Four Efficient Ways to Improve Your Speech
Use More Facial Expression
One psychologist feels that our facial expression is responsible more than anything else for the impression others have of us. In fact, more than 50 percent of another’s impression, he believes, is influenced by the look on your face. Naturally a smile in which the eyes participate is extremely communicative. A scowly look often brings the same thing in return. People tend to mirror your expression, so try to show how you feel about a topic or an idea or the audience through your facial expression.
Dispel Your Inner Fear
It's natural to have some tension or nervousness when you appear before an audience. The way to handle it is to put it to work for you, get into action, as Shakespeare observed, action cures fear. There are only a few known ways to control fear. The first is to admit it, do the thing you fear and it will be the death of fear itself. Another simple aid at the last minute before you begin, is to take a few deep breaths, this will help get the butterflies in formation and also keep your voice under control. In fact, if you’re thoroughly prepared, just taking a few deep breaths before you’re introduced will give you added confidence and poise. I define poise as having control of your emotions. A fun definition I heard was, poise is the difference between raising your voice and raising your eyebrow. Other known ways to control nervousness and fear are to give yourself a pep talk or take some physical exercise, simple calisthenics can work wonders in you. And as a final antidote to fear -prepare, then act confident, act as though it were impossible to fail.
Polish Your Voice
Our voice is the main instrument we possess for communicating with people, we’re all sound sensitive. So invest in a tape recorder, practise your speech by speaking it into the microphone then listen to it. You can even have others join in the evaluation of your strong points and your weaknesses or faults as well. Remember that Demosthenes and Winston Churchill both used pebbles in their mouths while practising their speaking. I’ve done the same thing and I can promise you that even if you use jellybeans instead of pebbles you can quickly develop excellent pronunciation. Simply reading out loud can help you improve your voice and develop a personal style. Read the newspaper or a magazine out loud or read stories to your children, any kind of practice will help improve your emphasis, pausing, pace and pitch and even increase your resonance.
Strengthen Your Memory
Psychologists tell us that most individuals don’t use above ten percent of their inherent capacity for memory, that’s comparable to trying to run a car on one cylinder. Why do most people use so little of their power of memory? Because they don’t practise the fundamentals of remembering. First and most important, it’s necessary to have a burning desire to remember, it’s difficult to recall anything without wanting to do so. Step number two is concentration. Our success depends greatly on our ability to concentrate. Henry Ward Beecher once observed, one hour of intense concentration can accomplish more than years of dreaming. The next principle is repetition, we learned many things in school by rote by repetition, when you hear a name for the first time repeat it, spell it, write it down, review it, you’ll soon know it by heart. All the brain needs is a clue. In remembering, names, for instance, a rhyme association works wonders. I met a man named Tony Goal who works for the phone company, I quickly came up with the rhyme, Tony’s Goal is a telephone pole. Every time I see him I immediately know his name and remember that he works for the phone company. The more associations you make, the easier it becomes, keep them short and simple, the more ludicrous the association, the easier it’ll be to recall.