Your Speaking Voice - How Good Diction Helps

Updated on January 26, 2018
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Respected vocal coach and professional singer, Audrey Hunt lays it on the line when it comes to the responsibility of singing.

Is that really me speaking like that?
Is that really me speaking like that? | Source

Poor Diction

What did you say? Will you repeat that please? Did you say...? Would you please speak a little louder? I didn't understand what you just said. Could you speak up, please?

These questions all refer to one thing - poor diction when speaking. One of the biggest frustrations in communication is the inablility to understand what a person is saying. This can even lead to a heated argument, family disputes and lovers quarrels.

Many of us fall into the "I can't understand you", or poor diction category. But all it takes is a change of habit to learn how to clean up your diction and sound more professional.

Important Benefits For Speaking Clearly

The dictionary defines diction as the degree of clarity and distinctness of pronunciation in speech.

Speaking clearly improves the sound of your voice, giving you a more successful vocal image. As you speak with confidence and credibility you become you make a lasting and positive impression. This forms trust.

It seems that we become complacent with our speaking voice. We don't think much about it. And because we are so used to our own sound, what we hear as we speak seems to be correct to us. But what we hear and what the listener hears are two different sounds. As we speak, we are hearing the sound which is vibrating and resonating between the bony surfaces of our head and face. The listener is hearing the projected sound. This sound can be quite a schock to us the first time we hear it on a recording. I know I was quite disappointed the first time I heard my true speaking voice.

Adding another advantage we have over the listener is the "image" of the words which travel through our thought process. Others can't read our minds and can only communicate through our words.

Richard Burton as Seen in the Film "The Robe", 1955

Richard Burton is well-known for his impeccable diction.
Richard Burton is well-known for his impeccable diction. | Source

Pumping Energy Into Your Voice

When you were in grade school and just a kid, you were taught how to make vowel sounds. You were also taught how to articulate consonants. By being specific with these sounds, you learned that you could easily be understood.

It may be time to pump more energy into your voice by reviewing some of the basics of good speaking. Do you remember the famous actor, Richard Burton? He was known for executing perfect diction. If you can imitate his sound (somewhat), you will find that he used his lips to form beautiful, clear and resonant speech.

He was the master of consonant placement. And as brilliant as he was with the spoken word, he continued to practice and always warmed up his voice before acting on stage. Burton always used Diaphragmatic Breathing to bring energy and power to the spoken word.

Listen for the clarity as he speaks.

Steps for Learning Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is the foundation for confident speaking and singing. To learn this principle, practice the step-by-step exercises provided in this article. Practice several times a day for as long as it takes for you to learn. It must become entirely automatic. This means that for some, a few weeks will be all that is needed but for others it may take several months.

A great benefit for learning this new way of breathing is how we are able to get more blood flow and oxygen to our brain. This all adds up to living a healthier and more productive life.

The Miracle of Breathing

Exercises For Speaking Consonants

The following excercises may help you with your consonant placement. They exercise your muscles for speech:

Bilabial - sounds made with the two lips together.

  • ME MAY MY MO MU - PE PAY PY PO PU - BE BAY BY BO BU- WE WAY WY WO WU

Sometimes we mumble and fail to pronounce our words properly because we don't know how to position our tongue and teeth. While speaking the above bilabial exercise, pay attention to how the tongue is positioned in the mouth. There is little movement except for the U (oo), where the tongue pulls back a little.

Labiodental - upper teeth on lower lip.

  • FE FAY FY FO FU - VE VAY VY VO VU

Linguadental - tongue between teeth.

  • THE THAY THY THO THU

Lingua alveolar - tongue tip against upper teeth. Avoid attacking the T by bringing the teeth together so that they touch. The t sound is initiated with the tongue contacting the gumline which meets the upper teeth.

  • TEE TAY TY TO TU - DEE DAY DY DO DU - NEE NAY NY NO NU - LEE LAY LY LO LU

Lingua alveorlar - tongue tip positioned against lower teeth.

  • SEE SAY SY SO SU - ZEE ZAY ZY ZO ZU

Lingua palatal - tongue is against the roof of the mouth (hard palate)

  • CHE CHAY CHY CHO CHU - JE JAY JY JO JU - SHE SHAY SHY SHO SHU - RE RAY RY RO RU

Lingua velar - tongue against the soft palate or uvula.

  • KE KAY KY KO KU - GE GAY GY GO GU

Glottal - layrnx or voice box.

