Developing Good Speech Habits

Brent Dalley
A free video tutorial from Brent Dalley
Trainer in: Leadership, Marketing, Family Counseling
4.2 instructor rating • 83 courses • 19,372 students

Learn more from the full course

Want to Show Confidence? Then Learn to Speak With Confidence

There is an art in communicating. When we do it well we show confidence and poise

05:36:26 of on-demand video • Updated

  • Speak with greater clarity, confidence and conviction. Write correspondence whether a letter or email that will set the tone that you desire with the recipient. Know how to communicate with various personality types for greater understanding. Construct the agenda and then conduct great meetings that people actually look forward to attending. When attending meetings show, by your new found confidence, that you can contribute.
English [Auto] This it's all for you at. Haven't you ever listened to a person speak. Whose voice was so rich and beautiful that you enjoyed listening to them sometimes regardless of what they were actually saying wow developing perfect vocal intonation and diction can be a lifelong task. A beautiful sounding voice can be obtained in a relatively short amount of time. All you need is a little guidance and some dedicated practice. Most of us hate to hear the sound of our own voice. However to improve your speech by developing good speaking habits I would strongly recommend you take some time before going any further in this course and record your own voice. I have included a simple paragraph to read or you can read something from a book or magazine or read a presentation you have given or even a lengthy email and you have sent or received. Now in that case as long as it doesn't have a lot of texting and I am slaying in this recording will give you a baseline to work from. After all how can you change what you don't know exists. Record yourself sitting down standing up and above all smiling. After this exercise if you are still unsure. Talk with a trusted friend or family member a mentor or even consult with a voice coach. Ask them to listen to you read and constructively suggest some areas that might need improving. Now here are five speech items that routinely come up when I have coached someone who is developing new and better speech habits. First thing you want to do is speak up. It's important to be heard when you speak obviously. So raise your voice if you tend to whisper mumble or speak with your head down. It is much easier for people to talk over you or just plain ignore you. And when I say ignore I also mean not taken seriously if you speak so softly it is hard for the listener to hear you. Your audience assumes you don't believe in what you are saying. So why should they. If you are speaking to a subordinate he might assume your direction is more of a suggestion. However this doesn't mean you should shout what you should do is vary the loudness of your speech depending on the situation. For example if you are addressing a large group of people it will of course would be necessary to speak loudly in order to project your voice but speaking too loudly in normal everyday conversation. That's totally unnecessary and can give the wrong impression. But even in this situation you need to speak up looking your listener in the eyes and speaking with confidence and conviction. Second slow down speaking too quickly is a habit and it can be difficult for people to keep up with you or even understand what you are saying. This makes it easy for them to turn you out and stop listening. Therefore it's important to slow down your speech by saying your words more slowly and pausing between sentences. This helps to add emphasis to what you're saying and it also gives you a chance to take a breath. Now on the other hand you shouldn't speak too slowly. Speaking too slowly can be monotonous for your listeners so they may become impatient again. They'll just tune you out the ideal speaking rate is somewhere between 120 and 160 words per minute. However if you're giving a speech it's a good idea to alter the speed at which you speak. Speaking slowly can help to emphasize a point. While speaking more quickly can give the impression of passion and enthusiasm in this presentation. I speak at about 130 words per minute which is very difficult for me. My habitual rate is 160 or maybe even a little more words per minute. But I have learned through experience and boy voice coaches speaking 160 words a minute to someone who may not be familiar with the subject might get lost to me since my purpose is to teach them nothing would be accomplished. How do I speak more slowly. Well as just plain cold practice and practice and concentration I have to constantly remind myself to slow down. If you watch closely sometimes I will pause for a few seconds. That is my reminder cue to just slow down. You will come up with your own style as you develop this part of your speech habit. OK. Enunciate speaking clearly is possibly the most important aspect of developing a good speaking voice. You need to pay close attention to each and every word you say pronouncing it fully and correctly making sure you open your mouth. Loosen your lips and keep your tongue and teeth in the correct position as you speak. It might feel odd at first but if you consistently make the effort to pronounce your words correctly it will soon come naturally to you. Practice deep breathing deep breathing is essential for a full rich speaking voice. The majority of people breathe too quickly and shallowly which usually results in a more unnatural nasal kind of tone your breath should come from your diaphragm not from your chest to figure out if you're breathing correctly. Place your fist on your abdomen just below your last rib. You should feel your stomach expand and see your shoulders rise and fall as you breathe. Practice your breathing by inhaling deeply allowing the air to fill your belly breathe in for a count of five seconds then exhale for another five. Get used to this method breathing. Then try to work it into your everyday speech. Just pay attention. I've included a download of breathing exercises you should use to develop good breathing habits. Remember that sitting or standing up straight with your chin up and your shoulders back will help you to breathe deeper and project your voice more easily. It will also give you an air of confidence as you speak. Try to breathe. At the end of every sentence if you use the deep breathing method you should have enough air to get through the next sentence without having to pause for breath this will also give your listeners a chance to absorb what you're seeing. Vary your pitch. The pitch of your voice can have a real impact on the quality of your speech and the impact it makes on your listeners in general speaking in a shaky or unsteady pitch gives the impression of nervousness while and even voice is more haughty and persuasive. Although you shouldn't try to change the natural pitch of your voice you should make an effort to control it. Don't let your nerves get the better of you and just aim for fuller smoother pitch. An example of this would be in a presentation setting. If you're like most people you get a little nervous when you have to speak in front of a group. That's OK and it is natural. The problem is when you are nervous you will tend to speak a little higher. You can combat this by continually lowering your voice as you practice your presentation. If you will be working from notes write in big letters at the top of the first page. Speak lower as a reminder. If you start your speech this way chances are you will continue to speak in a lower tone. You can practice controlling your pitch by humming a tune. Keep in mind that it's not necessary to maintain a steady pitch at all times. Some words should be voiced in a higher pitch in order to add emphasis. Developing good speech habits is just like developing any good habit. If you have taken my course on leadership you now have the skills necessary to create good habits. If you haven't. May I suggest you take the course and learn the techniques necessary to change back to good and create new and better habits. Practice the breathing exercises you've downloaded. Review the information from this session then play your voice recording again. Do you see some changes that you will want to make now. Now in the next session you will learn what to do with this new armed speech habit. See you there are two.