The Winning Voice

Best in class communication techniques from Michael Kelly

Learn faster than your competitors . . .

Consider this . . . 

In today’s social media world, with people always having their smart device at the ready. Where you can easily communicate with someone by showing or sharing a photo or a video clip, or by sending them a text message. Where perishable pictures do the talking – why do you need to speak well – or speak at all?

Let me share my views on this matter and on learning.

#1 I concur with luminary business theorist Arie de Geus who maintains:

‘The ability to learn faster than your competitors, maybe the only sustainable competitive advantage’. 

Today, everyone has access to the plethora of social media platforms. Access won’t give you a competitive advantage. The ability to learn faster that your competitors in leveraging those platforms will give you a sustainable competitive advantage.
#2 But you can get an additional competitive advantage if you combine your fast learning of social media and other communication mediums, with an ability to be articulate. With an ability to quickly translate your ideas to speech. 
Today you may be speaking less, but when you do, if it isn’t top tier speaking – you’re giving your competitors an advantage.
In short,

Speaking well – matters

Now that I’ve got that off my chest – aligned with the Month of the Orator theme, here are practical techniques to improve your oratory:

A 59 second audio clip where Bob Carr gives his speaking advice

Pronounce the final consonants of words louder, and with more effort.

One aspect of Bob Carr’s voice, that makes it strong and clear, is his speech pronunciation. In particular, he pronounces the final consonant/consonant cluster (two or three consecutive consonants) of words versus ‘swallowing’ the consonant/consonants cluster. For example, you’ll hear the ‘pt’ when Bob speaks the word, abrupt’, versus ‘abrup_’.

So too, pronouncing the final consonant/consonant cluster will make your voice stronger and clearer. It will help your listeners more readily understand you on your first speaking attempt.* You’ll make your speaking more user-friendly.

If you don’t pronounce the final consonant/consonant cluster, subtly, you’ll make your listeners work harder to understand you.

Consider this. What if you heard a word that started with ‘be. . . ‘ but the final consonant/consonant cluster was omitted.

The options of what that ‘be. . . .’ word could be are numerous. The word could be ‘bean, bees, beef, beach, beat, beast, beak, beam, beep, beer’. Without pronouncing the final consonant/consonant cluster the listener has to rely on the context of the sentence to identify the word.

Maintain your normal speaking speed with this louder and more effortful final consonant/consonant cluster pronunciation. In addition, don’t over-pronounce the (b,d,g) final consonants. If you do, you may sound like an Italian speaker of English. For example, if you over-pronounce the word ‘good’ it can sound like ‘gooDA’.

*A marker, that you’re not pronouncing final consonants in words or that you’re not projecting your voice enough, is that people often ask you to repeat what you’ve said.


Own the Conversation

For the next seven days, either:

#1 Choose a screen play that you like or a Shakespeare piece – and act it out. Do surprising things. The key is to get range and flexibility in your voice. Once you’ve shown yourself you can do that technically, start applying it to conversation.

or

#2 Identify one word you regularly use that ends in a consonant/consonant cluster. In safe interactions increase the loudness and effort on the final consonant/consonant cluster of the word. Here are suggested words to choose from: projeCT, profiT, markeT, accouNT, influenCE, broadbaND, metriCS.


p.s. Check out this prior post entitled: Gillard tears explained/’Limited options’ Abbott

#You might want to trial my Confident Personal Communication video learning programme because it will give you practical techniques to ‘Own the Conversation’.

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