  • HE HAY HY HO HOO

Practice these diction exercises for a few minutes each day to get the best results. After a time, your pronounciation will become natural sounding. Another suggestion, is to list words with these sounds in them. Record your voice now and then to help you follow and recognize your improvement.

An Energetic Message For Speaking

Common Mistakes Made When Speaking

The way you pronounce your words is a major factor in influencing people. Those who mispronounce words are often unfairly judged. Take a look at the following list of mistakes made in pronounciation.

  • Leaving off the end of the "ing" words as in thing, wearing, loving, wanting, singing.
  • Word and slang misuse ("he goes" instead of "he said".)
  • Eliminate the words (goin', comin', gonna, shoulda, woulda) in your speech permanantely.
  • Kill the filler words (like, you know, um, er) which can be annoying.
  • Using the wrong word.
  • Even using the wrong tone can have a negative effect on what you're saying.
  • Using a high and piercing tone.
  • Mumbling.

This Tip Brings Energy To The Voice

I have used this exercise for years with immediate results. If your speech is lazy, tired or monotonous, try running in place as you speak an easy song or phrase. Example: Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

Try it all in one breath, speaking clearly and not rushing the words. Keep the volume and pitch up.

Special Exercises For Specific Speech Problems

Here are some exercises to help you if your pitch is too high or too low. And if your tones are monotonous and boring the following exercises will add color to your speech.

  • The siren exercise - begin on a low tone, using the vowel "ee" and slide up to a high tone and back down again. ( you will sound like a siren). This will introduce you to a variety of areas and colors for speaking. If you speak with a high sound, lower your pitch and if you use a low sound or monotone, experiement with different pitches. Recording your vocal changes will help tremendously.
  • Practice the following vowel exercises. Say the vowel sounds in progression as you drop your jaw farther for each vowel sound. You may feel as though you are exaggerating and you should. - EE IH EH AH AW UH O OO.
  • If you want to get rid of a nasal sound - drop your jaw and exaggerate chewing the tones on YA YOO YE.
  • My favorite exercise is this one. Look in the mirror and say "hello" to yourself using lots of energy. You will most likely smile, and that's great. Now, saying only good things to yourself keep talking. Nothing negative must be spoken. Talk to yourself like you're talking to your best friend. Keep the dialogue going for at least 1 full minute. In the beginning it may be difficult, but with time and consistency it will become easy.

Good, Clear Diction is the Goal of Successful Speakers

A powerful, confident, voice holds the attention of the audience
A powerful, confident, voice holds the attention of the audience | Source

Final Thoughts

You deserve to be dressed in a powerful, confident voice. You deserve to be listened to, and you certainly deserve to be understood.

We will be talking until we take our final breath. Speaking is our inner landscape. It's our personal calling card. Harness the power of your voice by rehearsing the exercises provided for you in this article.

Your voice is your instrument. Make it your best.

"He who speaks the truth, stabs falsehood to the heart."

James Russell Lowel

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Audrey Hunt

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      • profile image

        Sacrum 

        6 months ago

        I took my first course in Voice and Diction in college, over 50 years ago...one of the best choices I made in school. My take on current English usage is not favorable. Pronouncing words properly must have been dropped from our school systems over the past few decades.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Akshay

        I'm very happy to find that you found so much helpful information in my hub. This is my goal and intention. I am here to help. Thank you.

      • profile image

        Akshay Mudgal 

        2 years ago

        I was initially curious about improving my diction, but when I went through your this short coaching I was taken aback as to where I were all these years. Tremendously rich @vocalcoach . Thanks so much, one of my best friends!

      • profile image

        A run s 

        2 years ago

        Poor, very poor diction is more than evident when I hear lots of youngsters speak. These days it seems there is a serious lack of awareness among youth about the importance of good diction.

        The standard of the day is to go "uh ha or uh uhn" for yes and no respectively. Not surprisingly it seems their parents use this in everyday life thereby setting acceptable levels of non diction in their minds.

        Understand that they perhaps do not realize it or more importantly do not really care or think it's important. This hillbilly type attitude is not acceptable in society, especially in schools, the workplace or generally in a public setting. This malady is widespread and needs to be corrected now better than later.

        I mean when we went to school back in the day, not only was spelling important but diction in debating contests etc. we're constantly a part of your life. You made an impression when you spoke to someone, not just for good diction but for your knowledge of the subject matter.

