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How to Practice Elocution Poise & How to Attain It

Updated April 17, 2017

Lack of confidence may mean the difference between being heard or being virtually ignored. Elocution poise is one answer to this dilemma. The art of public speaking -- particularly voice production, delivery and gesture -- known as elocution is a practical skill that may be used in both and social settings. Improve your voice, the main vehicle for communication, through use and practice. Voice training helps you achieve authority, clarity in speaking and an interesting and pleasing voice, all of which define elocution poise.

Consult a dictionary to learn how to pronounce words and which syllables to stress when speaking.

Speak words clearly with proper enunciation, sufficient volume and at a reasonable pace.

Do not slur expressions or run words together.

Use a tape recorder, digital video or compact disc to record yourself as you read material or speak publicly to see and hear areas that need improvement.

Hold your head up, and open your mouth sufficiently as you speak.

Relax your neck, jaw, lips, facial muscles and throat muscles.

Combat nervousness by thinking before speaking and then saying complete sentences without stopping. These two steps help your speech become more fluent.

Speak aloud to yourself while observing your posture and demeanour in a mirror.

Practice speaking with someone who speaks well. This person can offer advice and help you make necessary adjustments in your speaking manner.

Listen carefully to good speakers, and write down words being pronounced differently from how you pronounce them. Examples of good speakers include news anchors and talk show hosts like Oprah Winfrey.

Practice speaking aloud five to 10 minutes each day to build confidence. Elocution poise is achieved when you speak to an audience and do not have undue anxiety, when you experience a measure of comfort and when you have established rapport with your audience.

Tip

Keep in mind the feedback received from your practice partner as you hone this skill. Look past your audience; you'll feel calmer and it will still appear as though you are looking directly at them. Scan your audience periodically to avoid a blank stare look and to connect with them.

Warning

Do not imitate other speakers. Authenticity is lost if you are not yourself. Avoid the use of word whiskers such as "and-uh", "an uh," "now," "and then" and "you see." Omit regressions, which occur when you begin a sentence, interrupt yourself midway and then repeat a portion of what you already stated.

Things You'll Need

  • Dictionary
  • Recording device
  • Mirror
  • Practice partner
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About the Author

Siobhan Higgins' writing career began in 1989, authoring professional advertisements and continuing-education programs for a local beauty salon. Later, she wrote the newsletter for the Department of Communication at Cleveland State University, where she graduated with a Master of Education.