How to Become More Articulate: 4 Tips from Our Team

Become More Articulate

Trouble with proper articulation can take many forms in adults. You might have an injury, a dental issue, or another physical issue that makes it harder for you to pronounce certain sounds. English might be your second language. You might have a hearing problem that affects your speech. Or you may get anxious when speaking publicly and find that your pronunciation suffers the more nervous you get. While none of these situations are your fault nor should speaking differently be held against you in any way, the unfortunate fact of the matter is that if you can’t be clearly understood in the office, that’s going to limit your ability to succeed.

Fortunately, there are several methods that you can use to become more articulate over time. Here are a few simple strategies that our executive speech coaches have found helpful with their clients.

1. Slow down

One of the simplest and best ways to speak more clearly is to slow down. Rushing causes words to blend together. When you take a little more time and remember to breathe, your mouth has more time to form sounds properly, and whoever’s listening to you has more chances to keep up with what you’re saying.

2. Be concise

If you know that you have a tendency to ramble when you get nervous, or if you tend to lose people during long explanations, look for opportunities to shorten your responses and be more direct with your words. You can also combine this advice with tip one and take a short pause to collect your thoughts before speaking. Speaking in a slow and measured way has a tendency to make people lean in and want to know what you’ll say next. Watch videos of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg or President Barack Obama – they both take their time when speaking and choose their words carefully.

3. Practice tongue twisters

You can easily find all sorts of tongue twisters online that can help build make your mouth and tongue stronger and more dexterous. Practice makes perfect.

4. Use proper grammar

We’re not saying that you need to use proper grammar all the time. Most people speak one way to their kids, another way to their spouses, another to their friends, and another to their co-workers. It’s perfectly normal to do so. But if you work in an environment where you’re expected to communicate with a wide range of people, you need to be able to effectively use proper grammar, so practice as much as you can.

If you’re having trouble articulating your thoughts, are dealing with an injury, or simply find public speaking terrifying, executive speech coaching could be the right next step for you. Give our office a call to set up a free consultation with a Chicago speech coach.