        I'd like to see that among all youth today, not just some from elite schools or so called high society types. It's just the reality.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        letstalkabouteduc - Thanks for your excellent comments. I hope others read them as well. Too many people are murdering language these days. Glad to see you here.

      • letstalkabouteduc profile image

        McKenna Meyers 

        3 years ago from Bend, OR

        Great reminder to all of us that we need to become more purposeful when we speak. If you're talking, it's your responsibility to enunciate. If someone can't understand you, don't reply with a frustrated: "Oh, never mind!" Take it as a sign that you need to speak louder, more clearly, slower, or whatever.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        CJGrace - Thank you for sharing your very interesting story! The formation and shifting of the teeth can impact the speech. It can be difficult and even discouraging as we try our best to "fix" the problem. A qualified speech therapist can help and I'm also available if you need me. Be patient meanwhile and know that in time, improvement will come!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Wow KDuBarry03! I love these comments and knowing that my hub has been a source of information as well as a great reminder. I appreciate the vote up and thanks for sharing!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Docmo - Thanks so very much for your support. I'll bet you are a wonderful speaker!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Steph - How great it is to see you again! Thanks so much for finding my hubs useful. My best to you!

      • CJGrace profile image

        Chris 

        5 years ago from California

        This is very useful information for me. When I was 17 years old, my parent's took me to get braces, as I had horrible problems with my teeth. Little by little, I was able to observe my facial features improve as well as my teeth. After two years, my braces were finally taken off, and what a feeling! Not only could I see how perfect my teeth were, I also heard something perfect-my speech! My pronunciation of words were excellent. I'm in my late 40's now, and in just the last years or so, I have noticed something again, people are having a hard time understanding what I say. I think it may have to do with the shifting of my teeth. They didn't stay perfectly straight. I have been trying to improve my speech, but it seem something is wrong. My mom, taught me how to pronunciate, I was taught in school, but for some reason, I just cannot. Hopefully, with the help of your article, and persistence, I can gain my speech clarity once again. Loved the article!

      • profile image

        KDuBarry03 

        5 years ago

        Very useful information! We are talking a lot about diction and paralanguage when speaking in my interpersonal communication class; definitely a great reminder and a great source of information. Voted up and shared!

      • Docmo profile image

        Mohan Kumar 

        5 years ago from UK

        I've just given two speeches in two weeks and while I am used to public speaking- the diction, the voice projection and the cadence are things I like reflecting on and practising to get better. This hub is a real gem of a resource to practice my intonation.. thank you!

      • StephSev108 profile image

        Stephanie Marie Severson 

        5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

        Thanks again. Your hubs are so useful.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        princesswithapen - I like the way you use the word "de-clutter" for cleaning up bad speaking habits. Thank you so much for your kind comments and for sharing as well. I'm delighted to see you here!

      • princesswithapen profile image

        princesswithapen 

        6 years ago

        Even the best of managers and bosses need to master the art of speaking properly. It is amazing how you can get things done by just speaking clearly, precisely and in a certain tone.

        From college grads to working professionals to sales execs to professors, this post can be an awesome stepping stone for anyone and everyone looking to de-clutter the way they speak. I'm sharing this.

        Princesswithapen

      • sofs profile image

        sofs 

        6 years ago

        Informative and useful hub. I often deliver lectures and it is my voice that I use to hold attention the attention of the young college students.I can really see how important it is to train and use our voice to achieve the right effect. Great hub Audrey! Enjoyed reading it!

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        I had to stop back by and practice a little bit. EE IH EH AH AW UH O OOoooooo.

        Also I wanted to see the video with Robert Goulet this time around. I really loved the movie version of Camelot with Richard Harris (Dumbledore #1), but I can see where Richard Burton would be a great King Arthur. What terrific actors they both are.

      • James A Watkins profile image

        James A Watkins 

        6 years ago from Chicago

        Fantastic advice in this needful article. What a great subject you chose, one quite often neglected. I enjoyed this thoroughly and I hope it is a blessing to many. Thank you!

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        6 years ago from the short journey

        So important, and well done. Appreciate your work very much!

        Voted up and I hope it is highlighted many times over. Can't say enough about its needfulness!

      • Eiddwen profile image

        Eiddwen 

        6 years ago from Wales

        Another wonderful hub Audrey.

        You really do hit the nail on its head and it is so sensitivly written.

