How to learn to speak beautifully and express your thoughts correctly

Many consider competent speech to be a talent that is given to a select few and is necessary only in some areas of activity. In fact, everyone should think about how to develop speech. After all, good diction makes you listen to the person speaking and trust his opinion more. In addition, such a skill often contributes to career growth, especially if performing job duties requires frequent communication with people.

Diction training

You need to start your workout with proper breathing. If you breathe incorrectly, this can lead to a break in your voice, prolonged pauses, and a distortion of the meaning of the phrase. Therefore, during public speaking, speakers do not use ordinary breathing, but speech breathing. Normal breathing may simply not be enough, so it is important to learn how to use air correctly and restore it in time. In this case, use diaphragm breathing. It is developed through a whole system of breathing training, but it requires persistence and a lot of patience.

Next, work begins directly on correct pronunciation - diction. To do this you need to perform simple steps:

  • Record your reading of any text on a voice recorder.
  • Listen to the resulting recording.
  • Let others listen to it.
  • Compare your opinion and someone else's.
  • Highlight the main disadvantages.

The most common pronunciation errors are:

  • incorrect pronunciation of vowel sounds in a weak position (without stress);
  • “eating” individual consonant sounds;
  • loss of vowel sounds;
  • incorrect combination of consonant sounds when they are connected;
  • unclear pronunciation of hissing and whistling sounds;
  • incorrect pronunciation of soft sounds, etc.

It is advisable to correct diction with the help of specialists. Now there are many organizations where speech therapists work. Of course, the classes are mainly designed for children, but you can take private lessons to quickly achieve the desired effect.

Use cards

If you can’t remember a very complex and interesting word, use the flash card method. Many people have been familiar with this method since school.

On one side of the card you write the word, on the other - its meaning. First you need to try to remember the answer yourself, and then turn the element over and test yourself.

This method is very simple and effective: the memorization process begins with preparation. Therefore, it is better not to use applications, but to create cards yourself and write on them by hand. And you can take a small stack with you anywhere.

Advice for those who will practice diction on their own

All classes should begin with exercises to relax the muscles responsible for correct articulation. It is better to follow a certain sequence of exercises. You need to start the exercises with the simplest ones, gradually moving on to more complex ones. You need to exercise every day. Proceed to the next exercise only after the previous one has been fully mastered. Every day you need to set new goals and objectives. The achieved results need to be maintained from time to time by repeating the basic exercises.

Five Canons of Rhetoric

One of the greatest orators of all time, Winston Churchill gave a weekly radio address aimed at boosting the confidence of his people during the war. He dispelled their fears and convinced people that they were fighting for a just cause. Over time, his eloquence became legendary. Churchill deeply understood the art of rhetoric and knew how to persuade as if he were communicating with one person - his words had an impact on all people, regardless of values, education or position in society. Special rhetorical canons played a significant role in Churchill’s eloquence, which we invite you to get acquainted with. Read more…


Working on the content and technique of your speech

One of the common speech mistakes is speaking too quickly. When a person is in a hurry, as they say, chattering, it is difficult to perceive him. You need to learn to control the pace of your speech. To begin with, you can pronounce at a very slow pace some speech material that does not require special understanding. This could be a sequence of numbers, for example, up to one hundred, names of months, cities or countries, a list of male or female names.

It is better to write down this sequence so that you can pronounce the words in forward and reverse order. Over time, having memorized this sequence, it is better to reproduce it from memory, simultaneously training your memory. Then you need to move on to repeating the text by ear. Moreover, it should be recorded at a fast pace, but it will need to be repeated at a slow pace.

Rich vocabulary

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A rich vocabulary helps you express your thoughts beautifully and succeed in life. Rich speech speaks of a person’s culture and good education.

The importance of a rich vocabulary is great, since with its help you can express yourself freely, conduct business negotiations and quickly move towards your goals.

Knowing a lot of words and being able to speak beautifully are not the same thing. The vocabulary needs to be replenished with a broad outlook, knowledge, beautiful speech and expressiveness.

How to “put” a voice

Of course, the term “voice production” applies more to musicians, actors and other creative professions. It means that you need to train the strength of your voice, its range and timbre. The power of your voice can be trained by loudly and clearly pronouncing texts of various types: poems, fables, odes, prose poems.

