Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

There’s no rewind button in live speeches… so form the clearest sounds as you possibly can! [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]

September 8, 2021




According to a usage note published by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a lot of people often use these terms interchangeably, not knowing how these words differ from each other. 

Real pronunciation actually involves three distinct processes, and is therefore defined as the utterance of a syllable or group of syllables with regard to articulation, accentuation, and enunciation. 

In today’s article, we’ll focus on articulation… 

According to Dale Carnegie in the book, “The Art of Public Speaking,” distinct and precise utterance is one of the most important considerations in public speeches. 

This means as a speaker, you have to make sure every word you say out loud is well-articulated so the audience can grasp your message. 

For example: 

Saying “going to” instead of “gonna,” “want to” instead of “wanna,” or “let me” instead of “lemme.” 

While “gonna,” “wanna,” and “lemme” are acceptable in casual conversations or in art forms, you have to keep in mind that they shouldn’t be used in formal settings like speeches or presentations. 

How can you articulate properly during a talk? 

First, you have to learn how to make good use of your articulators―tongue, teeth, and lips. 

Think about this: In a casual conversation, when someone’s diction is unclear, the listener often requests for a repeat or clarification of what was said. 

The thing is, the listener can’t do that in public speaking! Most of the time, an audience wouldn’t dare to ask you to repeat what you said. That is why poor articulation in a speech or presentation makes listeners tune out. 

So, what can you do to keep your audience focused on your talk? 

Speak clearly and say the words in full! This often requires slowing down your pace and using your articulators to their full capacity. 

Second, tongue twisters are a good exercise to compel you to slow down a bit and pronounce your words with clarity. 

Try saying, “Seven silly swans swam silently seaward” three times as quickly as you can. If doing that was easy for you, then “s” might be your forte! 

Some speakers struggle with certain sounds or have developed a regionalism that makes them pronounce a word in a manner that sounds strange in other places. 

If you want to make sure your talk isn’t affected by these difficulties, take note of the sounds you often struggle with or if you have a script with you, highlight the parts where you usually stutter or stumble. 

This will serve as a reminder to be extra careful when speaking those words or phrases out loud. If you want, you may also revise that specific part of your script to make sure you’ll articulate clearly on the day of your speech or presentation. 

Identifying these barriers to effective communication will help you effectively deliver your message to your audience and provide clarity during your talk. 

Third, unawareness and laziness are common challenges to articulation. 

There are times when you’re unaware of some errors in how you articulate words so it’s important that you record your rehearsal. This will help you become a better self-monitor in identifying parts where you need to say the words more clearly. 

If you still think practicing by yourself is not enough, ask a trusted friend or colleague to listen to your rehearsal and give you honest feedback afterward. 

Meanwhile, overcoming laziness needs a different approach. You probably know people who mumble or slur their words, and maybe you’re wondering whether or not that person is just too lazy to speak. 

Remember: Both mumbling and slurring are examples of poor articulation. In informal and casual settings, these ways of speaking may be acceptable but in formal settings, they might negatively impact your credibility as a speaker. 

There are also some instances where you might feel lazy to present in front of an audience, especially when you’ve presented the same speech or presentation many times already. 

When that happens, don’t worry! 

If you feel like laziness is overtaking your body whenever you deliver―or about to deliver―a talk, motivate yourself with the promise of being judged by your audience more favorably! This will encourage you to speak clearly and deliver your message in an engaging manner. 

Live speeches and presentations don’t come with subtitles as you speak. 

Your audience doesn’t have a pause button. They can’t rewind and play back your previous statements for clarity. 

That’s why it’s important to articulate your words as clearly as you can because your voice is a major channel for your message. 

If your listeners cannot understand you, your message gets lost and your time, efforts, and resources are wasted. 

You don’t want that to happen, do you? 

So, do your best to master the art of proper and effective articulation! 

As you do that, not only will you polish your whole speech or presentation but you’ll also keep your audience’s attention fixed on the message you’re conveying and what you have to say. 

Take note of your articulation the next time you prepare for a public speaking engagement! 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”

In a meeting with one person

…a boardroom with five people

…or a huge venue with hundreds of people

—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.

No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.

What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?

Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.

The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.

(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)

Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.

Have that advantage.

Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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