in yourself.
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