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Speak well in Public [Oratory Course]

“Of the various instruments invented by man, the most amazing is the book; all others are extensions of his body … Only the book is an extension of the imagination and memory”.
(Jorge Luis Borges)

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First council to dominate the art of oratory …

Speak well

Words related to «speaking well»: communicating correctly, adequately expressing, Make me understand, effective conversation, Correct pronunciation, to Explain, Manifest an opinion clearly.

Has it ever happened to you that listening to someone, you do not understand anything, you know he is speaking your same language, you hear the sounds that come out of your mouth, but the message it conveys you can not be understood. When this happens it is usually because the person who communicates does not know how to «speak well».

Speaking well is related to «diction», that is, the fit way to use words, Both in the writing and in the oral , when reading or speaking, you using correct pronunciation of each word.

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Why is it important for us to have a good diction?

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  • To correctly transmit a message when speaking or reading.
  • To eradicate doubts or lack of understanding of the message.
  • Transmit dignity and respect to the message transmitted.
  • To promote respect for the correct use of the Castilian language.
  • Who speaks with good diction projects a «professional» image.
  • To improve in the selection of words by shaping and expressing the main ideas of a message.
  • Keep the listener attentive to the message and not the «errors» when transmitting the message.

Common mistakes:

  • Cut words, this habit very common in chat and text messages, which serves to «gain space», is to translated into spoken language, producing linguistic phenomena such as: «thx» instead of «thanks», «cgr» instead of «Congratulations «.
  • Change one letter for another, we are all taught in school and in our homes to correctly pronounce each syllable and each word, but nobody spends time teaching us to identify the vices when pronouncing, until it is too late, each region, each country, has its own idioms that attempt good diction, example: Change the «L» for the «R», in the eastern region of Venezuela in everyday spoken language is common to hear: «Amol»(love), «Menol(Under age) ”; This phenomenon is repeated in all countries and each region proposes its own mistakes that are formed of mode «unconscious» and to misfortune, it is inherited from generation to generation.
  • Inventing words (barbarisms), occurs when we try to adjust some expressions of other languages to castilian or the deformation or incorrect conjugation of some existing word.
  • Without recognise of the accents, in castilian, as in other languages that use the Latin alphabet, not all the words carry tilde, with the frequent use of the language it is learned to give the adequate accent, and with the study of the language one learns to identify the words acute, deep and proparoxytones, what will allow to pronounce it correctly, giving him the intonation in the exact syllable in spite of not taking tilde.

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The correct reading:

Maybe you think you do not need to read well to expose clearly and effectively, which is false:

  • 1st The correct reading is a consequence of continuous reading habits, there are no shortcuts, practicing daily either aloud or mentally, we will be able to read fluidtly.
  • 2nd. With reading we enrich our vocabulary, while more we read and select the material to read, the greater the number of words we can use to communicate.
  • 3rd In our facets as «Speakers» or «Exhibitors» we will always have the opportunity to read, be it the support material to be used, announcements, names of the assistants, in end, Read enriches our way of speaking, and when speaking in public we will always have the opportunity to read..

Note: The proper use of punctuation marks, allows us to read correctly and convey the idea as the writer has written it most of these symbols indicate pauses in the reading, these pauses allow to he and the listener (s) time to process the message, therefore, I invite you to repass the meaning and the pause time of each of these signs.

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Appropriate modulation:

It is the ability that we all have to vary the voice, in volume, rhythm and tone.

  • Volume: is the intensity with which we project our voice, some by nature have a high power when speaking, while others have to strive to be heard, if in the room or auditorium where we speak there is a microphone and sound system this can help if we have a weak voice, but if we lack equipment to amplify our voice then we must learn to strengthen our vocal cords and the respiratory system to project our voice with more power, later in the Audio and Sound post we will give some advice for this.
  • Rhythm: refers to the speed of speaking, each of us has a natural speed to expresase, that identifies us, if in front of an public we force the speed, the message come out feigned, without conviction, we will be acting without naturalness, however, we can accelerate or decelerate depending on what we want to say, for example: if we need to mention a list of objects or actions we must do it at a rapid pace, but if we are explaining a main idea, an important objective or repass an aspect of the speech, we must express it at a slower pace to guarantee that it is fixed in the minds of listeners.
  • Tone: is related to the capacity we all have to transmit emotions when speaking, when someone pronounce two or three words we can already know what emotional condition he is in (nervous, bored, tired, angry, cheerful, convinced, etc); lack of preparation is one of the main reasons that causes nervousness and lack of conviction in discourser, as consequence the public is losing interest in the subject, on the contrary, even if it is our first time before an audience, the good preparation, readings previous, diction practices, will allow us to project the audience trust and mastery of the subject.

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Use of pause and emphasis on main ideas:

In spoken language, pauses are very important, going at full speed, hasty over words and the ideas will cause confusion in our listeners.

Speaking without pauses is the same as reading a text that does not have any punctuation marks, making it impossible to distinguish or order ideas, also pauses allow time for listeners to process information and prepare to relate it to the next idea.

The emphasis we to gain when choose the key word or phrase in our message, raises the volume of the voice and makes a long pause after saying it.

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“Speak well «is not a modern miracle, does not require any high IQ, anyone can develop this competence, but yes, there are no shortcuts, you must be constant, practicing reading and respecting the rules of grammar.

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[Oratory Course]

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Leave in the comments of what country and region you are and what are the most common mistakes that they make when speaking…



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This post was translated by the Spanish translation team of @lit. Thank you @alcidescadizfor taking our services and helping the community in taking another step toward a greater understanding of one another.

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