        Inspiration at its best.

        Another up up and away and take care my dear friend.

        Eddy.

      • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

        DeBorrah K Ogans 

        6 years ago

        Vocalcoach, This really is EXCELLENT! This serves to remind us to be cognizant of not becoming complacent with our words... No doubt you are a Great Coach! Again, Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

      • Highvoltagewriter profile image

        William Benner 

        6 years ago from Savannah GA.

        A lot of great stuff here, very important for those who speak for a living and actually for anyone who wants to improve there speech! Thank you!

      • Blawger profile image

        Bahin Ameri 

        6 years ago from California

        Great hub! As an attorney, having a good speaking voice is crucially important so I found your exercises to be quite uselful. Thanks for the tips!

      • Felixedet2000 profile image

        Felixedet2000 

        6 years ago from The Universe

        Oh my God, i am awed by your lucid write up, thank God for coming across someone like you, voted up.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        6 years ago from Shelton

        A very (let me make my self clear ) VERY useful Hub :) Frank

      • profile image

        Sueswan 

        6 years ago

        Hi vocalcoach

        Great hub! I have bookmarked this one so I can practice the diction exercises.

        Have a wonderful day.

      • profile image

        Derdriu 

        6 years ago

        VocalCoach: What a practical and precise presentation on the advantages of clear speaking (which in turns reflects clear thinking)! It is most helpful the way in which you identify common problems and offer concrete solutions through effective exercises and repetitions. It is particularly elucidating to listen to the magnificently clear and precise articulation of one of my favorite actors, Richard Burton.

        Thank you, voted up, etc.,

        Derdriu

        P.S. What is the picture of and what happens when the little cutey is unleashed for lack of reader comment?

      • thelyricwriter profile image

        Richard Ricky Hale 

        6 years ago from West Virginia

        Voted up and all across but funny. Love the exercises Vocal. So many good tips and such a helpful article you have created. Awesome work. I shall bookmark this as I am trying to get this singing down path.

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        6 years ago from England

        Hi, you are completely right, so many people these days have forgotten the art of speech, and I had to smile, I was wondering how many of us were doing your exercises above, I know I was!

      • susan54 profile image

        susan54 

        6 years ago

        Vocalcoach, Are ready for your flattop haircut come join us girls and get one, there are a few more flattop women around hub pages. It's us old women.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Hi kellymom - I like your quick response. I just finished commenting on your first hub just a few minutes ago. It was such a great hub. Again, welcome to hubpages!

      • kellymom1970 profile image

        kellymom1970 

        6 years ago

        Vocalcoach, VOTE UP!What a great hub.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        molometer - I'm glad this hub brought back some nice memories for you. You must be an excellent speaker! Thanks so much!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Hello DeBorrah - So very nice to see you. One thing I am going to add to this hub is " What we say, is more important than how we say it". Knowing you, sweet lady, I know you will agree. Thank you for sending me Peace and Blessings.

      • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

        DeBorrah K Ogans 

        6 years ago

        Vocalcoach, This is Great! Very informative and helpful! I am always up for improving... Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Hi tammy - Oh yes...there is a definite science to using the voice correctly. I am so glad you found this article to be helpful. BTW - I love your hubs!

      • tammyswallow profile image

        Tammy 

        6 years ago from North Carolina

        Very helpful. I didn't realize there was a science behind this!

      • molometer profile image

        molometer 

        6 years ago from United Kingdom

        Great hub,

        bookmarked and voted up.

        When I was training as a lecturer we had a vocal coach, to help us project our voices to the back of the auditorium. This hub brought back fond memories. Thanks.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Elearn4life - Thank you so much. And I really do appreciate your willingness to share this hub with others!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Genna - I can't help but chuckle about your first time giving a seminar. That was so cute. And I know just how you felt. Your positive feedback on my hub raises my level of confidence and I thank you so much for that!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        PegCole - Yes, these are great singing exercises. In fact just about everyone who has studied singing has a pleasant and articulate speaking voice. Glad you liked them. Must have brought back memories :) Thanks, Peg.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Green Lotus - I do happen to have a few exercises to prevent using filler works. How about if I write a short hub on this? And OMG...your hubby is British! If he were mine - I would just sit around listening to him speak...:) Thanks, dear GL.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Charlotte - What you say is true. This particular hub is not meant for those who are learning how to speak English, but for those who already know how:)

        BTW, I am working on that vocal warm up hub for you. Thanks for the suggestion - it's a great one. Look for it soon and I am mentioning your lovely name.

