If Ya Gonna Speak, Say It, Like, Proppa

There is nothing worse than seeing a beautiful woman or girl, dressed elegantly in a beautiful outfit, hair perfectly coiffed, her appearance impeccable from the top of her head to the tip of her carefully painted toe nails… and then she opens her mouth to speak and out comes something like: “Well, ah sure cain’t unnerstan wha  haze so ignert” … (“Well, I can’t understand why he’s so ignorant.”)  And you can replace that with an accent from any part of the country and still be hard to understand, which is why learning to speak correctly is so important.

If how you look forms the first impression, how you speak must surely come in a close second. It is one of the first things people notice and you will be “judged” by everyone you meet who will decide in an instant what type of person you are, how educated you may be, and what type of background you must come from based purely on how you speak, and then they will treat you accordingly!

You don’t have to speak “posh”, or use “the Queen’s English”, just use correct English.  The internet is full of helpful teaching guides, as is youtube… there is no excuse for anybody to go around talking like they are from the backwoods of anywhere!

If you hope to win pageants, new jobs or promotions, or are out to impress somebody, you need to speak correct English.  Not only is that to establish that you are a person worthy of listening to and  consideration, but also to ensure others understand what you are trying to communicate.  Speaking “nicely” gives others the impression that you come from what they perceive is a “good background” and education.  

The best way to get your message across, whatever that is, is to communicate it in as clear a fashion as possible.  This involves not only dropping the slang and lazy speech but enunciating your words carefully and clearly.  This is very important if you have a strong accent!

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Use English correctly – don’t use lazy language or take short cuts. For example, don’t say “cain’t” … it’s “can’t” or “cannot”.  Don’t say “gonna”… say “going to”.  Don’t say “wanna”… say “want to”.  Pronounce the –ing:  don’t say “happenin”, it’s “happening”.  It’s not “sumfing”, it’s “something”. It’s not “aks”, it’s “ask”.
  • In line with the above – enunciate!  This means open your mouth and speak each word clearly, don’t mumble or slur your words and pronounce all the letters.  For example, don’t say “unnerstan”, you say “understand”.  You don’t say “bleeve”, it’s “believe”. You don’t say “git”, you say “get”.
  • Avoid slang.  Not every one will be familiar with the slang from your neighbourhood or region and it is inappropriate in all situations except your home or among friends who may speak the same way!  Don’t use the word “like” throughout your sentences and avoid umming (um…).
  • If you want to impress don’t use big words that you don’t understand, otherwise you risk using the word incorrectly and looking foolish.
  • Likewise, with big words, even if you DO know what they mean and how to use them correctly in a sentence, don’t use them if you don’t know how to pronounce them correctly!  Go to www.dictionary.com or a similar online dictionary to check the meaning of words and click the play button so you can hear how the word should be pronounced.

You can hire a vocal coach, but if money is tight, you can also help yourself.  You can buy home-study programs, or you can listen to vocal coaches on youtube with their free lessons and tips.  You can, and should, also practice at home.  Try reading out aloud.  A little bit every day will make a huge difference.


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