The range can be expanded if you pronounce a variety of text exercises in the highest or lowest tones. In this case, the voice should ideally become higher or lower, depending on the final goal. The timbre of the voice depends on overtones, that is, on an additional tone that sounds like a kind of echo. An overtone appears when sound is reflected from the wall of a natural resonator (your own skull, chest cavity, larynx, etc.).

Connect with people different from you

Your usual social circle is constantly “cooking” in the same vocabulary, because you have the same interests and topics for discussion. You've probably noticed that when someone in your company finds another job or meets new people, their speech changes. He sprinkles unusual words, jokes, and even the manner of conversation can become completely different.

Every new person changes you. Therefore, strive to constantly expand your circle of acquaintances. Chat at the gym, in the store, attend more events and find people to talk to on the Internet. Don't push away those who are different from you.

Speech development

Unfortunately, modern people are increasingly becoming tongue-tied, unable to express thoughts correctly, and confused about the meanings of words. There are many reasons for this.

Firstly, they read little now, as they spend more time in front of a computer monitor or TV screen.

Secondly, too few samples of literate speech are heard. It’s no secret that even from a TV screen you rarely hear examples of correct and beautiful speech. There is no need to talk about radio stations at all: DJs communicate with radio listeners in the same way as they are used to communicating with friends - peppering their speech with slang words and expressions.

Thirdly, they rarely watch theatrical productions. After all, the theater requires a special style of clothing, you need to behave culturally, the most important thing is to understand the content of individual mise-en-scenes, the complexity of the characters’ characters. All this requires extra effort from people, so it’s much easier to go to the movies, eat popcorn and laugh.

However, if you are firmly convinced that your speech is characterized by a poor vocabulary, an abundance of speech errors and incorrect sentence construction, and you intend to learn how to command the attention of the audience, then you simply urgently need to start working on your own speech.

What does it mean to speak correctly?

A person who speaks correctly and beautifully stands out from the crowd. Beautiful and correct speech is different:

  • Ease, absence of long pauses and hesitations;
  • Energy;
  • The absence of parasitic words and sounds and profanity;
  • Full of meaning;
  • Melody and volume.

The ability to speak correctly and beautifully is not an innate ability, but a skill. It can be developed. It is important to approach this consciously and practice regularly.

Learning to speak beautifully

So, here are tips that will help you learn to master beautiful and competent speech.

Build sentences correctly

Illiterate and monotonous speech is primarily revealed by incorrectly constructed sentences. When a person painfully selects words to continue the thought he has begun, makes long pauses, and as a result receives a “clumsy” thought, this indicates that he does not have the technique of correctly constructing sentences.

To learn how to structure correctly, you need to start with written exercises, writing down interesting thoughts, observations, and aphorisms in a separate notebook. In the future, immediately before the speech, you need to compose the text in advance on paper, retelling it according to a ready-made plan, repeating individual expressions.

You can generally keep a diary (this is fashionable, judging by TV series like “The Diary of Doctor Zaitseva” and similar ones), recording your impressions of the day, some of your observations, reasoning. All this contributes to the development of speech in general, and the correct construction of sentences in particular.

Increase your vocabulary

Poverty of speech reveals a meager vocabulary. If a person expresses his assessments, judgments, comments in the same words, this indicates that it is difficult for him to express his thoughts due to lack of knowledge. Therefore, such speech makes a repulsive impression, and the person himself will not have authority, especially among those who are fluent in speech.

Agree, in our time, say, a tongue-tied school principal is nonsense. He simply will not be able to speak in front of teachers, which means he will not be able to gain authority either among his colleagues or among the students of his own school. After all, even illiterate students understand that teachers, and even more so the director, must be literate in every sense of the word.

How to diversify your speech? Of course, first of all, work with an explanatory dictionary. Having heard a word that is new to you, you need to find its meaning in the dictionary, write it down and remember it. Moreover, you need to remember a word only in context, that is, in a sentence. Used without context, a word may be incomprehensible or perceived with a distorted meaning.

It’s a good idea to at least solve crosswords or scanword puzzles, because they also give the meanings of words, sometimes in an allegorical or ironic sense, which helps to learn to understand the polysemy of a word. It is also important to read articles in various magazines - not just glossy ones.

For example, reading economic news will help you understand the financial and legal fields and will significantly enrich your speech with terms from these areas. If you are interested in medicine, even by watching programs like “Live Healthy” and similar ones, you can understand many medical concepts, ranging from a basic injection to highly specialized terms.