        Take care my friend.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Mary - I am thrilled to see you! Isn't epogramman just the dearest? Thank you for your comments. I am going to read your hub about your piano teacher now. Take care, my new friend.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Subron7 - You've made my day! This is the best thankyou of all. And look out for this vicious critter. He attacks!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        homesteadbound - I would have played with my puppy. :) Really glad that you did read this because your comments mean a great deal to me. Thanks!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Audrey - Thank you for visiting my hub. I really appreciate your comments. And may I add, I have read your poem and left a comment and voted. You have some excellent hubs. Such a treat to have you as part of our hub family!

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        6 years ago from California

        Such a lot of information here--great article!

      • homesteadbound profile image

        Cindy Murdoch 

        6 years ago from Texas

        I considered not to leave a comment just so I could play with the puppy, but this is a lot of good advice, so I decided I wanted to let you know. Many, many people could use the techniques you speak of in this hub. Great job!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Good morning Prasetio! It is so nice to see you. You have always amazed me with your ability to speak English so well. Your own students are very blessed to have you as a teacher. And I am very blessed to have you for a friend all these months. May God be with you today and everyday. Hugs to you, dear Pras.

      • SubRon7 profile image

        James W. Nelson 

        6 years ago from eastern North Dakota

        That's one vicious-looking dog! Very funny! I practised all your exercises. I have a special file for favorite hubs and this one will go there. Thank you, Vocalcoach, for the follow

      • prasetio30 profile image

        prasetio30 

        6 years ago from malang-indonesia

        Very inspiring hub. I learn much from you and you always be my vocal teacher. Thank you very much for share with us. Rated up! have a nice weekend.

        Prasetio

      • profile image

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago

        My friend on HubPages, Epigramman told me about you, and I'm so glad he did. I have to bookmark this Hub, so I can go back and reread. I haven't thought of this in years, but when I was in school, our Chorus teacher would have us place two opened fingers between our teeth and sing the music scales up and down. I just wrote a Hub that is a true story about my piano teacher. He thought you might like to read it. It's The Piano Lessons. So glad to have met you. Regards, Mary

      • Charlotte B Plum profile image

        Charlotte B Plum 

        6 years ago

        Hey vocalcoach!

        This is a great hub about diction. It is interesting to think about the different accents that non native English speakers have, because of the way the have grown up without the particular habit of pronunciation, or because their ears are just not used to certain English sounds.Really enjoyed it! =)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        RLW - Love your opening comment. And I certainly wouldn't want to put the brakes on rock'n roll :) Thanks so much.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        mentalist - Every word you write is poetic and inspiring!

        Thank you, my friend.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        PFXKaraokeguy - Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate your sharing your views and totally understand where you are coming from. Appreciate it!

      • Green Lotus profile image

        Hillary 

        6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

        I agree this should be required reading in schools; actually elocution lessons should be a required subject. It's funny, everyone tells my husband, who has a British accent that they love hearing him talk, but few make an effort to even speak clearly.

        I know too many young adults who consistently use those "filler" words. Is there an exercise to get rid of this habit? Thanks! Rated up and useful :)

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        I loved the vocal exercises you provided. Mi may my mo mu! We used these vocals to warm up our voices for concert chorus in school. They also help to relax the face :)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        ubanichijioke - You make a good point. One does indeed stand out from the crowd in a positive light by using good diction. And it's becoming more rare each day. :)

      • ubanichijioke profile image

        Alexander Thandi Ubani 

        6 years ago from Lagos

        I totally agree with you. Good diction really sets one different from the crowd and even wins positive attention.

      • WD Curry 111 profile image

        WD Curry 111 

        6 years ago from Space Coast

        Help! I can't even do these exercises. How can I practice? I have a lazy Florida drawl. It can't even be classified as a southern accent. I confess to not watching the video all the way through. I am out of range of good signals and have a cheap usb thing that barely has one bar. I promise I will let it stream and watch it later. This must have been a lot of work, thanks.

      • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

        Justin W Price 

        6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

        Thanks for sharing this. While I don't agree with this all this (I see no problem with slang. It's colors the language) I do get tired of bad grammar and mispronunciations. I don't care much for the sound of my own voice, though I do talk a lot :-) I've found, since I started reading my poetry and prose aloud that I'm more mindful of how I speak. Voted up interesting and useful!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Will - Hello my friend. You have added a very important point to this article and I want to thank you. Absolutely a terrific addition. Thank you so very much!

