Tone Of Voice Exercise Part 7: Articulation
Utilizing all of the oral muscles and organs, and training them through repetition, is essential to exhibiting the clearest pronunciation in your speech. We all know it as Articulation, which includes the accurate use of vowel and consonant sounds, as well as the inclusion of all syllables in your pronunciations. Articulation not only makes you easier to understand regardless of your accent, but it also sets the tone that you are confident and deliberate in what you say, and that you take seriously this tool we call vocabulary. As a bonus, conscious Articulation can also inspire proper Pace, Pausing and Intonation in your speech.
How Articulation Can Work In Your Favor:
Proper Articulation, which equates to good technique, will allow the listener or audience to be drawn in to the content of your speech rather than being distracted by your potentially unusual or lazy pronunciations. This can set you apart, especially in meetings or on panels.
How Articulation Can Work Against You:
Although better Articulation is important to distinguish you, over-pronunciation can set a negative tone, making you come off as uptight, stuffy or old-fashioned. Get a sense of the limits of Articulation, and avoid letting over-pronunciation pigeonhole you as having a superiority complex.
Recite the first paragraph above, under the heading “Articulation”. Take special care to push your pronunciation of each sentence beyond your normal conversational level by including every syllable of every word. Sharpen the T’s and S’s, especially when they occur at the ends of words. As you Articulate, notice how some of the other tone-related elements of spoken language begin to naturally fall into place. Then, play around a little by reciting the passage with a lazy lack of Articulation, then with obnoxious over-Articulation, and finally with effective, balanced Articulation, until your mind and your tongue begin to find the linguistic sweet spot.