What’s your line of thinking when it comes to speaking in front of audience, or anyone for that matter?

  • The content is what matters. Your English speech clarity is of secondary importance OR  
  • English speech clarity is just as important as your message?

Yep, people speak differently. Can’t argue with that. You have accents, personalities, moods (tired, excited, bored), speech habits etc. What’s clear to one listener might not be immediately clear to another listener. Perhaps the listener simply needs to adjust to the speaker’s accent, mood, speech habits, etc. Would you agree that the listener has some responsibility to stick with the speaker and focus on the content?

Clear is smart

In spite of this fuzzy idea about speech “clarity,” I’d argue that if you’re delivering information in a presentation or interacting in a meeting, it’s in everyone’s best interest for you to pay attention to how you speak. Clear is smart. This goes for both native and non-native speakers alike. 

If English is your native language, concentrate on your speed. Make a point of enunciating your vowel sounds clearly. Pay attention to any professional speaker who has received some form of speech coaching, and you’ll probably hear crisp consonant sounds being uttered at the end of his or her key words of information.

If you’re a non-native speaker of English, concentrate on your use of pauses, stress, and intonation. Stress and intonation are the specific cues that make up the English sound system. Every language has its own. If your audience consists of primarily native speakers of English, I recommend taking these cues seriously. More of what you’re saying will  be retained by your listener(s). (You want that, don’t you?)

Need some help with your spoken English “clarity”?

International speakers of English (i.e., non-native speakers), join me in the Chicago Loop for one of the following:

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Have a question or want to talk?

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