        Hugs...

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        carriethompson - I love it! Not many look at the exercises as fun, but you do. And I do too. Thanks for the great comments and thanks for making my day!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        randomcreative - I appreciate your comments. The appreciation you display gives me just the boost I need as well as confirming that this topic needed to be addressed. Thanks so much!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Oh, Kathy - "Ain't" it the truth though! What ages me the most is seeing all these kids dressed in peace officers uniforms and driving police vehicles...:):) Thanks my wonderful friend.

      • WillStarr profile image

        WillStarr 

        6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

        Excellent Hub, Coach!

        This is especially important for those of us who have lost part of our hearing, because we cannot hear slurred consonants.

      • carriethomson profile image

        carriethomson 

        6 years ago from United Kingdom

        Ah vocal coach!! this is an excellent hub. i have a friend who has this problem, dont know wether its diction or or just because of trying to speak too fast. Will definitely refer this hub to him!!

        Excercises for consonant placement and successful diction are not like excercises at all they are fun:))

        carrie

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 

        6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        Great topic for a hub! I know that this is something that many of us need help with because we fall into speech habits that aren't great without even realizing it. Thanks for all of the great information!

      • Chatkath profile image

        Kathy 

        6 years ago from California

        So helpful Audrey, especially coming from you! It is so funny when I help my Daughter in law correct her classes papers things are so different now, that's how I know I am getting old ~_^

        Thanks for sharing your expertise my friend!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        drbj - Alas, proper diction has gone to the dogs. And you make an excellent point regarding the downfall of texting. Thank you, my dear friend for your contribution and support.

      • drbj profile image

        drbj and sherry 

        6 years ago from south Florida

        This is an excellent summation, Audrey, of the way we influence others with our diction or lack of it. In fact, those four common mistakes in pronunciation that you listed are also responsible for many applicants not winning job offers after interviews.

        Making those mistakes indicates to the interviewer that the job candidate may not be the most professional choice.

        And texting, now that it is so prevalent, may sound the death knell for proper and distinct diction. Thanks for these useful reminders.

      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 

        6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

        Now this was a delght. I remember when I had to give my first seminar; tongue tied, nervous -- I think all of the little twang accents from my childhood flew into my mouth. Thanks for this treasure of helpful informaton -- a bookmark for everyone. :-)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Good morning Dee - What a pleasant treat to see you on both of my latest hubs. Thank you for your support! And also, thanks for sharing this with your brother. Your comments on broadening one's horizons by speaking correctly is an excellent addition to this hub. And you, are an excellent addition to my list of friends!

      • Elearn4Life profile image

        Darlene Matthews 

        6 years ago

        This is absolutely a needed hub. I will be sharing this much needed information . Thank you for this VC!

      • Mentalist acer profile image

        Mentalist acer 

        6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

        Diction can sometimes be culturally distinctive and well worth the appreciation of them.;)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        diogenes - Unfortunately, you are right. And it isn't any better here in the USA. Like you have said, it just isn't kool to speak correctly. But if this article can even reach 1 person and make a difference...well, that would be 1 more, cleaning up their speech. Great comments. Thanks.

        vocalcoach~

      • Dee aka Nonna profile image

        Dee aka Nonna 

        6 years ago

        I'm with rwelton, wish this was required reading, if not in schools, then in every home with children. There are regional and cultural dialects...what I have always said to kids that have come under my influence is that learning to say words or speak correctly can only expand and broaden their horizons and like speaking more than one language can consider themselves bi-lingual.... may not be the best way to get them to learn, etc. but it works. LOL Great hub Audrey... I will be giving a copy of this one to my son to use with his kids.

      • profile image

        diogenes 

        6 years ago

        Great article, but you are swimming against the tide. People speak so much worse (more badly I should say) than they did 50 - 100 years ago. It seems it's not cool in the UK for teens to speak properly: remembering letters, like "T" for example (and "Innit" for isn't it, etc). Really good hub so voted Bob

      • rwelton profile image

        rwelton 

        6 years ago from Sacramento CA

        God, I hope this goes viral and becomes required reading in our schools.

        Of course if everyone got on board, there would be no more Rockin'-n-Rollin' songs published....just sayin'...

        Great hub -

        RLW

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