Thursday, May 01, 2008

Presenting and Speaking with Clarity


You know the routine. You're on a train, you pull into a station. You remain there for a few minutes before you hear an announcement. A couple of years ago, I heard this, whilst travelling on one of those fast sooper-dooper red and silver thingies, back from Manchester. I'm paraphrasing a bit but here goes "This is your train manager speakin', we will be stuck here at Stoke for about forty-five minutes". Uproar ensued amongst my fellow passengers. What was actually said was f-o-u-r t-o f-i-v-e minutes. A much shorter duration of course.
Earlier today, whilst returning from Norwich, my train was held at Colchester station for around ten minutes. The problem? A lightning bolt had put paid the signalling at a place I've never heard of before. I think the train manager said it was Attfeelpevril. I then twigged. He was, of course, referring to that well-known Essex village near Chelmsford called, Hatfield Peverel.

You see, unless you present yourself correctly by speaking so that you can be properly understood, you'll run into problems of one kind or another. Both of the gentlemen I've mentioned, or rather their employers, would be wise to send them on a "speaking with clarity" or a "talk with conviction" course. I've found that by speaking more slowly, one tends to enunciate better. Try it in front of your mirror at home. But if you are still struggling, try a course run by professionally qualified voice-trainers


James Higham said...

That's classic, Jeremy. Clearly the man needs elocution lessons from Brian Sewell.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Can you imagine?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree and it applies to foreign language learning as well. I'm always telling students to concentrate on speaking correctly rather than quickly!