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Your Speaking Voice: How Good Diction Helps

Audrey Hunt, a renowned vocal coach, shares valuable information for singing like a professional. Learn how to improve your present voice.

How to Polish Your Speaking Voice

How to Polish Your Speaking Voice

How to Correct 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 inability 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 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 while the listener is hearing the projected sound. This sound can be quite a shock 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.

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.

Our voice makes us immediately recognizable and identifiable from the first word we utter. The human voice is a potent and fundamental part of who we are and how we express ourselves. The sound of our voice reveals our feelings, our gender, our personality and even our age.

Richard Burton as seen in the Film "The Robe" (1955): Richard Burton is well-known for his impeccable diction.

Richard Burton as seen in the Film "The Robe" (1955): Richard Burton is well-known for his impeccable diction.

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.

Every word we speak needs energy in order to be heard. This energy comes from our breath and the words actually ride on air. Breathing from the belly instead of the chest provides more energy for better communication.

Listen to the Clarity of His Speech

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. Consider reading my other article, The Miracle of Breathing.

Exercises for Speaking Consonants

The following exercises 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 the 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 alveolar: 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 pronunciation.

  • 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 permanently.
  • 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.

The speaker must have a well developed voice able to produce sound with little physical effort. A resonator is an area where the voice becomes larger. Actually, your whole body is a resonator which produces vibrations.:

  • The chest works with the lower parts of your vocal range.Place the palm of your hand on your chest and in a low voice say "ho". Do this until you can feel vibrations occurring in your chest.
  • The sinus area affects the middle range and enables your voice to carry. Find a comfortable middle tone and sing the word "nee" feeling for vibrations in the nose and cheek area. The tone will sound nasal at this point.
  • The skull (top of the head) is the highest resonator and helps to produce high sounds.Send a nice high " Hee" sound on different pitches into the highest resonator - the head.

Learning how to use these resonating chambers will help to free your voice without force or strain.

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, experiment 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.
  • Drop the nasal sound: 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.
  • Speak from the chest: If you ladies still speak with a "little girl" voice or if your voice is squeaky, start bringing your vocal sound from the chest area. This may feel awkward at first, but after some practice, you'll sound much better. Your voice will take on a rich, relaxed and confident tone.
Author, working with actor for up-coming movie role. A powerful, confident, voice holds the attention of the audience.

Author, working with actor for up-coming movie role. A powerful, confident, voice holds the attention of the audience.

Good, Clear Diction Is the Goal of Successful Speakers

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.

© 2011 Audrey Hunt

Comments

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 29, 2019:

Thanks for being here and for reading my article. I like your comments. I also wonder about diction and whether it's being taught in our schools.

Sacrum on January 27, 2018:

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.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 18, 2016:

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.

Akshay Mudgal on December 11, 2015:

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!

A run s on August 23, 2015:

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.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on May 18, 2015:

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.

McKenna Meyers on May 06, 2015:

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.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 31, 2013:

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!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 31, 2013:

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!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 31, 2013:

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

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 31, 2013:

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

Chris from California on November 08, 2012:

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!

KDuBarry03 on November 06, 2012:

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!

Mohan Kumar from UK on November 06, 2012:

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!

Stephanie Marie Severson from Atlanta, GA on October 18, 2012:

Thanks again. Your hubs are so useful.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 12, 2012:

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 on March 17, 2012:

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

Sophie on January 12, 2012:

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!

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on January 12, 2012:

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 from Chicago on December 14, 2011:

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 on December 12, 2011:

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 from Wales on December 12, 2011:

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 on December 11, 2011:

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!

William Benner from Savannah GA. on December 05, 2011:

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!

Bahin Ameri from California on December 04, 2011:

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 from The Universe on December 02, 2011:

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

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on November 22, 2011:

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

Sueswan on November 22, 2011:

Hi vocalcoach

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

Have a wonderful day.

Derdriu on November 19, 2011:

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?

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on November 18, 2011:

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 from England on November 16, 2011:

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 on November 15, 2011:

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.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 15, 2011:

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 on November 15, 2011:

Vocalcoach, VOTE UP!What a great hub.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 14, 2011:

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

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 14, 2011:

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 on November 14, 2011:

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

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 14, 2011:

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!

Tammy from North Carolina on November 14, 2011:

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

Micheal from United Kingdom on November 13, 2011:

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.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 12, 2011:

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

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 12, 2011:

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!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 12, 2011:

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.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 12, 2011:

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.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 12, 2011:

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.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 12, 2011:

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.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 12, 2011:

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

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 09, 2011:

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!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 09, 2011:

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!

Audrey Howitt from California on November 08, 2011:

Such a lot of information here--great article!

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on November 05, 2011:

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!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 04, 2011:

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.

James W. Nelson from eastern North Dakota on November 04, 2011:

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 from malang-indonesia on November 04, 2011:

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

Mary Hyatt on November 03, 2011:

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 on November 02, 2011:

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! =)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 02, 2011:

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

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 02, 2011:

mentalist - Every word you write is poetic and inspiring!

Thank you, my friend.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 02, 2011:

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

Hillary from Atlanta, GA on November 02, 2011:

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 :)

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on November 02, 2011:

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 :)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 02, 2011:

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. :)

Alexander Thandi Ubani from Lagos on November 02, 2011:

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

WD Curry 111 from Space Coast on November 02, 2011:

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.

Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on November 01, 2011:

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!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 01, 2011:

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...

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 01, 2011:

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!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 01, 2011:

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!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 01, 2011:

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 from Phoenix, Arizona on November 01, 2011:

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 from United Kingdom on November 01, 2011:

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

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 01, 2011:

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!

Kathy from California on November 01, 2011:

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!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 01, 2011:

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 and sherry from south Florida on November 01, 2011:

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 from Massachusetts, USA on November 01, 2011:

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. :-)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 01, 2011:

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!

Darlene Matthews on November 01, 2011:

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

Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on November 01, 2011:

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

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 01, 2011:

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 on November 01, 2011:

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.

diogenes on November 01, 2011:

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 from Sacramento CA on October 31, 2011:

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