5 Do’s and Don’ts to Improve Your Natural Speaking Ability

by ianmckenzie on August 26, 2013

Have you ever noticed someone who is talking on a topic about which they are emotional or passionate? As they get caught up in their interest, they convey an authority which grabs the listener’s attention. The strength of their conviction drives the persuasive quality of their words.

The trick is reproducing that effect on demand: say, when you have to explain the company’s sick-leave policy.

The easiest place to start is by improving natural speaking abilities. A big step towards improving your skill as a speaker involves enhancing and controlling natural ability. Factors such as breath, posture, pitch, resonance and volume can all be developed with practice.

Do:

  1. Breath properly
  2. Stand straight, but not stiff, with your shoulders back and your chin up.
  3. Hold you stomach in and use your diaphragm to support your sound.
  4. When sitting and speaking, keep your legs un-crossed and your feet flat on the floor,
  5. Use a comfortable, low pitch as the basis for your speaking voice.

Don’t:

  1. Slouch
  2. Take deep breaths
  3. Shout and strain your voice
  4. Tense your chest or throat.
  5. Tense your lips, tongue or jaw.

Some Practice Exercises

  • Breathing exercise:
    1. Inhale relaxing your belly muscles. Feel as though your belly is filling with air.
    2. After filling your belly, keep inhaling. Fill up the middle of your chest. Feel your chest and rib cage expand.
    3. Hold the breath in for a moment.
    4. Begin to exhale as slowly as possible. As you begin to slowly exhale, make a HUM sound.
    5. Keep making the humming sound as long as possible.
    6. Pull your stomach muscles in, squeezing out a few more seconds of humming.
    7. Then relax and repeat several times over 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Resonance:
    1. Yawn. Feel how your tongue is down in the back of your mouth and your throat wide open.
    2. Practice reproducing the position of your tongue and shape of you throat, without yawning.
    3. Once you are able to assume the “yawn position” start singing vowel sounds: particularly a, o and u.
    4. With the throat open as previous, read the following sentences, prolonging the vowel sounds:
      • “Who are you?”
      • “Over the rolling waters go.”
      • “Oh for boyhood’s time of June, crowding years in one brief moon.

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