3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Speaking Effectiveness

Posted November 10, 2022 in
Tips & Resources Tips & Resources
Whether you are on a stage, in a boardroom or on Zoom with the teams you see every day… the way that you speak matters. Your words have weight and meaning and will land with more purpose when delivered well. You don’t have to be an international keynote speaker (although we know a few) to desire to utilize world class speaking skills. You can hold an audience with rapt attention when you take a few simple steps to improve your delivery. Those tall tales and college memories will have an even greater impact if you’ll merely tidy things up a bit. 
Here’s how:
1 - Drop the "uhhs" and "umms"
 We’re all guilty of these little space-fillers between words. Sometimes we use them to keep that space full so that no one else can jump in and OVER you. Let’s be honest -  It’s lazy. You’re better than that. And you’ll sound a great deal smarter to boot. 
 This will instantly improve most anyone’s delivery. If you are in a teaching phase (and aren’t we all, in the TAYA framework?) allowing your audience, who isn’t at the same level of understanding, to catch up with you is a gift. It takes a moment for words to pass from your lips to the listeners’ ears…and for actual comprehension to follow. Slow down. Maybe even incorporate an actual pause for effect. I truly love….a good pause.
3 - Enunciate  
Consonants are your friends, friends. They are the anchors to our beautiful airy vowels. Lock them down firmly before moving onto the next word. There’s a boost of power and authority when you speak clearly. You’ll notice a difference in how you feel when you start speaking so.

Practice makes… better. 
No one is perfect but you can always get better. Here are a few ways you can actively work on the tips above to get a handle on your verbal shenanigans. 
1 - Become aware. Start looking for uhh’s, umm’s, fast talkers and word-jumblers. Don’t point the finger at them, just become aware. Your awareness will lead to hesitation when you start to fumble yourself. You’ll course-correct and lead by example.
2 - Read. You’ll expand your vocabulary and have better topics and ideas to reference in your now brilliant conversations.
3 - Read aloud. Pick a favorite book, the magazine of the day or the list of possible side effects on your nightstand meds if you can stand the terror. For movie buffs there’s always My Fair Lady to get you inspired. “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”
4 - Record yourself and delight in the replay! I know very few people who actually LOVE the sound of their own voice. But, there’s so much to learn there. Salespeople and Sales Managers should be doing this anyway. But non-salespeople can still benefit from this practice. You can’t address hurdles you won’t admit you have. Notice where you’re getting ahead of yourself and jump into self-improvement. 
I’ve spoken on radio, television, national stages and around many dinner tables where what I was saying wasn’t all that special but how I was saying it was almost magical. Words can be fun. Don’t rush through all of yours. I invite you, now, to luxuriate in the English language (or whatever your native tongue may be). 
Until next time… (insert pause for affect),

2 2 2 6
User Profile

Log in to leave a comment or

Sign Up for Free
Becca Manganello
Thanks for posting this Kristie! One of my favorite tips you gave is that I am going to start reading out loud. I rarely do this but I do think it would really help me be more comfortable speaking. Also, I HATE the sound of my own voice and I also don't like listening to myself so recording myself and watching it would be really helpful as well. Thank you for sharing this!
Kristie Crenshaw
Becca Manganello  Pick a favorite author, poem, book, scripture ... it will make it even more enjoyable! And recognize that the sound of YOUR VOICE is a joy to others because of the intention you bring - you're always helping and lifting others. #musictomyears
Love  •  
1 1
Winnie Anderson
Really good tips and reminders. 

The best investment I ever made in my early education was taking two semesters of public speaking. 

It was a struggle to go through -- super demanding having to write and deliver a speech every other week. 

My PS101 prof gave us the best tip to eliminate fillers like um -- stop talking. 

Just close your mouth every time you're about to let one of those things pop out. 

It forces you to slow down as well but it keeps those distracting fillers inside your head. 

Love  •  
1 1
Kristie Crenshaw
Winnie Anderson  Great advice and good for you !  Always invest in YOU.
Love  •  
1 1

Read next