By reading articles on psychology, you can expand your vocabulary with many fairly modern concepts, because now almost everyone is either their own psychologist or their own doctor. Ideally, it is better to expand your social circle. After all, by maintaining relationships with lawyers, specialists in the field of IT technologies, doctors, teachers, etc., you will, wittingly or unwittingly, hear words that are new to you, gradually starting to understand their meaning, and then introducing them into your own speech.

Learn to highlight the main thing

Attention to detail is good for observation. But during speeches, especially public ones, excessive detail can lead to weakening interest and boredom. Therefore, it is important to learn how to compress any information. Using computer programs, compressing a volume of information is quite simple. How to do this with text?

Making a plan plays a huge role. A plan allows you to define the sequence, focus attention on what is important, and also emphasize the most important details. Three main techniques are used to compress text: exclusion, generalization and replacement. Mastering these techniques will help you create a real masterpiece of eloquence from any lengthy and uninteresting text.

Get rid of parasitic words

There is nothing more painful than public speech peppered with words like “like”, “here”, “so to speak”, “as if” and many others. It is no coincidence that they are called parasitic words, because they are implanted into speech, killing its beauty and sound. Therefore, this requires very painstaking work to cleanse your speech of “speech impurities.” First you need to record your speech in public using a voice recorder. Next, you need to listen to this speech, noting those words that clog it. Ask your friends to constantly notice such words when communicating with them, correcting you each time.

You need to learn to control the pace of speech so that you have time to stop before you blurt out something like that. Let it be better to have a short pause than “booing” and “backing”. This requires self-discipline and constant self-control from a person, but the result is certainly worth such sacrifices.

Expand your speaking practice

Now, in the age of testing and copying ready-made homework assignments, it is rarely possible to give a monologue speech. This is why former schoolchildren and students then come to work tongue-tied. Therefore, if you set yourself the goal of learning to speak correctly, it is important to use all opportunities for public speaking already at school.

Oral answers in class, speeches at various scientific and practical conferences, speeches in front of classmates, on stage - all this will not only help you become self-confident, but will also force you to speak coherently, competently, and convincingly.

Of course, reading classic fiction or popular science literature will also help, because you can always give examples from books or modern reality. And nothing makes a speech more convincing than bringing a large number of arguments.

Use gestures that will make you feel more comfortable when in front of an audience, and the right associations will be evoked by listeners. If at first you speak, looking at your notes, then frequent and lengthy speeches will soon help you feel confident even during direct communication with the audience or a certain circle of people.

Is it possible to learn to express yourself gracefully and is it necessary?

There is no skill that cannot be mastered. The main thing is to show interest and perseverance. But you can't learn a skill if it's not interesting. Doing something you don't like is a tedious and difficult task.

Therefore, you can learn to speak beautifully. But why? Beautiful speech not only helps to establish contact with other people. The realization that a person himself has accepted his shortcoming and corrected it gives him a surge of motivation and spirituality.

Improving yourself step by step, it is impossible to be disappointed. Achieving goals is a key reason to develop even stronger.

Also, beautiful speech helps you feel confident in any area. There will be no more problems, for example, saying beautiful compliments to a girl or making a good joke. We recently talked about how to be charming and learn to joke quickly.

Online program "Modern Rhetoric"

In 8 weeks in this program, you will master and learn how to apply traditional and modern rhetoric techniques for speeches, presentations, vlogging, stand-ups and much more. You will learn to speak clearly, intelligibly, control your voice, behave correctly on stage and work with the audience, cope with the fear of speaking, prepare good speeches - from planning and searching for material to the actual text of the speech, and, of course, argue your speech. The program is suitable for both those who are just starting their journey as a speaker, and those who are already professionals but want to improve their skills. Find out more...

Working with words is work, but the work is interesting and exciting. The faster you immerse yourself in the process, the faster you will taste success. Go for it!

We also recommend reading:

  • Storytelling
  • Nora Gal's advice to those who work with words
  • Black rhetoric. Part one. 7 Rules of Clever Rhetoric
  • How to understand how a person feels
  • Five Canons of Rhetoric
  • Orthoepy - why it is important to speak correctly and how these rules arise
  • Lessons in Wisdom from Francis Bacon
  • Preparing for a Public Speaking
  • Marcus Fabius Quintilian: on the education of an orator
  • How to develop eloquence: some tips
  • Best Blog Content of 2021: Writing

Key words:1Rhetoric

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